AMBITION. This is one motivating factor every Nigerian politician must have if he or she ever wants to attain any height in the political space. Although Gordon S. Black of the University of Rochester was thinking about the American politicians when he wrote “A Theory of Political ambition: Career Choices and Role of Structural Incentives”, but his description of political ambition largely describes that of the average Nigerian politicians too. Political ambition, according to Black, lies at the heart of political “lore” in the United States.” In Nigeria, political ambition is the beginning and end of many political successes or crises whether it is intra-party or inter-party. Right now, in the country, the political ambition of some gladiators whether in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP or All Progressives Congress, APC, is what is tearing politicians, albeit the party apparatuses apart. Political ambition has led to the formation of new political parties in the country.
Black’s theory of political ambition, posits that: “As a politician rises to new positions of power and prominence, his motives for seeking political advancement become subjected to intense public scrutiny. Most politicians try to promote the fiction that their motives are unsoiled by private ambition, that all they wish is to serve the public and to pursue the “public good”; but in the end, almost all American politicians appear somewhat suspect to the public at large, suspect in ways one seldom associates with corporation executives or those in other careers.” This is exactly what is playing out in the PDP ever since a New PDP faction emerged at its mini convention on Saturday, August 31. Interestingly, all the leaders in the New PDP touted the lore of “public good” as their reason for deciding to rescue the old PDP. The irony is that the individuals in the New PDP are all part and parcel of what has been wrong with the country for a long time. Their emergence is tantamount to putting a new wine in an old wine skin and is most likely to explode eventually primarily because of members’ ambition. The guards of the old PDP are also wielding the big whip threatening to whip the voices of dissent into line and also claiming a holier-than-thou posture of doing so for the “public good”. There is no gainsaying that all the disputants are doing what they are doing because of their selfish ambition to put themselves at a vantage position in order to clinch the leadership of the party structure all because of the presidential race in 2015. However, Realnews editorial board has decided to scrutinise all the posturing of the political gladiators in the PDP who lay claim to do what they are doing because of “public good”. Our scrutiny is meant to adequately inform you of the kind of political acts they can play in order to actualise their personal ambition which is not necessarily for public good. The outcome of the scrutiny is captured in the cover story for this week entitled: PDP: War of Ambition” which was anchored by Olu Ojewale, our general editor. Enjoy it.
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— Sep. 16, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT