A new wind of change is upon the land called Nigeria, that is for sure, a wind that brings a new dawn in Nigeria! Some Nigerians see it as a good wind; others see it as an ill wind. And, of course, there are the intermediates of various degrees; from those who do not see the wind neither good nor bad; even those who don’t even understand what the hell wind is. It all came with the historic presidential election of 2015, when, for the first time in Nigerian history, the re-election of a sitting president was prevented. Retired General Muhammadu Buhari performed this feat; beating President Goodluck Jonathan at the polls with his change-change election campaign message of what he summed up as the prolonged misrule of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Buhari’s victory means that the people of Nigeria did want a change of government; a change of PDP! At the risk of sounding like a parrot, I must say, as I did in my previous comments, that my interest and my support for President Buhari is in the war against corruption. I am not even talking about any other topic, nor about the faults that can be attributed to the President. I have always stated my reasons-Mr. Corruption is Nigeria’s nightmare, and I believe Mr. President has the determination and character to fight Mr. Corruption! It is already happening; the change is already here! Buhari fever is on, and the hitherto untouchables in Nigeria are definitely catching a cold! Heads are rolling in the highest places!!!
And of course Buharri Fever is also making all the agencies and institutions sit up and try to do the right thing. A good example is very clear to see that as soon as Buhari became president, the hitherto epileptic supply of electricity to the citizenry suddenly improved appreciably without any increase in electricity generation. Why? Buhari fever; that’s why! Efficiency among electrical workers rose rapidly, with workers realizing that before laxity prevails, acts of corruption and sabotage under Buhari attract swift sanction. Furthermore, some of Nigeria’s stolen funds suddenly grew legs and returned to the treasury as soon as Buhari was announced as the winner of the 2015 election, even before he took office. Why? Because the accused persons who had successfully and arrogantly defied the accusations in Jonathan’s government, contracted Buhari fever; that’s why! In addition, judges are now cautious about granting frivolous injunctions that have so far stalled the trial of big politicians and corrupt leaders. Why? Buhari fever, that’s why! Many suspected looters abused this mumbo jumbo loophole called a writ in President Jonathan’s government. They didn’t bother trying to defend the accusations in court; some injunctions were simply bought to evade trial. No more; not with Buhari fever in the air. Until now untouchable citizens are being tried for alleged looting – even the so-called citizen number three – just like the rest of Nigerians if they were accused of stealing a simple goat. I just pray the fever lasts!
In that sense, let us talk about ourselves, known in our constitution as We the People of Nigeria, and our role in the rebirth of the nation. According to our constitution, the power of the nation belongs to us. The sad thing is that a large number of us are not enlightened to know exactly what that power is and how to use it. Therefore, this treatise is to preach, especially to the young, the gospel of the proper exploitation of our power through the Buhari fever. We cannot just sit back and complain about what Buhari is doing wrong in the ongoing war on corruption. The president is human, just like the rest of us. So, he will make mistakes and misjudgments from time to time; like each other. Therefore, he must look at how regularly, like anyone who has ever sat and is going to sit in that seat. But that our criticisms are constructive and sincere, aimed at contributing to the revolution, and not sabotaging it, that is my constant argument! Let’s constructively criticize Mr. President; he does not maliciously criticize it for political expediency.
We are all expected to actively participate in the war against corruption, in various ways. Buhari fever can only do so much to correct the many anomalies in our society; We, the people of Nigeria, need to get active and take advantage of the rush to change things for the better. Now it is easier for us to control the excesses of our leaders as our constitution stipulates. Buhari’s apparent zero-nepotism war on corruption has begun to redefine attitudes of Nigerians in public office, and is no longer business as usual for those who lack performance and character. I have already mentioned a good example: Buhari fever has warned our judges to be careful about giving frivolous orders to suspects to evade trial. No wonder, despite high-powered intrigues, our “number three man,” the president of the Senate, couldn’t get a warrant now; while many lesser “big shots” could get it in the blink of an eye during Jonathan’s presidency.
However, no matter how angry we are with bad leaders, our constitution has provisions on how to address our grievances; anything outside of those stipulations is illegal. For example, stoning Senator Saraki at a prayer site on Sallah Day, as reported in the news last September, was barbaric and unconstitutional; in fact, it was a crime against the senator. The law of the country does not allow anyone to throw stones at anyone, for any reason. We have legitimate ways to vent our anger on our misguided leaders as contained in our constitution. And legitimate ways aren’t just letting leaders know we’re angry; guarantee changes. The idea is-Don’t get mad; Get even.
My campaign is to put the youth of Nigeria on the right (legitimate) path to take revenge on our leaders. I start here with two instruments of ‘war’: impeaching legislators who made mistakes and impeaching governors and presidents who made mistakes. The first and last time I heard about the impeachment tool mentioned in Nigeria was by an obnoxiously brazen leader of the country’s corrupt cabal during President Jonathan’s rule, who actually believed he had the right to personally impeach any federal legislator who disobeyed his mandate. domain. In fact, he announced it on national television, and seemed hell-bent on trying to make good on the threat, until a few brave lawyers explained to him that he had no such power; that the power belongs to the people! Obviously, his ignorance was a reflection of the entire Nigerian society; The masses don’t have a shred of a clue what this is all about, because the game of democracy is new to them!
The second instrument, impeachment, the process to remove a failed governor or our president, is more common among Nigerians, but in a very, very bastard way. A good combination of the correct forms of the Recall and Impeachment instruments as stipulated in our constitution can go a long way in controlling the entrenched attitude of impunity among our legislators, governors and presidents.
Our main concern, really, is the legislators, and I’ll tell you why. If we can control our legislators, then we can control governors and presidents through legislators. Second, legislators are supposed to take orders from us because they represent us. Actually, they should get our opinions first before voting on any important issue. We vote them into parliament to represent us because all 170 million of us cannot get into a room to deliberate on the welfare of the nation. The authors of our constitution knew all this, which is why they provided us with how to remove legislators from office if they refuse to obey our wishes/opinions. The authors knew that our legislators are human and anticipated that some of them are bound to err from time to time. The authors also anticipated the fact that power, the pursuit of it and intoxication by it when one has it, can very easily corrupt humans. So, knowing all this, the authors of our constitution, like their peers in other democracies, arranged for the thing called RECOVERY, to check the anticipated misdeeds of our legislators, both at the state and federal levels.
Instead of throwing stones at Senator Saraki, the angry mob that besieged the place of worship on a Sallah Day should vent their anger through the instrument of Retreat enshrined in our constitution. I want to launch it as an open challenge to our youth to create awareness and enlightenment campaigns about these two and other instruments to enforce good governance in Nigeria through their social networks. And civil liberty organizations, too; let’s all join together to support a campaign to impeach legislators who do not represent us well in our parliaments. This will reduce part of their demonstration of impunity in their statements and behavior.
Now, as soon as we can control our legislators, we can always legitimately force them to impeach any governor or president that we overwhelmingly want to impeach. If they disobey, we call them; or if it is too late for them to be removed, then we must ensure that we vote for them in the next election. In this way we will defeat the money bag syndrome, which has so far misaligned the loyalty of our representatives in parliaments from us to our misguided governors and presidents. We will ensure that our representatives vote on impeachments based on truth and good conscience for us, and no longer for bags of money. Believe it or not, a senator I know once told me during President Obasanjo’s tenure, “Harry, when we need money, we just pretend we want to impeach the president, he gives us a few hundred million, and the case dies.” His pitiful excuse when I scolded him for corruption was that he had to join the others, because he couldn’t beat them!…I’m not lying!