This is not an attempt to tar and feather all of the president’s men and supporters as dumb and extremists, which will be an unfair characterization.
In recent times I’ve met fellow countrymen, who are very disillusioned about our broken politics and political process to the extent that even if the ballot boxes and papers are stationed right inside their bedrooms, they still will not vote in the 2019 elections.
For this class of people, the ongoing charade is neither the change that was promised nor the democracy that was bequeathed. They contend that votes will not count as the election has already been rigged and fixed by a highly compromised umpire, well oiled and backed by instruments of coercion placed safely in the hands of the incumbent and his select relatives.
The above misconceptions are not entirely misplaced, as examples abound, but again, nothing is beyond God, the reason we must first do our duties and leave the rest to Him.
I am convinced that we are headed for the bumpiest ride of our lives as a people and we must brace up for the challenge, or we perish.
We are not frogs and should not be frogs that only attempt to jump out of boiling water when it is already too late. People who are will powered can accomplish many positive things including electing competent leaders, hence I will ask every Nigerian with the PVC to get it ready and be prepared to use it wisely to vote and to defend their votes.
On the very day, that the Financial Times of London quoted the United States President, Donald Trump as describing President Buhari as lifeless during their White House encounter, apparently in reference to his insipid nature compared to his physical health or both, the local media outlets were coincidentally awash with the President’s address made to the 2018 Nigerian Bar Association Annual Conference where he told the congregation of Nigerian lawyers and judges that ‘the rule of law must be subject to the supremacy of national interest’.
The president’s statement raised several questions: Is national interest and security anathema to the rule of law and the constitution? Who defines what constitute national interest and security? Is it the president and his ruling APC or the laws of the land as interpreted by the courts?
For starters, the aims of national interest and national security are the preservation of the constitution and the rule of law, respect to the dignity of man, the enjoyment of freedom, social equality, economic security and religious of freedom. Therefore, once the constitution and the rule of law is subjected to the perceived need of national security as defined and determined by one man or a group of men without the requisite checks and balances as provided in our written laws, fascism or dictatorship is born and democracy takes flight.
In all ramifications, the president’s assertion is alarming and calls for concern and resistance given that even the very constitution which he is tirelessly working hard to subvert already places the rights of the people under him as the 1999 constitution itself does not guarantee absolute freedom or rights to the people.
For instance, the Chapter Two Rights of the 1999 constitution in its entirety cannot be enforced by the citizens courtesy of Section 6(6)c of the same constitution which rendered all the sections of Chapter Two non justiciable.
Again almost 90% of the Chapter Four Rights are qualified, restricted or derogated. For instance, Sections 37,38,39,40 & 41 are all restricted or derogated by Section 45 of the same constitution while all of Ss 33, 34, & 35 are not absolute rights because they are qualified.
The only Right that is neither delegated nor restricted in the constitution is the right to fair hearing as provided for in Ss 36. That is; the right to be heard, the right to be brought before a competent court, the right to defend yourself when charged before a court , the right to legal representation and the right to be tried according tothelettersofthelaw. It is this right to fair hearing that the president and his men want to take away from the citizens so that we are left naked and bare to their discretion.
Need I remind us, that where an offence is bailable, only a court of law, not the president, has the legal power to deny bail. For instance, in the case of Sambo Dasuki or journalist Jones Ebiri or the Bayelsa 7 that were detained in DSS for two years without trial, such an executive action might have been excused if the courts were silent. But in the case of Dasuki, about three Justices have granted him bail which has been disobeyed by the president and his men. Disobedience to court order is recipe for executive lawlessness and anarchy capable of destroying the nation.
That the president could blaspheme the constitution and the rule of law which formed the bed rock of democracy and civil rights before a congregation of lawyers and judges without a back clap and instant thumbs down is an ominous sign that our democracy has either failed or is in serious danger.
Mr. President needs to be told that he is wrong in his assertion and should reverse himself or the civil society, the bench and the bar should rise to reverse him. Rule of law is superior to national interest. Without rule of law there can be no nation and without a nation there will be no national interest.
I don’t know who included that satanic verse in the president’s speech, but whoever did is a dumb extremist and should be fired for the reason of the incalculable damage he has caused and still will cause. Sadly, the dumbest extremists abound amongst the president men and supporters.
This is not an attempt to tar and feather all of the president’s men and supporters as dumb and extremists, which will be an unfair characterization. I admit, having come across good men and women serving the country faithfully and believing the president is a born again democrat who will perform all the miracles he promised Nigerians.
But again the president and his party have in recent times been invaded and embraced by a cluster of dumb fellows and group of extremists in an unprecedented way. Among the president’s group of uncommon supporters, there is one that notoriously stands out because of their ubiquitousness, and the audacity with which their acquired impunity mocks our outrage over the bloodletting across the country. The group is called Miyetti Allah.
Miyetti Allah is the umbrella group of Fulani herdsmen that are above the law. Their members have been blamed for many of the farmers and herders conflicts which had left in its wake hundreds dead and still counting.
READ ALSO: Ortom’s allegation baseless – Miyetti Allah
Fewweeksback,thegroupthroughthe Chairman of its Benue Chapter threatened to violently force the Senate President out of office if he fails to resign as Senate President for defecting from the president’s ruling APC to the opposition PDP.
In case you are still wondering what concerns ‘Agbero’ with overload? Miyetti Allah said they are tired with Saraki as Senate President. They blamed him for all the failures of the administration including the miracle of seizing people’s ancestral lands for the purposes of establishing cattle colonies.
Despite not descending heavily on the leadership of the herdsmen for their open self-confession to mass killings, one would have expected the president to at the minimum disavow the group for threatening the institution of the National Assembly, but instead, the presidency remains lifeless while the bloodletting from his uncommon supporters who worship him as hero continues. Only Allah will save us from the president’s uncommon supporters!