Buhari: If We Were Truly In A Democracy
Democracy! They say you are the government of the people, by the people and for the people; the government that is strictly built on the rule of law and adherence to the very minute tenet of the nation's constitution. Ok! In Nigeria, if we were truly in a democracy, would all these despicable 'peculiar mess,' as that revered South-Western politician of yore would say, be happening in Ekiti today, under the much-awaited change leadership of President Muhammadu Buhar? If we were truly in a democracy, would the Federal Government be brazenly disregarding the proclamations of the judiciary, courts, held as one of the three arms that is the last resort of the people in a people's government?
If we were in a democracy in Nigeria, why would the sanctity of the Ekiti governorship election be tested from the very first rung of applicable judiciary hierarchy to the Supreme Court (after which, in Nigeria's constitution, next is court of God), only for the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) to be employing every available subterfuge means to truncate the elected wishes of the people in the name of politics?
If we were truly in a democracy in Nigeria, why would the Department of State Security (DSS), an agency of the Federal Executive, storm the Ekiti State House of Assembly, a component of the legislative arm recognized by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and abduct four members of the House on trumped-up allegations, when the same constitution guarantees separation of powers?
To my consternation, I even heard that another Ekiti government official, secretly apprehended by the DSS, respected Chief Toyin Ojo, Commissioner for Finance, was asked by DSS what he contributed to Fayose's election to merit his appointment. What a mockery and rape of democracy, if that was coming from officers of the DSS. When did contribution to electoral finances become a criterion for holding professional positions in our governments? Why haven't the moneybags in this nation who have been known to bankroll governors' and presidents' elections been appointed to key government positions? And if they had been, in which statute book is it stated that they had no right to be so appointed?
To me, were we truly in a democracy, the Nigeria Police would have protested the usurpation of its powers and illegal hijacking of its duties by the DSS, if at all there was any offence committed by the abducted Ekiti top government functionaries. The height of the absurdity is that the police, its arms responsible for economic crimes, where there is any, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), as well as the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), among other relevant agencies, kept mute on the infringement. Is this truly a democracy? Also, to me, it doesn't seem like a democracy when President Buhari has no deemed it fit to comment since Friday 4, March that the news broke that 'his men' desecrated the hallowed chamber of a House of Assembly, under his watch ad Nigeria's democratically-elected president.
If we were in a true democracy, would the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria keep silent when more than hundreds of Agatu people of Benue State were being killed by members of his clan of Fulani herdsmen, not until the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, raised the alarm that the president's silence portended a grave danger?
If we were in a democracy, would President Buhari not be concerned that four elected lawmakers from a state under his watch had been abducted and were still in incarceration since over five days without any charge preferred against them, when they should never be in custody for more than 24 hours under the law of the nation he governs? If we were in a democracy in today's Nigeria, would our president look elsewhere when petitions had been written against a former government by the substantive one over transactions that plunged the state into unprecedented debt when the Federal Government says it is fighting corruption? At least, there is no harm in investigating one who has done no wrong. Or, what have we been told that the abducted Ekiti lawmakers did? If we were in a democracy, all allegations of corruption ought to be looked at, irrespective of the party or state they came from.
Fayose had said that those who rode on the back of a tiger would eventually end in the belly of the tiger. As it is, we don't seem to have a democracy in Nigeria. President Buhari needs our help; both of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the APC as well as other political parties. All the ethnic stocks are not left out, if we are all interested in a democratic Nigeria.
You cannot say that because lawmakers enjoy no immunity, you would coerce them to get at a Governor Fayose who has immunity. That is if we were in a democracy.
Written by Stephen Gbadamosi, Special Assistant (Media) to the Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly