by Toks Ero
On Thursday the 20th day of November, 2014, Nigerians and indeed the whole world were audiences to what can varyingly be described as a tragedy, a tragic-comedy, a reality show, a horror, etc.
A summary of the day’s event in a probable order of sequence to dispel any accusation of side-taking was that the National Assembly Complex was barricaded by officers of the Police Force, thereby preventing members of the House from gaining entrance, such that House members had to forcefully scale the fence to gain access to the Chambers.
One will not be wrong to identify the defection of Aminu Waziri Tambuwal from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the major causative element in this debacle. By provisions of the constitution, he should vacate his seat; which is also the moral and honourable path. By his act of defection, he has proved that he no longer bears any allegiance to the PDP and her Presidency.
My conjectures are as follows:
1. 1. The Police was in collusion with and had the support of the Presidency.
2. 2. The Police and the Presidency knew that Tambuwal and other APC Representatives had sinister plans that would have been inimical to the interests of the Presidency for that day and had to be stopped by whatever means deemed necessary.
3. 3. The issue at stake was much more important than an extension of emergency rule; in fact I am almost certain it was an APC agenda to commence impeachment proceedings against the President.
Varying arguments have been advanced to explain, justify and condemn this and related happenings. I am of the opinion that blame must be spread evenly amongst all the actors in this condemnable display. The bulk of the blame has been unfairly laid on the steps of the Presidency. One must understand that there is a multiplicity of opposing tidal political undercurrents at play here. The battle to retain and take power at the centre by whatever means necessary is rife. Most people have argued that the Presidency shouldn’t be involved in the application of such strong arm tactics and should allow the rule of law to prevail. Truth is that players in the Nigerian political field are not moderated by the rule of law which is supposed to be our referee. There is no iota of fair play in the games our politicians play. One cannot expect the PDP-led Presidency to play with fairness without a corresponding guarantee, assurance and gesture of fairness from the opposition APC. That would be a perfect recipe for defeat in this war of power and wealth. Truth is the members of the National Assembly and agents of the Presidency are not patriotic. Their actions were definitely not in the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians; but in their unbridled quest for political power, wealth and relevance.
I watched with disdain as Representatives in rage appended their signatures to supposedly commence impeachment proceedings against President Jonathan. I would have been more impressed if impeachment proceedings had been commenced against Mr. President earlier than now and because of his failure to competently address the problems that plague Nigeria from terrorism, corruption, poor infrastructure, etc; not because their ego’s had been bruised by a President who seems to be triumphing in the battle against a defeated opposition.
The real losers in this scenario are ordinary Nigerians who have been compelled to tolerate bad governance. For as long as the political elite fail to operate within the boundaries of decorum, civility and respect for the rule of law, we will continue to witness such acts of shame. Nigerians must not be deceived. The battle is not between the PDP and the APC. The real battle should be between Nigerians and a political class who will stop at nothing to ensure that the status quo of political opportunism continues and the Nigerian masses are perpetually repressed and impoverished.
The polity of any nation is such that must be carefully guarded to guarantee the proper functioning of government and ultimately, the nation. Anarchy in the polity could easily snowball into anarchy in the country. Our political class must learn that the system they are entrenching is spiralling into a chaos that is sure to ultimately consume them.
The Nigerian Police Force, members of the National Assembly and the Presidency have once more delivered an excellent show of shame and Nigerians especially those of the diaspora will continue to cope with a battered national image. May God help us!!!
Toks Ero blogs at www.toksero.org
Toks attended Business School in Switzerland where he obtained a Masters degree in Business Administration. He also holds a Bachelors degree in Philosophy.