A new wind of change is upon the land called Nigeria, that’s for sure-a wind that brings a new dawn in Nigeria! Some Nigerians see it as a good wind; others see it as a bad wind. And, of course, there are the in-betweens of various degrees; ranging from those who don’t see the wind as either good or bad; down to those who don’t already understand what the heck the wind is all about. It all came with the landmark presidential election of 2015, when, for the first time in the history of Nigeria, an incumbent president was stopped from re-election. Retired General Muhammadu Buhari performed this feat; beating President Goodluck Jonathan at the poll with his election campaign message of change-change from what he summed up as the protracted misrule of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Buhari’s victory method that the people of Nigeria did indeed want a change of government; a change from PDP! At the risk of sounding like a parrot, I must say, as I did in my past commentaries, that my interest in, and sustain to President Buhari is on the war against corruption. I don’t already discuss any other issue, or any faults that may be credited to Mr. President. I have always stated my reasons-Mr. Corruption is the bane of Nigeria, and I believe that Mr. President has the resolve and the character to fight Mr. Corruption! It is happening already; the change is here indeed! Buhari Fever is on, and the hitherto untouchables in Nigeria are definitely catching the cold!! Heads are rolling in the highest places!!!
And, of course, Buharri Fever is also making all the agencies and institutions to 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 electricity supply to the citizenry suddenly improved appreciably without any increase in electricity generation. Why? Buhari Fever; that’s why! Efficiency amongst electricity workers quickly jumped up, with the workers realizing that hitherto common laxity, acts of corruption and sabotage under Buhari attract rapid penalty. Also, some of Nigeria’s stolen funds suddenly developed legs and walked back into the treasury as soon as Buhari was announced the winner of the 2015 election, already before he climbed the seat. Why? Because the accused persons who had successfully, arrogantly challenged the accusations in Jonathan’s government, caught the Buhari Fever; that’s why! Also, judges are now careful about granting frivolous court injunctions that hitherto stalled the trial of big corrupt politicians and leaders. Why? Buhari Fever, that’s why! Many alleged looters abused this legal mumbo jumbo loophole called injunction in President Jonathan’s government. They did not bother to try defend the allegations in court; they simply bought themselves some court injunctions to evade trial. Not any longer; not with Buhari Fever in the air. Hitherto untouchable citizens are facing trial for alleged looting-all the way to the so-called number three citizen-just as the rest of Nigerians would if accused of stealing a insignificant goat. I only pray that the fever lasts!
On that observe, let’s talk about us-known in our constitution as We The People of Nigeria-and our role in the rebirth of the nation. According to our constitution, the strength of the nation belongs to us. The sad thing is that a great number of us are not enlightened to know exactly what that strength is, and how to use it. So, this treatise is to preach-especially to the youths-the gospel of proper exploitation of our strength by Buhari Fever. We can’t just sit back and complain about what Buhari is doing wrong in the current corruption war. The president is only human, just like the rest of us. So, he will make mistakes and bad judgments now and then; just like every single one of the rest of us. Hence, he must confront criticism regularly, just like anybody that has ever sat, and anybody that will ever sit in that seat. But let our criticisms be constructive and sincere, aimed to contribute to the dramatical change, and not to sabotage it-that’s my consistent argument! Let’s constructively critique Mr. President; not maliciously criticize him for political expediency.
We are all expected to be active in the corruption war-in various ways. Buhari Fever can only do so much in correcting the numerous anomalies in our society; We The People of Nigeria have to get active and meaningful in on the advantages of the fever to change things around for better. It is easier now for us to check the excesses of our leaders as stipulated in our constitution. Buhari’s apparent zero-nepotism corruption war has started to redefine the attitudes of Nigerians in public locaiongs, and it is no longer business as usual for those that are wanting in performance and character. I have already stated one good illustration-Buhari Fever has warned our judges to be mindful about granting frivolous injunctions to suspects to evade trial. No surprise, despite high-powered intrigues, our “number three man,” the Senate President, could not obtain an injunction now; while many lesser “big fishes” could acquire it at the drop of a hat during Jonathan’s presidency.
However, no matter how angry we are at bad leaders, our constitution has stipulations on how to address our grievances; anything outside those stipulations is illegal. for example, stoning Senator Saraki on a prayer ground on a Sallah Day as reported in the news last September was barbaric and unconstitutional; indeed, it was a crime against the senator. The law of the land does not allow anybody to throw stones at anybody, for any reason whatsoever. We do have authentic ways of venting our anger about our erring leaders as contained in our constitution. And the authentic ways do not stop at just letting leaders know that we are angry; they ensure changes. The idea is-Don’t Get Mad; Get already.
My campaign is to put the youths of Nigeria on the right (authentic) path to get already with our leaders. I start here with two instruments of ‘war’-ingemination of erring lawmakers, and Impeachment of erring governors and presidents. The first and last time I ever heard of the ingemination instrument mentioned in Nigeria was by one obnoxiously impudent leader of the corrupt cabal of the country during President Jonathan’s government, who truly believed that he had the right to personally ingemination any federal lawmaker that disobeyed his command. He truly announced this on national TV, and seemed hell-bent to truly try to carry out the threat, until a few courageous lawyers explained it to him that he did not possess such strength; that the strength belongs to the people! clearly, his ignorance was a reflection of the complete Nigerian society; the masses have no iota of idea what this is all about, because the game of democracy is new to them!
The second instrument, Impeachment-the time of action to unseat an erring governor or our president-is more shared to Nigerians, but in a very, very bastardized form. A good combination of the correct forms of the ingemination and Impeachment instruments as stipulated in our constitution can go a long way in checking the entrenched attitude of impunity amongst our lawmakers, governors, and presidents.
Our dominant concern, really, are the lawmakers, and I will tell you why. If we can control our lawmakers, then we can control the governors and the presidents by the lawmakers. Secondly, the lawmakers are supposed to take orders from us because they are representing us. truly, they should first get our opinions before they vote on any major issue. We voted them into the parliament to represent us because all 170 million of us cannot cram into one room to deliberate on the welfare of the nation. The authors of our constitution did know all this, so they did provide for us how to kick the lawmakers out of office if they refuse to obey our wishes/opinions. The authors knew that our lawmakers are human, and expected that some of them are bound to err now and then. The authors also expected the fact that strength-the quest for it, and the intoxication of it when one has it-can corrupt humans very easily. So, knowing all these, the authors of our constitution, just like their counterparts in other democracies, provided the thing called ingemination, to check the expected excesses of our legislators, both at the state and federal levels.
instead of throw stones at Senator Saraki, the angry mob that besieged the prayer ground on a Sallah Day should vent their anger by the instrument of ingemination enshrined in our constitution. I want to throw it as an open challenge to our youths to create awareness and enlightenment campaigns on these two and other instruments to enforce good governance in Nigeria by their social media. And the civil liberty organizations, too; let’s all join hands to sustain a campaign to ingemination lawmakers that are not representing us well in our parliaments. This will curtail some of their show of impunity in their utterances and behaviors.
Now, as soon as we can control our lawmakers, then we can always legitimately force them to impeach any governor or president that we overwhelmingly want out of office. If they disobey, we ingemination them; or if it is too late in their tenure for ingemination, then we must ensure that we vote them out in the next election. This way we shall conquer the money-bag syndrome, which has hitherto miss-aligned the allegiance of our representatives in the parliaments from us to our erring governors and presidents. We shall ensure that our reps vote on impeachments based on truth and good conscience for us, and no longer for bags of money. Believe it or not, a senator acquaintance of mine truly said to me once during President Obasanjo’s tenure-“Harry, when we need money we simply pretend to want to impeach Mr. President, he gives us a few hundreds of millions, and the case dies off.” His sorry excuse when I berated him for corruption was that he had to join the rest, because he could not beat them!… I ain’t Bullshitting!