Former Minister of Health, Alhaji Muhammad Pate has stated that neither the government of President Muhammadu Buhari nor political parties was behind the gale of defection that is blowing across the polity.
According to him, the issue of defection among politicians every four years was a problem that was rooted in the structure of Nigeria’s democracy.
In a chat with select journalists in Abuja, Pate noted that political defectors moved across parties towards the eve of general elections because of selfish interests.
He further stated that such undue pursuit of self-interest among politicians was responsible for the dysfunctions experienced in key areas of our existence despite 20 years of democratic governance in the country.
He said: “All these arguments every four years around election become such a distraction. But that is not making of political parties or the making of the government. It’s a foundational issue because of the structure of our democracy.
“All the noise you are hearing about changing from one party to another is all about struggling for one position or another. It is not about the larger issue of where Nigeria should be, and what kind of future we want for our children. The truth of this matter is that Nigeria is not working as it should be.
“However, the future of this country can be tremendously improved. Nigeria can be a great country in the continent of Africa and at the global stage. But there are dimensions that are incontrovertible.
“We have to look at what the political elites have done collectively over the last 20 years. We have to look at Nigeria’s problems over a long time in order to find solutions that are strategic and not tactical.
“We have had democracy for 20 years yet we have dysfunction in our political system, we still have dysfunction in our academic system, we have dysfunction in our educational system, we have dysfunction in our health system, in our security system and even the social security we need for the most vulnerable part of our population is virtually non-existent other than some efforts to feed school children and to create jobs but the systemic issue is there. But it is not caused by this government.”