Nigeria Democracy, Gladiators And The Rule Of Law

rp_20FA2631-1636-424B-B868-A7E96C6BF428_mw1024_s_n-1-300x178.jpgNigeria is an interesting state which does not lack funny and interesting moment per time. Many things happen in our own kind of democracy which make one wonders if we truly understand history as well as appropriate right application of the rule of law that we sworn allegiance to. Law becomes favourable and applicable when it is the opponent  or opposition party that falls victim. But when it  affects people in power, there is an angle which one can hides in to subvert justice system.Since the beginning of the third democratic dispensation which started in 1999.

The rule of law, which guarantees democracy had been slightly bended to favour people in power. Law and anti graft Agencies had been used to pursue people who  are seen as antagonistic to the government of the day. The only exception is that the media had been given opportunity to do their jobs at least when compared with years of the Military regime. Unfortunately the citizens have been docile, weak and unable to  speak out. Some of these reasons are attributed to high level of poverty, illiteracy among others. The events happening in the last one year in Rivers, Lagos, Ekiti States and at the National assembly live one to wonder where is our democracy heading.

The Nigeria Police Force had suddenly become the judiciary which now interprete the law of the land.Many times Police in River states Nigeria had become tool in the hand of power that be to cause havoc and disorderliness in the state. In Ekiti State,  during  and post gubernatorial election, there were lots of break downs of the rule of laws. The ruling party understood the import of using a person who has a criminal charges pending in the law court and yet went ahead to profile him for the Governorship election.

Immediately he got the mandate, he started out asking people to disobey constituted authority. The Governor elect then, now the Governor, was alleged to have led a team of political thugs who beat up a state judge. Since the beginning of the week, several dramas had unfolded in the state again. Only seven out of the 26 members house of Assembly had impeached the Speaker and the state Governor in his capacity and flagrant disobedience to the law ‘anointed’ this new Speaker which came in as a product of illegality.

At the National Assembly, the Speaker of the Nigeria House of Representative, Honourable Aminu Tambumwal had declared his defection from the ruling party, Peoples’ Democratic Party,  into the opposition party. His problems which started since that singular act had known no bound. His security aides have been immediately withdrawn by the Nigeria Police Force Inspector General of Police. According to the IG,  the Speaker is no longer entitled to Police protection since he defected. This was done when  the house was still in recess till December. Governor of Akwa Ibom State, God’s will Akpabio, had suddenly become the Chief Judge of the Federation by asking the Speaker to vacate his office. That alone is not enough to warrant the Presidency to warn against Politicians to desist from statements capable of truncating democracy. Meanwhile if he belongs to opposition party, he would have been warned.

There is no denying the fact that there  are stipulations in the Constitution to be followed before the honourable speaker is removed and all his privileges are withdrawn. The constitution which protect democracy must be adjudicated by the judiciary and not any arm of Government or its Agency- The Nigeria Police. One expects the Police Force to wait until such steps are taken before they jumped into action. Meanwhile it is in this same Nigeria we were that many political gladiators crossed carpet with the Senate as well as a South West Governor among others and the other side of the eye of the law was turned.

How do we explain to our kids who are watching? How do we train them to be good global citizens when the adult generation flagrantly disobey, deny others their fundamental right. How do we feel when when do the wrong thing with the law because we have the position power today? Do we really have conscience to stand and defend the integrity of the constitution and that of this nation? Also on Thursday, a big drama happened at the national Assembly. The Speaker had called for emergency meeting where all the House of Representative members who were on recess must come back and resume meeting with regards to prevalent chaotic situation in the Country.

This  most especially concern the emergency rule in the North East States where the activities of the insurgents had almost brought the economic situation to a halt. The Nigeria Police Force, through the order of the IG,  had ordered the closure of the National Assembly complex against members of the public as well as honourale Representatives from conducting a legal duties they are elected and being paid for. The Police under the guise of intelligent report claimed  they heard hooligans and thugs may invade the complex barred members from gaining entry by locking the gates.  The Police eventually used teargas on the members.  The question one may not be able to answer is, are the members of Representative known or they are spirit that could not be identified?. If they can be identified as they all have means of Identity personal Identity, why was it too difficult to identify, separate  the honourable members from hooligans and thugs?

While we were still watching this illegality and how event will unfold, we saw our honourable members of the House of Representative scaling the high gate as if they were thugs, hooligans and illegal occupants of the complex. Our honourable members behaved dishonourablely in the presence of both local and international Media. Does two wrong make a right? How do we explain to a five year old the implications of full grown adult scaling the fence under whatever reason?

What is our democracy teaching our younger generation? Do everything, whether in order or out of the order to achieve what  you think is a legal aim? Yesterday evening, reports filtering around claimed the Inspector General of Police had ordered the arrest of Speaker of the House of Representative.  Yet the Presidency had remained silent. Our Special Assistants to the President on Media as well as Publicity: Dr Reuben Abati and Doyin Okupe,  who are both known to be outspoken had lacked words. These among several ongoing events, scenarios on in this nation is creating a doubt in the minds of serious thinking Nigerians as well as international observers if truly we are ready to allow democracy to reign in this country. Unfortunately,  all these are happening few months to Nigeria General election.Where is the hope for democracy if we break the law at will, where is the hope for the future if those who are supposed to defend the integrity of the nation behave in a way that suggest we live in animal kingdom?

Photo credit:  voanews

Written by Yinka Olaito

Yinka Olaito

Yinka Olaito is a Communications specialist passionate about Nigeria and Africa Development. Before now he had freelanced for a trade journal for over four years. He is a Brand communication, Digital media consultant and continuously raises the bar of progress. An out of the box thinker and analyst. his opinions are shared on various online platforms

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About Yinka Olaito

Yinka Olaito is a Communications specialist passionate about Nigeria and Africa Development. Before now he had freelanced for a trade journal for over four years. He is a Brand communication, Digital media consultant and continuously raises the bar of progress. An out of the box thinker and analyst. his opinions are shared on various online platforms

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