UZOR MAXIM UZOATU e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Any ostrich making a doomed attempt to bury his head in the sand of Nigeria will promptly be shaken awake by the hotness of the sand. Nobody can deny that the country is in dire straits. The Boko Haram bandits are having a field day, bombing and killing and maiming. It is as if the terrorists have taken President Muhammadu Buhari’s order for the removal of all military checkpoints on the road as an open sesame to mayhem. There is the other dangerous dimension of transferring some of the convicted Boko Haram insurgents to a minimum facility prison in Ekwulobia, Anambra State.
The people of Anambra State and indeed the entire Southeast are up in protest asking for the withdrawal of the unwanted guests. There is the palpable fear that all hell will soon be let loose. There is fire in the land, and the government cannot in good conscience pretend that all is well. The All Progressives Congress (APC) that has taken power at the federal level is clearly unprepared for the task at hand. The party has been thrown into crass crisis following the election of the principal officers of the National Assembly. The party was caught completely napping as its chosen stalwarts were worsted in a very embarrassing manner. Now the party potentates are crowing from pillar to post about the need to entrench party supremacy within the system.
Of course in the presidential system the three arms of government ought to be given a measure of independence for true democracy to function. Unfortunately the ruling APC is now threatening to upstage the applecart. A measure of the chasm in the polity can be seen in the recent move of Governors of the People Democratic Party (PDP) throwing their weight behind the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu over what they described as police harassment plotted by the APC.
The PDP Governors’ Forum (PDPGF) the other day condemned the police harassment of Senator Ekweremadu under the guise of investigating the alteration of Senate standing rules. In a statement by its media office, The PDP Governors frowned at the obvious prodding of the police by the Presidency and the APC in the crude desperation to remove the Deputy Senate President who was elected by his peers. The cracks in the system are beginning to manifest very dangerously. Using the police for nefarious ends can only lead to anarchy. The National Assembly should be left to undertake self-cleansing from within its system. The police will end up getting ridiculed if they are used to undermine the legislature.
The former Special Adviser to President Shehu Shagari, Tanko Yakasai, has weighed in with his own condemnation of President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC over the invitation of the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, by police over allegations of forgery. In the unflinching view of Yakasai, the police invitation came at the prompting of the president and the APC. The irrepressible elder statesman then warned that it portends danger for Nigerian democracy.
Accusing President Buhari and APC leaders of lacking the basic knowledge of the norms and rules of legislative chambers, Yakassai thundered: “I think the problem here is that neither Buhari, nor Oyegun or any serious member of the APC are truly aware of the basic knowledge of the National Assembly, they should use this chance to have some knowhow of the settings and rules therein.” Yakassai pointed out that although the election of principal officers of the National Assembly is done by a simple majority, their removal requires the participation of all members.
This way, Yakassai deposed that removing Ekweremadu now would be a dangerous scenario that would not even work. At any rate, the APC has stated that it had nothing to do with the invitation, arguing that the police reserved the right to investigate serious allegations against anybody, no matter how highly placed.
The tragedies of Nigeria almost always start from very minute details. The Ekweremadu matter has ethnic dimensions that may end up shaking up the political front of the country on a volcanic scale. Ekweremadu was invited by the police on the allegation of illegally altering Senate Standing Rules used in electing Bukola Saraki as President of the Senate.
The Nigeria Police revealed that following the receipt of a petition from a Senator, a letter was sent to the clerk of the National Assembly to facilitate a meeting of some principal officers of the senate and the clerk with the police investigating team headed by a Deputy Inspector General of Police, Force CID. Nigeria has very deep problems needing profound attention such that going after Ekweremadu can only prove that we may be toying with the destiny of the nation in a very unsound manner. President Buhari needs to rein in his party goons in the best interest of Nigeria.