Japheth Omojuwa: Democracy Day, But Whose Democracy (YNaija FrontPage)

My prayers go to the friends and relatives of those we lost on Black Sunday 3rd June, 2012 from the Bauchi terror attacks to the Dana plane crash in Lagos. May their souls rest in peace. Amen.

This is a rejoinder to last week’s column with the same title. I felt I needed to make certain things clearer considering the post-scriptum added by the Editor. As a writer, it is better to be called a bad writer than one who writes without facts.

When you write a column and the editor of the establishment writes “Editor’s note: Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of the publisher” you know that is expected, especially as the publisher/site is not expected to have an opinion. That one-liner essentially covers the publisher.

The post-script after last week’s column went thus;

*No democratically elected president has removed a judge sitting over his own case

The above was written against my assertion in the piece where I stated thus “Where a president can unilaterally remove a judge in his own case and benefit from that action cannot be said to be democratic”

Of course here I was referring to Justice Ayo Salami. He was the head of a tribunal that was going to decide whether the President won the 2011 elections. A judge has since ruled that his removal was illegal and that he should be reinstated. As we speak, the issue remains controversial as the president insists on turning a deaf ear to the law. The removal of Justice Ayo Salami paved way for PDP and of course a Jonathan clean sweep of the tribunal’s decisions. You can read more on the politics of Justice Ayo Salami’s removal here http://pmnewsnigeria.com/2011/09/06/real-reason-for-justice-salamis-removal-now-clear-says-action-congress/ . There may be arguments as to whether the Justice was removed because of the president’s need to have a more favourable judge but there can be no argument as to whether the removal benefitted President Jonathan. The succeeding tribunal members upturned the previous decisions of the Ayo Salami led tribunal. These matters that are at worst arguable. We cannot objectively say the President did not remove the Judge because the Judge would be in office today had the president not signed the suspension recommendation in record time.

**There is no evidence that a third of the national revenue has been stolen by anyone.

This PS has since been removed from the piece but I’ll address it all the same. I am a writer and it hits hard when you see such lines as the above after your piece.

The Farouk Lawan committee on Fuel Subsidy probe stated this in their report  that “the Committee established subsidy payment of N2,587.087 Trillion as at 31st December, 2011” and if you’ve been reading enough of the news, you’d know that about N500 billion have been paid as arrears for 2011 subsidy cost ( http://panafricannews.blogspot.com/2012/05/nigerian-government-pays-n451b-in.html )

That puts the cost of subsidy from 2011 at over N3 trillion. Going by the cost in previous years, it is safe to say at least N2.3 trillion was unaccounted for. If Nigeria earned N5.56 trillion from oil in 2011 and Revenue from taxes of N4.62 trillion, that’s a sum of 10.18 trillion, deduct the total expenditure of the 2011 budget N4.97 trillion and you get N5.2 trillion.

Forget about other extra-budgetary payments, N2 trillion is over a third of N5.2 trillion. We have more than enough evidence to show #fuelsubsidyscam cost us more than a third of our national revenue in 2011. At worst, it is an arguable point that deserves no such PS. I’d love to focus on other issues of national interest but a writer faced by issues of objectivity needs not write anymore until that is cleared.

RIP to the ones we lost.


Editor’s note: Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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One comment

  1. Your ability to say things just the way they are, with little or no politeness is matchless. That's great!

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