Penultimate week, the news were rife about the impeachment threat by the members of the National Assembly (NASS) spearheaded by the opposition party (PDP), in what political pundits described as nothing but playing to the gallery.
Aptly stated, they gave Mr. President six weeks ultimatum to proffer a lasting solution to the menacing security challenges that have assumed an alarming dimension or risk being impeached.
You would recall that Ahmad Lawan (Senate President) characteristically displayed his disdain, but laboured in futility as his “honourable” colleagues later succeeded in carrying out their threat.
Joke or sentiment apart, how did this country suddenly come to these sorry pass? It is true that Nigeria under the leadership of former President Goodluck Jonathan experienced similar fate occasioned by the rampaging onslaughts of the dreaded Boko Haram, but juxtaposing it with the orgy of bloodletting, violence, kidnapping, banditry etc, that have enveloped this nation, you would not hesitate to agree with me that those high-fallutin promises of “change” are nothing but deceits. Bluntly put, Jonathan’s inadequacies, maladministration and derailments, now pale into insignificance. Could you imagine the advanced convoy of a whole Mr. President being waylaid and attacked? In furtherance of their show of audacity and bravado, they are now planning to attack the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and also bragging to kidnap a sitting president and a governor (Nasir el-Rufai). Were we caught napping or least envisaged? Absolutely no! That was prophetically foretold by Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), former Chief of Army Staff, when he warned about the hidden agenda by religious extremists to Islamalize this country.
Instead of embarking on preventive measures and tackled it head on, it was rather regarded as the ranting of a man, fanning embers of disunity and also who has lost political relevance and looking for cheap popularity.
The security challenges continue to fester and worsen, that killing of fowl is now more sacred and respected than fellow human beings. In the same vein, the late Dr Maliafa Obadah, former deputy governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), renowned for baring his mind no matter whose ox was gored once dared the powers-that-be, that he knew the sponsors of Boko Haram. Instead of encouraging him, he was muscled into submission and silence. How that fearless, bold and highly patriotic Nigerian died controversially still saddens his admires. Please, pardon me for going memory lane, as it boils my heart, as how and why this present government has deliberately abdicated from their constitutional responsibilities. The rot is endless. What of Governor Masari of Kastina State, who proudly identified and had a group photograph with terrorists, without caring a hoot, of its dire consequencies? Yet no tinge of condemnation or repudation came from the higher authority. Also, in this show of shame, is the controversial cleric, Sheikh Gumi, who assumed the role of unsolicited mediator between terrorists and Federal Government. The climax, was the recent turbaning of a notorious and wanted terrorist (with his accomplices in crime) in Zamfara State, while security agencies and the government turned blind eyes. All these references showcased how those saddled with the responsibility of protecting lives and property have been handling this issue of insecurity with utmost levity. Even most of the security agencies including the armed forces are being infiltrated with moles and fifth columnists, and the government too, is treating them wit kid gloves. You would at this juncture, ask why the Service Chiefs are yet to be fired when it is incontrovertibly glaring that they lack the necessary wherewithal and capacities to fight these felons from the pit of hell?
The truth of the matter is that apart from the security challenges bedeviling this nation, there are other yawning lapses like dwindling economy, unprecedented inflation, high cost of living and ASUU lingering strike and other offences that have been committed by PMB, but the present Ninth-National Assembly under the leadership of Ahmad Lawan are rubber stamp and lackeys of the Executive arm of the government, unlike the 8th National Assembly under the leadership of Bukola Saraki, who asserted its independence and kept the Executives on their toes. They plotted several banana peels to remove Saraki, but typical of a cat with nine lives, he survived it. Mildly put, the present National Assembly with the majority comprising APC members lacks the necessary bites hence they are bound to sacrifice the interests of the nation on the altar of political expediency.
And moreover the opposition political parties may not gather the required 2/3 constitutional requirements to carry out that impeachment threat thereby foretelling that the matter will be dead on arrival. My candid advice is that rather than embarking on what would seem to be an exercise in futility or mere grandstanding, they should allow Mr. President, who has a few months to relinquish power and posterity would definitely and deservedly place or judge him. At the same time, that would avert any unnecessary crisis or fallouts that might result in the aftermath of the proposed impeachment.
*Charles Azubuike (Snr), a public affairs commentator, writes from Onitsha