The slogan, ‘Giant of Africa’ has been much pronounced in our ‘excellence’ performance in the areas of squandermania or waste, misplaced priorities, lack of vision, poverty of the mind and spirit, irreconcilable differences, general lack of direction and collective purpose in our national life; and above all, the monster called corruption.
Several attempts made at confronting this decadence and other problem had been greeted with various forms of resistance and interpretations. If it is not referred to as ‘selective anti-corruption war,’ it would be perceived as ‘an agenda to prolong tenure’; ‘a tool to weaken the opposition camp’ or ‘a witch-hunt of political adversary’. Nigerians simply posited that corruption should be left untouched. Any attempt by anti-corruption agencies will let loose the concept of ‘fallacy of what about you’.
Politicians are always quick to invoke the mantra of ‘he who has not sinned should cast the first stone’, even as they hide under legal technicalities. Corrupt politicians simply refused to be tried by court through perpetual injunctions and court orders, challenging courts’ jurisdiction with a view either sweep the offence or crime under the rubble of time or to prolonging and frustrating the judicial process. They merely refuse to honour invitations by anti-corruption agencies, hiding under frivolous court pronouncements; shouting- ‘illegality should not beget legality’!
While the political class, the oligarchy and the few fortune hunters masquerading as public servants were full of activity in draining the treasury, some Nigerians were taking over the street, motor park and highways, some youths are taking over the internet in a bid to reclaim the ‘reparation for the slave trade’, one would have expected better but the Judiciary went into inertia and stood as spectator as the constitution being send on holiday by executives and the legislative arms of the government of the country.
At a point, impeachment concept became one of the most popular constitutional provisions. From Yenogoa to Ibadan, Ado-Ekiti to Anambra and then Oyo to Jos. The grossly ill-conceived notion of impeachment served the interests of the ruling blocs and professional politicians. This delusion was fed and kept alive by a section of the media who in turn serve the politicians.
One would recall the aftermath of the legislative recklessness that almost led to the emergence of two parallel governments in Ekiti and accounted for the removal of Governor Peter Obi of Anambra who was ‘impeached’ by the state lawmakers around 5:30 am outside the state house! Plateau State was a unique case where six (6) lawmakers out of 24 performed the function of 2/3 majority and removed Governor Joshua Dariye from office. Many queried to know if the constitution was on recess.
It became difficult to know constitutional positions on issues (by a ‘lay-man’) whenever there is a court injunction or a ruling. In such circumstances, different interpretations are rendered either by the Inspector General of Police, political godfathers, professional politicians, Lawyers on retainer of politicians and their media spinners. Did Nigeria not witness an Attorney General and Minister of Justice, in an administration, who made some disingenuous positions on National issues without regards to the constitution?
Though, the search for a workable grand rule has led to enactments of nine constitutions since independence- starting with the Clifford constitution of 1922; all of these have been riddled with contradictions and imperfections. The prevailing 1999 constitution has been widely rejected across the Nigerian nation because it is considered either as militarily-imposed and/or an undemocratic document that cannot lead to good governance and viable democratic system. This is why some unpatriotic rulers, masquerading as true cream of the crop find it expedient to make use of and dispense with, the same constitution at will.
Clash of interests played its part in the political and socioeconomic underdevelopment of the largest African nation. Though the clash between Obafemi Awolowo and Ladoke Akintola shall always remain with us but in the recent past if it was not between Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and Governor Mala Kachalla of Borno, it may even be between Dr. Olusola Saraki and Governor Muhammed Lawal of Kwara. Nigeria citizens watched with amazement, the clashes between Senator Jim Nwobodo and Governor Chimaroke Nnamani of Enugu State and that of Chief Emeka Offor with Governor Chinwoke Mbadinuji of their Anambra. Or will any astute political analyst convince us that clashes between, Chris Uba and Governor Chris Ngige of Anambra state as well as that of the political cannon of Ibadan politics Lamidi Adedibu vs Governor Rasheed Ladoja of Oyo were purely in the interests of Nigerians.
As political gladiators were slugging it out, the masses were engaged in blood needless blood-letting within this period, If it was not clashes between Umeleri and Aguleri, Ife and Modakeke, Tivs and Tulkums, Ogoni and Andoni, Ijaw and Itsekiri, Ijaw and Ilaje, Ijaw and the oil companies, Ijaw and the federal government (including Odi massacre), Urhobo and Itsekiri, Hausa and Mambilla, Kuteb and Jukum on one hand; it would be inter-tribal fracas and clashes in Shagamu, Kaduna, Jos, Odi, Mile 12; Mushin, Plateau on the other. And if that was not the case, it may be the turn of Oodua People Congress (OPC) or Niger-Delta People’s Volunteer Force (NDPVF) to wreak havoc. It might as well be the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), the Niger Delta Youth Association (otherwise known as Egbesu boys) the Arewa People’s Congress (APC), the Bakassi boys and AlMajiris quagmire. The worst of them all- the Boko Haram terrorists are still on the rampage, terrorizing all of us at the same time- Muslims, Christians, Hausas, Fulanis, Yorubas, Ibos among others.