GEJ Impeachment Threat: Is It A Decoy To Win Back The Heart Of Nigerians Or A Bid Towards National Growth?

Immediately after the induction of the 7th national assembly (lower house), the composition of the house never bought my high priced admiration. I knew I wouldn’t be seeing the likes of Dimeji Bankole whose smiles and grammatical acumen at plenary I never wanted missing. When I heard that the man who played jamboree with the English language in the person of hon. Patrick obaihagbon would not be returning to the house, the likes of Dino Melaye, independence Ogunnewe to mention but a few, I asked myself what can this house offer? Be that as it may, I continued following the business of the house amidst my tight academic schedules and waited for the day they were going to clear my doubt.

Fortunately enough, fortune soon flew their way and they before long gained my every admiration and commendation after the steps they took earlier this year when they hurried back to Abuja from their holidays amidst tight schedules to deliberate on the bitter pill or would I say an economic opium the president had just handed out to the totality of Nigerians on the first day of January by removing the subsidy on the price of the petroleum motor spirit. In all fairness to them, it was a great move as they showed and exhibited that they represented the interest of the common man, an act which observers of the political scene has tagged the hallmark of the 7th national assembly thus far.

They became the group that was most enamored by the Nigerian people of which I wasn’t an exception. The fact that they saw the pains on the eyes of Nigerians and had to return quickly to empathize with them was like a soothing balm on the throbbing soul of every Nigerian man, woman and children alike and their returning on a Sunday, to underscore the emergency nature of what was amiss drew fluid from the tear ducts of even the most hardened of citizens. At that time, the house members were seen as innocent as doves and true representatives of the people with whose mandate they occupy the corridors of power due to the way they chose to join forces with the masses as the ostensible executive was dancing to the dubious beats drummed by a few insensitive experts bent on sending the common man to his early vault.

The foregoing was the ideal moment the senate could have called for the ‘head’ of Mr. President by initiating impeachment proceedings against him since the subsidy payments were huge sums of money not been appropriated by the national assembly and as such amount to something close to graft and an illegal act which could amount to gross misconduct in accordance with the provisions of section 143(11) of the 1999 constitution as amended. After the strides of the labor and other human right groups, we were forced to go to the gutters with the executives under a platform called OCCUPY NIGERIA but the same parliamentarians asked us to sheath our swords and because of the trust we had found in them, we decided to be gentle men and women of goodwill in order to give peace a chance. If the house of representative had continued in that manner perhaps we would be having another person as president because they would have gotten the support both in cash and in kind of the totality of Nigerians because Mr. Jonathan was as at then the most hated president by his subjects. It was the discipline of the house that made me throw my weight behind it as well as other Nigerians and our hopes were even heightened when the house was asked to probe the petroleum subsidy operation.

In order to douse every possible doubt within me, I became even more relaxed when I heard that HON. Farouk Lawan, the man whom I respected before now for his diminutive stance, excellent and untainted character was to spearhead the probe. I remember telling a friend “with Mr. Integrity, we have nothing to be worried about because the young man got our backs and thus would be the watershed in the control of the enormous graft that has robbed the oil sector the light of the day”. He agreed with me and so we relaxed and waited for the food to be cooked by the master chef (Lawan) but was quivered to our temples when the whole food got burnt half way into the cooking session. He chose to swim in the big waters of bribery and corruption which has seen him drowned in its continental shelf and by extension stained the character of all members of the green chambers because when one finger get soiled with oil, it spreads to the neighboring fingers and so it went. That was how the whole house became seen as mere rogues as former president Olusegun Obasanjo once counseled and they paid the high price of losing the trust of Nigerians in whatever they do. To the average Nigerian, the house deserves nothing more than a shibboleth. Farouk lawan and other members of the house if referred to as “Ali baba and the 40 thieves” would not be anything far from the truth. First impression they say lasts long but I wonder why it wasn’t so in the members of the lower house’s case. A brief look aback in all what the house has endeavored in, is replete with myriads of fraud. From one panel constituted that brings no positive outcome to the other and down to the most recent Farouk-Otedola fiasco one that has acted as the last straw that broke the camel’s back and has rendered the members of the lower house as no people to be confided in since they preferred some $620,000 to our mandate.

Probably on the last day of plenary, before embarking on their recent vacation, they had sought for ways to bring back the lost glory and rekindle the trust of the masses and in one voice may have used the non- implementation of the 2012 budget as a thread to hang on in order to enter impeachment proceedings against Mr. President with no member having a dissenting opinion on an offence that lacks precedent and uncalled for as far as Nigerians are concerned. Never was it known through our history where a president was impeached for non-implementation of the national budget in the second quarter of the calendar year and for what it is worth, the budget is already being partly implemented and more would be implemented subsequently. Every Nigeria especially the so-called honorables know that the annual budget especially its capital component has never been implemented up to 50% because we cannot earmark for expenditure what we haven’t earned else the economy risks being in the drains. More so, the pressure being mounted on the presidency to disburse these funds may not be unconnected with a bid to receive the excesses which they have overloaded on the capital budget in the form of constituency projects so that they would do what they know how best to do- sifting the excesses, if not encroaching upon them in order to appoint individual contractors to execute them at their whims and caprices.

Again, most Nigerians believe that because the house has never embarked upon anything that ultimately translates in favor of the generality of Nigerians,  the threat of impeachment on the presidency, would make rounds and at the end of the day, buy the hearts of Nigerians and at least get them back in their good books. No way. We are no longer fools and we deserve to be respected not cowed or cajoled. The mere threat of impeachment on the president is not enough patronage as far as I am concerned but rather they should go back to their sketch boards and look for numerous ways out there to uplift the common man and not bragging to unseat the presidency which could easily stir up or drag the nation into seasons of avoidable confusion judging from our ethnically driven nature. Already there are groups threatening to a breakdown of law and order should this disruptive threat persist and in case anybody wanted knowing- the militant in the creeks.

The house of reps should advert its mind to other less disruptive capers to redeem and absolve itself from the deep rut it has gotten itself and save us the entire conundrum that may be birthed from their adventure. Like I once said in an earlier piece, the president might not be doing everything right but many are convinced that given the cascade of security challenges, he is doing his possible best in the huge fight against insecurity and terrorism. Such a huge battle is capable of diverting the attention of even the most capable of leaders from giving adequate attention to other areas of endeavor. They should not overplay their luck bearing in mind how the average Nigerian sees them now. If they love the country so much as they claim to do, let them voluntarily seek for a reasonable percentage to be deducted from their salaries, allowances and estacodes and in so doing, they would have caught the hearts of the entire population and our history books would never be complete without their names being encrypted within.

But on the other side of things, if truly their bid to impeach the president is baptized in the waters of a bid to alleviate the plight of the common man and ensure good governance, we demand that the game should be played in accordance with the rules and no hankie-pankie. In instituting the impeachment proceedings, let not another Farouk lawan spoil the fun neither do we want to be told cock and bull stories another day to overwhelm us for we are clearly tired and miffed of their one-legged performance. It sucks. God bless Nigeria.

Yungsilky is a LAW student at the faculty of law university of Maiduguri. Follow him on twitter @yung_silky

4 COMMENTS

  1. Ur right my dear…they @ earning farrrr too much than they deserve,some of them just apear in d house year-in-year-out without contributing a dime to any delibration nd yet get paid for each sitting….plsssssss…dis pple @ earning too much ooooooooo

  2. Each time I read a piece from you,( especially that which has to do with our beloved country; Nigeria) it reminds me of the great Wole Soyinka and his struggle for a peaceful, united Nigeria such as his book “you must set forth at dawn” tells. This particular piece, a gripping topic and enlightening content probes questions only time can answer but, such answer depends solely on the efforts of those elected…. But then, what can we the citizens do? Every election is done with the hope that there would be change yet I confess my disappointment and I know majority of Nigerians. If the impeachment of this presidency will bring that change then ours is to pray for it to come to reality… Then what happens to other “Farouk Lawans”? Nigeria’s problem is within its people, their weakness which falls for greed and lack of satisfaction. May the few selfless beings their responsibility to our great nation and step forward for a better Nigeria. Beautiful piece. I remain proud of you.