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10 Top Nigerian Politicians Who Broke Their Promise Not To Defect



The storm of frequent defections by politicians across party lines is one reason why Nigeria’s democracy has struggled to create a strong political structure and ideology. Top Nigerian Politicians

As a result, Nigerian voters have had little choice but to vote based on individuals rather than party beliefs. This is because, in the absence of party philosophy, people’s best option is to vote for the candidate of their choice.

It is for this reason that Nigerian politicians have no qualms about switching parties.

What’s more fascinating is that while they are members of  a particular party, politicians would praise it and swear that they would never desert to another.

However, with the passage of time, the politicians jump to other parties that appear to be more favourable at the first opportunity.

In this article, we highlight ten key Nigerian politicians who once swore to an eternal allegiance to a particular political party but later renege on their vows.


Femi Fani-Kayode

Femi Fani-Kayode was member of the Peoples Democratic Party when it was in power. He later became one of APC’s founding fathers. However, his stint there was brief as he defected from the APC back to the PDP before the 2015 elections. While in the PDP, Femi never stopped slamming the APC, referring to it as “a disgusting rat.”

However, on  the September 16, 2021,  Fani-Kayode formally defected back to the APC.


Bello Matawalle

In 2003, Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara was elected into the House of Representatives on the platform of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). He was re-elected in 2007 on the ANPP platform, but afterward defected to the PDP, where he was re-elected for a third term in 2011.

In 2019, the Supreme Court declared that the votes for the APC’s governor candidate were wasted. This was due to the APC’s failure to hold primary elections in Zamfara State for all of the candidates. The court now ordered that the candidate with the second highest votes (Bello Matawalle) be sworn in.

In reaction to the court ruling, Bello vowed never to leave the party for another.

However, in June 2021, Bello switched parties to the APC, claiming that numerous politicians have done similar.


Dave Umahi

Dave Umahi began his public service career in 2007 as the acting chairman of the People’s Democratic Party’s Ebonyi State chapter. He was the party’s state chairman from 2009 until 2011.

On April 12, 2015, Umahi was elected to the position of Governor. On the 16th of March, 2019, he was re-elected.

Governor Dave Umahi, however, announced his intention to join the All Progressives Congress (APC) on November 11, 2020, and after much speculation, he officially defected to the party on November 17, 2020.


Godwin Obaseki

Top Nigerian Politicians

Godwin Obaseki, a member of the All Progressives Congress, was elected Governor of Edo State on September 29, 2016.

After taking office as governor of Edo State, Obaseki began to have disagreements with his predecessor, Adams Oshiomole.

The fight between him and Oshiomhole devolved into factions inside the APC in the state.

Obaseki quit his membership in the All Progressives Congress on June 16, 2020. He later decamped to the PDP on June 19, 2020, and announced his desire to run for re-election on that platform.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Obaseki the victor of the Edo State gubernatorial election on September 20, 2020.


Ben Ayade

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In April 2015, Ben Ayade, a former member of Nigeria’s 7th Senate, stood for governor of Cross Rivers State on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In the 2019 gubernatorial elections, he was re-elected as governor of Cross River State.

After painting the APC black during the Cross River gubernatorial election in 2019, Ben Ayade announced his defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Calabar, the state capital, on Thursday, May 20, 2021, and was welcomed by Yobe Governor and APC caretaker Committee Chair, Mai Mala Buni.




Aminu Waziri Tanbuwal

In 2003, Aminu Tmbuwal was elected into the House of Representatives on the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP).

He joined the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) with former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, only months before the 2007 general elections. When the DPP refused to give him a return ticket, Tambuwal switched to the ANPP, where he was eventually able to secure a ticket for the election.

However, when Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko, the ANPP governorship candidate for Sokoto State in the 2007 election, defected to the PDP, Tambuwal followed suit.

Tambuwal formally defected from the ruling PDP to the opposition APC on October 28, 2014.

Tambuwal switched from the APC to the PDP on August 1, 2018. He was re-elected governor of Sokoto state in the gubernatorial election on March 9, 2019 and the supplementary election on March 22, 2019.


Samuel Ortom

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In April 2015, Samuel Ortom, a member of the All Progressives Congress, was elected governor of Benue State.

On May 29, 2019, he was re-elected governor.

As a result of an internal party issue, Ortom announced his resigation from the All Progressives Congress in July 2018.


Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso

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Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso was the Governor of Kano State from 1999 to 2003, serving on the PDP platform. He was defeated in his campaign for re-election in 2003.

He was re-elected governor of the state in 2011 and served one term that ended in 2015.

Kwankwaso joined the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2014, while still serving as governor.

In 2015, he was elected to the Senate, where he represented Kano Central Senatorial District for one term under the APC platform.

On the APC platform, Kwankwaso ran for president in 2015, but was defeated by Muhammad Buhari.

In 2018, he rejoined the PDP and ran for president, but was defeated by Atiku Abubakar in the primary.


Godswill Akpabio

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On the platform of the PDP, Godswill Obot Akpabio served as Governor of Akwa Ibom State from May 29, 2007 to May 29, 2015.

He was appointed as chairman of the PDP Governors Forum in 2013.

He ran for and won the Senate seat of Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District in 2015, while being a member of the PDP.

Akpabio was nominated for the Senate Minority Leader position. Top Nigerian Politicians

Senator Akpabio resigned as Senate Minority Leader in August 2018 after announcing his defection to the APC.

In July 2019, he was nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari and screened by the Senate for a Ministerial appointment. He was sworn in as Minister for Niger Delta Affairs on August 21, 2019.

Atiku Abubakar

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During Olusegun Obasanjo’s PDP presidency, Atiku Abubakar served as Vice President of Nigeria from 1999 until 2007.

In the 2007 presidential election, Atiku was the Action Congress’ presidential candidate. He placed in third place, behind the PDP’s Umaru Yar’Adua and the ANPP’s Muhammadu Buhari. Top Nigerian Politicians

He ran for President of the People’s Democratic Party in the 2011 presidential election. However, he was defeated by incumbent President, Goodluck Jonathan.

Atiku Abubakar joined the All Progressives Congress in 2014. This happened ahead of the 2015 presidential election. On the platform, he ran for president, losing to Muhammadu Buhari in the primaries.

He rejoined the PDP in 2017 and ran as the party’s presidential candidate in the 2019 election. He lost the election to incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari once more.

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