Nigeria: Politicians' madness again, leaving youths in quandary
September 19 2015. By Abi Giwa
- Former president Goodluck Jonathan has since become an observer of events in Nigeria. He was president for six years. He was defeated in an election by a gang of reckless, ambitious and desperate political strange bedfellows, in quest of power at all cost. The differences among the strange bedfellows became manifest as soon as they won the presidential election.
The new ruling party has since embarked on schemes to re-assert its authority and supremacy over the wishes of its members. But the way the party is going about the business is signaling a war, dirty war, which end may not be in the interest of democracy and the country's future. It has left the youths in quandary, not addressing the issue of mass unemployment and the need to establish the rule of law.
The Federal Government wants to oust the senate president at all cost, not for corruption, but power struggle, and the senate president is standing his ground. The Federal Government, based on the news of latest development in the country, has resorted to jungle justice, using the fight against corruption as smokescreen in a vendetta war against the senate president.
First, the government went after the senate president's wife, Toyin Saraki, using the Economic and Financial Crimes, EFFC, in a drummed up money laundering allegation. In a vengeance move, the senate too went after the head of the EFCC with a probe that had exposed the guy who was made to probe others as also having skeletons in his own cupboard. Next, another federal government agency, the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, suddenly began a process for the trial of the senate president for alleged money laundering when he was governor. Meanwhile, the senate president's wife's case has cooled.
The senate president went to court and challenged the decision of the Code of Conduct Tribunal. The court, a court of higher authority, granted the relief sought by the senate president and stayed the action of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, which had ordered the senate president to appear before it. But the Code of Conduct Tribunal went ahead and issued a warrant of arrest for the senate president for non-appearance, despite knowing the order from the higher court for it to show cause.
The senate president has issued a statement describing the development as denigration of the nation’s judicial system and a threat to Nigeria’s democracy. Even, without the senate president's statement, observers are clear about what is happening among members of the new ruling party, a form of madness and power struggle that is not new with the Nigerian politics. It destroyed the first and the second republic. Now, the politicians have started the journey toward another destruction.
People are asking whether this is the real fight against corruption, which Muhammed Buhari is said to be waging. They say if this is his fight against corruption, he has got it wrong, and that if he doesn't know what he is currently doing, it is using state apparatus to settle political scores, an impeachable offense. It was exactly the reason the senate president said he challenged the decision of the Code of Conduct Bureau seeking to probe him on allegations of money laundering, because according to him he knew the decision was laden with political vendetta.
The senate president was proved right that despite a higher court's decision that favored his request, the Code of Conduct Tribunal still went ahead and issued a bench warrant for his arrest. Have the Federal Government operatives forgotten that Nigeria is in a democracy and not in a military government, and that the rule of law and not the brutish show of useless power should be an order in the country? Of course, no one is above the law, and no one is above being probed. But the rule of law must be followed.
The Code of Conduct Tribunal would have to first respond to the court of higher authority's request, to explain why the higher court should not stay its decision to probe the senate president. The higher court's decision is for the the Code of Conduct Bureau and the Tribunal officials to appear before it on Monday to show cause on why its decision should not be vacated.
What the Code of Conduct Tribunal had done by issuing a warrant of arrest for the senate president was dangerous and against the rule of law. There is every reason to believe that the CCT may have been teleguided and that it has become a political instrument in the hands of presidency officials, who have left the work of creating enabling environment for job creation for the nation's youths and instead choose to swin in troubled waters.