A new wind of change is over 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 intermediates of various degrees; from those who do not see the wind as good or bad; even those who don’t even understand what the wind is about. It all came with the historic presidential elections of 2015, when, for the first time in Nigerian history, a sitting president was barred from reelection. Retired General Muhammadu Buhari accomplished this feat; defeating 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 Nigerian people did 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 previous comments, that my interest and support for President Buhari is in the war against corruption. I do not even speak of any other issue, nor of the failures that can be attributed to the president. I’ve always made my reasons, sir. Corruption is Nigeria’s nightmare, and I believe that Mr. President has the determination and character to fight against Mr. Corruption. It is already happening; Change is really here! Buhari fever is on, and the untouchables so far in Nigeria are definitely catching a cold! Heads roll in the highest places !!!
And of course Buharri Fever is also making all agencies and institutions sit down and try to do the right thing. A good example is very clear when seeing that as soon as Buhari assumed the presidency, the electricity supply until then epileptic to the citizenship suddenly improved in an appreciable way without any increase in the generation of electricity. Why? Buhari fever; that’s why! Efficiency among electrical workers increased rapidly, and workers realized that the laxity, corruption, and sabotage prevailing so far under Buhari attract a swift penalty. Furthermore, some of the stolen funds from Nigeria developed suddenly and returned to the treasury as soon as Buhari was announced as the winner of the 2015 elections, even before he stepped onto the seat. Why? Because the defendants who had arrogantly and successfully challenged the accusations in Jonathan’s government, contracted Buhari fever; that’s why! Furthermore, judges are now wary of granting frivolous court orders that have so far paralyzed the trials of great politicians and corrupt leaders. Why? Buhari fever, that’s why! Many alleged looters abused this legal gibberish called an injunction in the government of President Jonathan. They didn’t bother trying to defend the charges in court; they simply bought some injunctions to evade the trial. No more; not with Buhari fever in the air. Hitherto untouchable citizens face trial for alleged looting, up to 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 about 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 many of us are not enlightened to know exactly what that power is and how to use it. So this treatise is to preach, especially to young people, 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 current war on corruption. The president is just a human being, like the rest of us. So, he will make mistakes and bad judgments from time to time; like everyone else. Therefore, you must face criticism regularly, like anyone who has ever sat down and anyone who ever sits in that seat. But that our criticisms are constructive and sincere, intended to contribute to the revolution and not to sabotage it, that is my coherent argument! Let us constructively criticize the president; Do not maliciously criticize him for political expediency.
We are all expected to be active in the war on corruption, in various ways. Buhari fever can only do so much to correct the many anomalies in our society; We, the people of Nigeria, have to be active and take advantage of the fever to change things for the better. Now it is easier for us to control the excesses of our leaders as stipulated in our constitution. Buhari’s apparent zero nepotism war on corruption has begun to redefine the attitudes of Nigerians in public office, and is no longer the norm for those lacking in performance and character. I have already mentioned a good example: Buhari Fever has warned our judges to be mindful not to grant frivolous court orders to suspects to avoid trial. Not surprisingly, despite high-powered intrigues, our “man number three,” the president of the Senate, could not get a court order now; while many lesser “big fish” could get it in the blink of an eye 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 of those stipulations is illegal. For example, stoning Senator Saraki in a prayer field on a 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 land does not allow anyone to throw stones at anyone, for any reason. We have legitimate ways to vent our anger at our misguided leaders, as contained in our constitution. And the legitimate ways are not limited to letting leaders know that we are angry; they ensure 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 begin here with two instruments of “war”: the memory of legislators who are wrong and the accusation of governors and presidents who are wrong. The first and last time I heard about the instrument of Withdrawal mentioned in Nigeria was from an obnoxiously impudent leader of the country’s corrupt clique during the government of President Jonathan, who actually believed that he had the right to personally call any federal legislator who disobey their law. command. In fact, he announced this on national television, and seemed hell-bent on trying to carry out the threat, until some brave lawyers explained to him that he did not possess such power; that the power belongs to the people! Evidently his ignorance was a reflection of the entire Nigerian society; the masses have no idea what this is all about, because the game of democracy is new to them!
The second instrument, impeachment, the process to overthrow a wrongful governor or our president, is more common among Nigerians, but in a very, very bastard way. A good combination of the correct forms of impeachment and impeachment instruments, as stipulated in our constitution, can go a long way to curbing the entrenched attitude of impunity among our legislators, governors and presidents.
Our main concern, really, is 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 accept our orders because they represent us. Actually, they should get our opinions first before voting on any important issue. We vote them in parliament to represent us because the 170 million of us cannot huddle together in one room to deliberate on the well-being of the nation. The authors of our constitution knew all this, so 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 will be wrong from time to time. The authors also anticipated the fact that power, seeking it out, and intoxicating it when one has it, can corrupt humans very easily. So, knowing all this, the authors of our constitution, like their counterparts in other democracies, provided what is called RECALL, to control the anticipated excesses of our legislators, both at the state and federal levels.
Rather than throw stones at Senator Saraki, the enraged mob that besieged the prayer ground on a Sallah Day should vent their anger through the instrument of Recovery enshrined in our constitution. I want to launch it as an open challenge to our young people to create awareness and enlightenment campaigns on these two and other instruments to enforce good governance in Nigeria through their social media. And civil liberties organizations too; Let’s all join together to support a campaign to remove legislators who do not represent us well in our parliaments. This will reduce part of your demonstration of impunity in your statements and behaviors.
Now, as soon as we can control our legislators, we can always legitimately force them to impeach any governor or president we overwhelmingly wish out of office. If they disobey, we remember them; or if it is too late in their term to be removed, then we must ensure that we reject them in the next election. In this way we will conquer the money bag syndrome, which up to now has misaligned the loyalty of our representatives in our parliaments to our misguided governors and presidents. We will ensure that our representatives vote for impeachment based on truth and good conscience for us, and no longer on bags of money. Believe it or not, a senator I know once said to me during President Obasanjo’s tenure, “Harry, when we need money, we just pretend to remove the president, he gives us a few hundred million and the case dies.” His regrettable excuse when I reprimanded him for corruption it was because he had to join the others, because he could not defeat them! … I’m not kidding!