I recently read a Facebook opinion of a youngman who said he returned from Emuoha, in Rivers State, Nigeria, where he had gone to monitor Councillorship bye-election primaries, as an independent Monitor for the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission. As he said to his greatest amazement and annoyance, of the about 50 registered Political Parties in Nigeria, only one was on-ground to conduct its primaries. This is the state of our political parties today. This is why I am asking how many political parties do we really have?

A cursory look at INEC's website indcates that there are fifty seven registered political parties. These parties have been formed by individuals or groups of individuals at one time or the other during their political career. I suspect many more parties may soon be registered by INEC as there is no limitation by the constitution to the number.

One has always wondered why political parties are formed. What does a political party want to achieve when it is formed? Speaking to politicians at home and searching through printed materials, I find that indeed a political party seeks power, or a share of power, and to achieve power it must win control, or a share of control, of the organs of government.

Inorder to do this, the members of any party have to work hard to succeed. Like we are all told when growing up, we need to remain focussed and work hard towards our goal and not drift from one corner to the other. Many of our renowned bussiness men and women persevered in their bussinesses before they achieved what they have now.

The party is essentially supposed to be a link between the citizen and the state; party is one of the devices which makes possible citizen influence on the policies of government. But is that the case with our so called fifty seven parties? Your guess is as good as mine.

We all know that political issues are at root conflicts of values and interests any where in the world. However, our case in Nigeria appears to be so muddled. Individuals who want political power keep moving from one party to the other once their desire for political power fails in one party or their relevance wanes. The Nigerian politician now behaves like amoeba. Or better still like water- taking the shape of the container. The situation is not helped by the citizenery when we either carry placards extolling them or sew and dorn asoebi in support of these drifting politicians.

Our Constitution empowers the national Asseembly to provide for an annual grant to the Independent National Electoral Commission for disbursement to political parties on a fair and equitable basis to assist them in the discharge of their functions. Therefore each of these parties (individuals) is given some subvention by the Federal Government through INEC. I understand the amount varies with the size of the party. What this does is to make individuals rush to form political parties inorder to get their share of the national cake which they do not even share with the people who they fakely put on their list as party members.

The Human Rights Act and our Constitution provides for freedom of association. However I believe in any society individuals should have decorum in their modus operandi of association. Our politicians should realise they are not Kwoi fishes that relish in summersaulting and jumping from one section of a fish tank to the other.

As one returnee PDP member said if the present leadership of the PDP worked in accordance with the vision of its founding fathers, there would be no more opposition party in the country before long. In effect what he is saying is that Nigeria will become a one party state. This same group say they do not want one party state. How does one say he does not want a one party state and also advocate for PDP's proper house keeping inorder to eliminate other parties? Is that what the founding fathers of the PDP really wanted?

It has been speculated by many writers that before the 2011 elections Nigerians will again witness more politicians decamping to and from various parties especially to the ruling party, the PDP. So where is the ideology these politicians shout about?

I believe we have not seen the first and the last of these to and fro movements. That there are so many defections from one party to the other has a lot to say about the future of our politics and the individuals defecting. The sad story is that defections are used to gain individual political relevance. For once the immediate aim has been achieved plans are instituted to defect back to the initial political party.

Are we disappointed? Yes we should but I don't think we are. These people claim they are part of the new generation politicians and have been clamouring for the older ones to give way. However, their utterances and actions give the impression that there is no difference between our generation and the older ones whom we have been blaming for all our woes. This may also appear to confirm what IBB was quoted to have said whether rightly or wrongly that the youths have nothing to offer.

What do our politicians believe in? I am not too sure any longer but it would appear to me that beliefs of our current brand of politicians is based on what they think they can get for themselves and not what difference they can make to the generality of Nigerians. This is why they are quick to form as many a party as possible and once that party does not pay them any longer they jump ship leaving behind the helpless citizens who they have fooled to sing their praises.

I know that we are a developing democracy and most major democratised nations started with so many parties but my worry is the spirit and thoughts behind the formation of many of our Nigerian parties. It is evident that a number of politicians have delved into practices that will enrich self most times rather than service to the people.

As President Jonathan recently said on his facebook page, Nigeria is a sum of all our thoughts and actions and our thoughts influence our actions. I have therefore wondered what these to and fro politicians are always thinking of knowing

I recently read a Facebook opinion of a youngman who said he returned from Emuoha, in Rivers State, Nigeria, where he had gone to monitor Councillorship bye-election primaries, as an independent Monitor for the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission. As he said to his greatest amazement and annoyance, of the about 50 registered Political Parties in Nigeria, only one was on-ground to conduct its primaries. This is the state of our political parties today. This is why I am asking how many political parties do we really have?

A cursory look at INEC's website indcates that there are fifty seven registered political parties. These parties have been formed by individuals or groups of individuals at one time or the other during their political career. I suspect many more parties may soon be registered by INEC as there is no limitation by the constitution to the number.

One has always wondered why political parties are formed. What does a political party want to achieve when it is formed? Speaking to politicians at home and searching through printed materials, I find that indeed a political party seeks power, or a share of power, and to achieve power it must win control, or a share of control, of the organs of government.

Inorder to do this, the members of any party have to work hard to succeed. Like we are all told when growing up, we need to remain focussed and work hard towards our goal and not drift from one corner to the other. Many of our renowned bussiness men and women persevered in their bussinesses before they achieved what they have now.

The party is essentially supposed to be a link between the citizen and the state; party is one of the devices which makes possible citizen influence on the policies of government. But is that the case with our so called fifty seven parties? Your guess is as good as mine.

We all know that political issues are at root conflicts of values and interests any where in the world. However, our case in Nigeria appears to be so muddled. Individuals who want political power keep moving from one party to the other once their desire for political power fails in one party or their relevance wanes. The Nigerian politician now behaves like amoeba. Or better still like water- taking the shape of the container. The situation is not helped by the citizenery when we either carry placards extolling them or sew and dorn asoebi in support of these drifting politicians.

Our Constitution empowers the national Asseembly to provide for an annual grant to the Independent National Electoral Commission for disbursement to political parties on a fair and equitable basis to assist them in the discharge of their functions. Therefore each of these parties (individuals) is given some subvention by the Federal Government through INEC. I understand the amount varies with the size of the party. What this does is to make individuals rush to form political parties inorder to get their share of the national cake which they do not even share with the people who they fakely put on their list as party members.

The Human Rights Act and our Constitution provides for freedom of association. However I believe in any society individuals should have decorum in their modus operandi of association. Our politicians should realise they are not Kwoi fishes that relish in summersaulting and jumping from one section of a fish tank to the other.

As one returnee PDP member said if the present leadership of the PDP worked in accordance with the vision of its founding fathers, there would be no more opposition party in the country before long. In effect what he is saying is that Nigeria will become a one party state. This same group say they do not want one party state. How does one say he does not want a one party state and also advocate for PDP's proper house keeping inorder to eliminate other parties? Is that what the founding fathers of the PDP really wanted?

It has been speculated by many writers that before the 2011 elections Nigerians will again witness more politicians decamping to and from various parties especially to the ruling party, the PDP. So where is the ideology these politicians shout about?

I believe we have not seen the first and the last of these to and fro movements. That there are so many defections from one party to the other has a lot to say about the future of our politics and the individuals defecting. The sad story is that defections are used to gain individual political relevance. For once the immediate aim has been achieved plans are instituted to defect back to the initial political party.

Are we disappointed? Yes we should but I don't think we are. These people claim they are part of the new generation politicians and have been clamouring for the older ones to give way. However, their utterances and actions give the impression that there is no difference between our generation and the older ones whom we have been blaming for all our woes. This may also appear to confirm what IBB was quoted to have said whether rightly or wrongly that the youths have nothing to offer.

What do our politicians believe in? I am not too sure any longer but it would appear to me that beliefs of our current brand of politicians is based on what they think they can get for themselves and not what difference they can make to the generality of Nigerians. This is why they are quick to form as many a party as possible and once that party does not pay them any longer they jump ship leaving behind the helpless citizens who they have fooled to sing their praises.

I know that we are a developing democracy and most major democratised nations started with so many parties but my worry is the spirit and thoughts behind the formation of many of our Nigerian parties. It is evident that a number of politicians have delved into practices that will enrich self most times rather than service to the people.

As President Jonathan recently said on his facebook page, Nigeria is a sum of all our thoughts and actions and our thoughts influence our actions. I have therefore wondered what these to and fro politicians are always thinking of Nigeria is a sum of all of our thoughts and actions!

As some of these politicians are legislators, it will be difficult to ask them to do anything. So can INEC do something? We know that as well as registering political parties in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution and an act of the National Assembly, one of INEC's duties is to monitor the organization and operation of the political parties, including their finances and publish a report on examination and audit of the finances for public information. How does INEC evaluate the activities of any party to ensure the party is living up to the expectations or its set objectives? What happens to these parties when the people who formed them and have been managing the finances hop step and jump? Is it not possible to give subvention to only parties who win seats to represent the people?

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As some of these politicians are legislators, it will be difficult to ask them to do anything. So can INEC do something? We know that as well as registering political parties in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution and an act of the National Assembly, one of INEC's duties is to monitor the organization and operation of the political parties, including their finances and publish a report on examination and audit of the finances for public information. How does INEC evaluate the activities of any party to ensure the party is living up to the expectations or its set objectives? What happens to these parties when the people who formed them and have been managing the finances hop step and jump? Is it not possible to give subvention to only parties who win seats to represent the people?