The writer’s world is an intriguing and fascinating one. Sometimes, there could be fatigue provoked by writing and taking time to dissect critical issues, giving well thought out prescriptions, only to end up with the feeling that one may have perhaps been labouring in vain. One gets this funny idea that those who have the power to use the solutions to better the society, and our living standards, don’t even read what one writes or don’t care about those suggestions. This feeling, one can confirm, can be very frustrating. Passion yes, but it becomes rewarding when it brings results. On the other side there is this surge that comes from another level of energy that urges one on; inside it is this “still small voice” that encourages one to go ahead, that each time anyone throws a tiny stone of revolution into the river, a little ripple of hope is kindled and rekindled . Every great and positive thought put out there in public is a seed planted, which will germinate and blossom tomorrow.
The interesting part of the writing business comes when at certain periods one has a glut of issues to discuss. The atmosphere is sweeter when one has a mastery over some of such subject matters. This past week we had critical developments, each of them deserving critical review. President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law, 13 good years after it was mooted and presented by late President Musa YarAdua. The north held it down, and now that it passed, same north ensured oil producing communities were made to look like non6host communities. This should be a big issue, knowing those who tell us a law should be made making national unity sacrosanct. See the irony of human behavior: some well placed leaders in search for a healthy society place law over fairness, justice and equity. Just imagine! The other matter would have been “the rumpus in Afghanistan.” What is happening in that country right now is a human tragedy . To understand what America did there, will be to get a clear picture how the world works. One never gets to know how our world works until we have such manifest examples unfolding in Afghanistan right now.
Imperialism which took root from how a particular people view others would not spare anything including human lives to achieve her interest, chief of which is supremacy in all aspects of human existence. If you study the eruption that happened in Afghanistan last week, knowing Americans held discussions with the Talibans before the mayhem, it will be easy to understand that Africa can be recolonized very easily. For all anyone will care to know, it is very clear our destinies have never been in our hands. When such is the case, anything can happen to such a people including the ugliest and most nasty. This is the story of Afghanistan, Syria, Libya. Well, one is forced by what one knows to do a discourse similar to the trend we set in the two articles preceding this one dealing with human or civil rights. Today’s focus is on the judiciary and democracy. We have already established that civil rights are cardinal to a successful democracy and no institution stands better to bring this to be than the Judiciary.
There are three arms of government – the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. For a long time we have ran with the wrong notion that of all, the legislature is the most important, just by mere fact legislators are elected. Some even say it is the executive because they are in position to authoritatively allocate values. They hold the joker, afe man with the green leaves” but those who hold retrogressive as many are wont to say, “goats follow th and degrading view forget humans are not animals, they are imbued with intelligence, manipulation flowing from inducements has great limitations, infact, it is part of reasons our society is into a terrible kind of quagmire.
Of the three, the judiciary is the king. Judges are not elected, neither do they make the laws or execute them, but they have inherent in their duties the power of God. In the task of protecting rule of law they can create and recreate. In ensuring supremacy of law, they can bring in new paradigm shifts. In making sure democracy does not give way to individual or group dictatorship, they can redirect society and make it come out far better than the laws intended or the executors would have done if left on their own. The judiciary in a democracy can be the key driver in the evolution of positive rules and sustainable conventions for a society. Some call this judicial activism. Whatever it is called should not matter, what should, will be the fact that the judiciary must act and make pronouncements that stop stupidity and good sense of judgment on procedures and processes.
America’s rich political tradition is not entirely a product of political engineering. Many of it came from sound, society molding judicial pronouncements. The Bill of Rights was central to the making of modern America but it became entrenched near to level of inviolability when the legislature said no other law should be made to abridge the position, the udiciary keyed in with different verdicts consolidating the position. In America no government can wake up and close a business just because someone spoke roughly, threatening the peace or even against the sovereignty of state. You must go to court not to close business but to press for damages or possible jail terms.
Today, we hear lawyers say government cannot stop protests or demonstrations. Rather the security agencies should be responsible enough to know their acts could lead to breakdown of law and order. Insisting that the state is the one legally permitted to have near monopoly of forces of coersion in this regard should be in a better position to always check reckless behaviour. This is from where we got the position many parrot here without appreciation of the background.
We have had issues with nomination of appointees for public offices. The president and governors submit lists to the legislature without attaching portfolios. By now the Judiciary ought to have reversed this trend which the majority has marked as bad. The Constitution says one must have school certificate to qualify to run for public offices yet it is said rule of interpretation defines that to mean mere ability to read or write. Supreme Court failed to correct that when a big opportunity presented itself some months ago. With insecurity everywhere, we claim federalism, but the judiciary ought to have in the spirit of federalism stated without any ambiguity that states which can afford it should have state police.
Then you have politicians crossing from one party to another holding tight to mandate obtained on another platform. They claim no rule bars them as if all good conduct must be product of regulation. The judiciary by now should have made example of one governor and made it clear it is a dangerous act to elope with a mandate gotten on another political platform. One can defect but without the mandate; the defector must drop what he got to take his right to freedom of association. Shopping for courts on same matters should be frowned at. We can’t wait on the legislature for everything.