The Nigerian Senate rose up from a closed door session recently and determined that enough was enough. The minority leader of the Senate, Distinguished Senator Philip Ajidua, brought the motion on the floor that will mandate the Senate to give a six-week ultimatum to the President to tackle the insecurity in Nigeria or be impeached. He was ruled out of order by Ahmad Lawan, the Senate President, prompting the walk out from the chamber of some Senators who later converged together outside the chamber to maintain their stand on the ultimatum issued to the President. The Senate proceeded for recess after that and some of the members of the House of Representatives have since concurred with the Senate members who opted for the impeachment of the President. This move is bipartisan as both the members of the National Assembly from both parties indicated interest to be part of the impeachment exercise in the event of the President refusing, failing or neglecting to do something to the perennial insecurity problems in the country within 6 weeks. In fairness to these distinguished and honorable members, they have honoured and approved every Appropriation Bill relating to security brought before it for approval without minding lack of transparent accountability for the earlier approved Bills to the extent that most Nigerians call the National Assembly, rubber stamp.
President Buhari contested election for the President three times before winning the fourth time. He has adequate knowledge of the problems of Nigeria which he brilliantly articulated in three agenda: Security, economy and anti-corruption. In security, he promised to wipe out terrorism and insecurity in six months. He promised to stop paying oil subsidies immediately on assumption of office. As a matter of fact, he called the payment of subsidies a fraud. He assured that he will fix our moribund refineries and ensure we become a net exporter of oil. He boasted that he will make one dollar exchange for one naira. He declared that he will lift more than 100 million Nigerians out of poverty, provide employment and electric power to the people, among very other lofty economic objectives. On the issue of electric power, he even asserted that previous administrations spent billions of dollars on electricity without results and he will ask questions if voted into power. This led him to the 3rd agenda, which is anti-corruption, where he vowed to punish everybody found to be corruptly enriching himself. Of course Nigerians believed him because as military Head of State he sentenced some corrupt politicians to more than 200 years in jail for corruption.
After almost 8 years in office, the results seem strangely at variance with the objectives set at the time of inception. Inecurity has become intractable. From January to June, 2022, in just six months, about 6,638 people have been killed at an average of 37 per day. People are kidnapped every day and ransom paid to secure release. About 72 citizens kidnapped from the Abuja-Kaduna bound train have spent more than four months in detention in the forests and according to the recently released Prof Mustapha Umar Imam, Professor of Medicine, who was prevailed upon to come back from China to assist with the Covid-19 recovery effort, the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria did nothing to assist in their release. About 35 citizens are still in the forests burrowing like animals under the watchful eyes of the bandits. The families of the victims are left alone to pay ransom to the bandits to effect the release of their relatives. The bandits recently ambushed and killed officers and men of the elite presidential brigade of guards, who are trained to guard the President, in Abuja. Even the President’s convoy had been ambushed and some people were killed. The entire North-West has become a theatre of the absurd because of the number of people killed and kidnapped everyday. The President is from the North-West. Little wonder the bandits boasted that they will kidnap the President and El-Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna State. On hearing the news of his possible kidnap, El-Rufai ran to the President for cover, only to discover that the President was not even aware that the bandits threatened to kidnap him. Jailbreaks have become rampant with the latest being the Kuje Jailbreak in Abuja in which all the detained terrorists were released. Whereas the President is not able to release his citizens kidnapped by bandits, the bandits were able to release their members held by the President. The disheartening thing is that the Kuje Jailbreak happened after 44 intelligence reports and warning that bandits and terrorists were about to strike to release their own. This scenario is replicated throughout the country with cultists and ritualists leading the charge in South-West, unknown gunmen and separatists taking charge of the South-East, militants and oil thieves dominating the South-South and terrorists, kidnappers, bandits taking over the entire North. The President’s efforts in the provision of infrastructure of railways, airports, roads, bridges and so on for the people with borrowed money have become meaningless because the activities of terrorists, bandits and kidnappers in carrying out attacks on our airports, roads and railways have made it impossible for people to enjoy those infrastructures since one has to be alive in order to enjoy them. Even our hitherto reverred military and para-military institutions everywhere are not spared attacks from these terrorists with heavy casualties, about 146 of them have been killed this year alone.
The economy is comatose with the naira depressingly going for more than N700.00 per dollar. The electric power generation has been crippled with more than 6 national grid system collapse in the first 6 months of this year. All our refined petroleum products are imported and fuel subsidy payment is at its highest today. Diesel, kerosene and aviation fuel costs are racing to about N1,000.00 per litre, God forbid, and PMS is ever increasing in price as all our refineries are comatose in a land richly blessed with oil. Our airline industry is collapsing with no end in sight. Our public educational system is on the verge of collapse as the University Lecturers, led by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have been on strike for 5 months now which they have extended to six months. Unmployment is at all time high and the cost of living has blown through the roof. Inflation is staring us in the face as even bread has become unaffordable. President Buhari has borrowed more than he can pay and presently the revenue he is earning for Nigeria cannot even service the debts he has borrowed. He has bitten more than he can chew and none of the borrowed funds were invested in productive ventures that can pay back the debts. Anti-corruption war is now like a comedic movie in Nollywood as the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) is alleged to have misappropriated the sum of about N109b. The unfortunate thing about these events is that none of the people who brought about these great variance between what President Buhari wanted to achieve and the results he is achieving are being brought to book or fired.
As a Lawyer, I understand that criminal liability is not only derived from the commission of a crime but also from omission of doing anything that could have stopped the commission of the crime. One day I was driving in the streets of London with a very good friend. One dangerous driver double-crossed him and vied carelessly into his lane in front of him. He had to apply automatic break and did everything possible to avoid colliding with the car. He was so annoyed because his car will report him to his insurance company for dangerous driving and make him lose some points on the cost of his next insurance premium evaluation. I, then, asked him why he did everything possible to avoid colliding with him knowing that the other driver’s insurance company would have repaired his own car if anything had happened rather than risking avoiding him and nearly entering into a ditch. He replied that in London, the offending driver would have been jailed for causing accident but he would have been jailed for failing to prevent accident; that the authority would still hold you responsible if you didn’t do all you should have done to prevent accident even if you were not at fault in the accident. Can you now see why accident is very rare in the streets of London despite their population and narrowness of the roads?
One question nobody has been able to answer in defence of the President, even if the person believes that the President is honest, meant well for Nigeria and is not personally corrupt or that it is those that are around him that are responsible for all our problems is “if you say that it is those people around him that cause our problems, why has he not sacked them?” As a student of Management, I know that the ultimate responsibility for any decision or result in any administration lies with the head of that administration. Moreover Nigerians did not vote for those other people but voted for President Buhari. President Buhari has failed both legally and managerially to prevent the criminal activities of these outlaws and as such he is acting more now like an accomplice and has lost every moral authority to govern. The primary purpose of government is the protection of life and property of its citizens and to the extent that President Buhari has failed to do this in a nation where the Federal Government possess the monopoly of the armed forces, he has earned himself the fundamental right to be impeached from office and it is the duty of the National Assembly to effect that, especially if after the six weeks ultimatum, nothing is done to improve our security and standard of living. Even the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, that ruled the Senate Minority Leader, Philip Ajudua out of order earlier in the Chamber, admitted later, before the entire Security Chiefs of the armed forces that things had gotten out of hand and that our woeful economic situation in Nigeria today is as a result of the lack of security because there is no more foreign direct investment. The summary of Buhari’s government is Nigerians cannot travel through the land, it is too risky, they will either be killed, kidnapped or robbed, they cannot travel through the air, it’s too costly, one-way economy ticket costs about N135k, they cannot travel through the railway, it’s grounded. Yes, Nigeria is grounded under Buhari so it’s time to wake him up to his duties or send him back to Daura through impeachment.