IN Africa political Kingdom, historical developments had been repeated with impeachments. Leaders who flouted Kingdoms’ established norms, cultures, laws were removed by persons, institutions and bodies set up as checks and balances.
For example, in old Oyo Kingdom in Western Nigeria, many Kings were made to ‘open the calabash’- the traditional impeachment process and such leaders were banished from the throne. The Oyomesis had to have the majority to remove an erring Alaafin.
To be a member of the Oyomesis is one of the most prestigious offices one could hold in Oyo town even today, as there is long standing integrity, thoroughness and sacredness attached to it.
Since independence, hardly had there been a government and constitution in Nigeria that the issue of removing leaders had not been germane to.
The modus operandi, modes and models of impeachment in Nigeria had been novel, more bizarre, more crude with each passing republic, and contrary to commonsense not to talk of globally accepted standards and practices.
The Peoples Democratic party (PDP) had demonstrated flavor for illegal impeachments more than other parties in Nigeria. For example, on 16th October 2006, Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo declared a state of emergency in Ekiti State after the hurried unconstitutional impeachment of Governor Ayodele Fayose. Retired soldier, General Tunji Olurin was subsequently appointed as Sole Administrator.
To impeach Peter Obi and bar him from staying in office between 17th March to 2nd November, 2006 representatives of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo met in neighbouring Asaba, Delta State and were subsequently accompanied to Akwa to finalize the impeachment under heavy security provided by the mobile police unit. The House of Assembly members arrived Akwa at 5:00am and they began sitting afterwards.
Eventually, Peter Obi was impeached. On 13th November 2006, ex –Governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye suffered the same fate.
Pacesetter Oyo State’s ex-Governor Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja was impeached on Thursday January 12, 2006 in an Hotel rather than the normal sitting of the legislators at the State House of Assembly. Notice of impeachment was served the victim through newspapers and the impeachment was carried out by 18 legislators loyal to the strong man of Ibadan politics and garrison commandant , the late Lamidi Adedibu instead of the legal requirement of 22 legislators.
Due to the hurried venal nature, there was unavailability of affidavit of the suspension and the declaration of lack of jurisdiction of the High Court was set aside. Only God saved Ladoja’s life from the evil death machinery of PDP set against him like war landmine under the auspices of ex-General Olusegun Obasanjo.
Similarly, late Diepreye Alamieyeseigha was impeached as the executive governor of Bayelsa State, on 9 December 2005 for alleged corruption which includes, theft of public funds, abuse of office, and money laundering while, Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State was also a victim of same allegations in July 2014.
Many years later, the same scenario and episode replayed itself in oil-rich Rivers State. In July 2013, five PDP Legislators without meeting the statutory requirements attempted to serially impeach the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, and the Governor Oluwarotimi Amaechi. It did not matter to them what the majority legislators felt or the tenets of the Constitution.
Many twists and turns, blackmails, lies, disorderliness, intrigues, manipulation, shameful fracas, injuries, deaths and potential deaths juxtaposed the democratic foolery of these five legislators.
In between these occurrences, over the years in the various States’ Houses of Assembly, same shameful retrogressive democratic imbroglios had similarly played themselves out at both the hallowed chambers of the Senate and House of Representatives, among ‘honourable’ members.
Nigerians could recollect seeing Dimeji Bankole watched the boxing bout and drama among his fellow ‘distinguished’ colleagues right inside the hallowed chamber he presided over few years ago. What Nigerians find comical and ironical is that despite these evidences of idleness in our hallowed chambers, our legislators are the highest paid in the world!
Some of the above scenarios were orchestrated by educated and enlightened leaders; so the problem of wanton impeachments without recourse to due process is not lack of basic education by perpetrators who carried them out with impunity.
In saner climes, impeachment processes are well articulated, legalized and enshrined as instruments of socio-political developments towards ensuring good governance, accountability, checks and balances of leaders’ excesses. In Nigeria, the monster of impeachment had been set loose as tormentors of the democratic experiment and elected leaders. Poverty of ideas, dearth of decent approach in matters, poverty of the mind and of the pockets, fuel impeachments in Nigeria.
Impeachers had used and are using impeachment against the impeached as instruments of vendetta, brutality, cruelty, bestiality, flagrant show of ego and globally- rated indecency.
When will sanity be brought to this continual cannibalistic orgy of ugly shame, being masqueraded as impeachment and or at least witness some sanity in the conception and execution of impeachments in Nigeria?
Until saner men are brought to governance in Nigeria and God fearing people who have alternative means of livelihood embrace politics and elective positions in Nigeria and the emoluments and perquisites attached to elective officers reflect passion to serve and made so financially unattractive.
Until we revert to part time-legislature. Then it would not be a do or die affair. There shall be disagreements between opposing views based on principles, divergent reasoning’s, conviviality, dialogue, peace and progress.
The interest of the nation, not of individual pockets, shall then be paramount. Then, we shall have soundness and sanity from the hallowed chambers of honourable members.
May God give our country real men and leaders who will be ruled not by their bellies but by reasoning, who can mentor younger generations and will not be ashamed to answer questions to be posed to them by their children and grand children.
Imagine your children ask you the question, ‘Dad, did you do this, are you the one in that picture?’ Nigerians need democratically-compliant leaders, not war mongers.
In 1949 at the inauguration of the United Nations Chapter on Human Rights, American President Truman said ‘regard for human rights is indispensable to political, economic and social progress…..disregard for human rights is the beginning of tyranny and, too often, the beginning of war’.
Like Truman’s America, God, please give Nigeria true men, please.
By Dr. Ajibola Esuola, Idowu Ayodele.
‘Stop sponsoring attacks on our members, officials’ – Oyo APC warns PDP
Oyo state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has alleged that some unnamed political associates of Governor Seyi Makinde and leaders of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state were the sponsors of the recent reported attacks on its members and officials at some venues of the ongoing membership registration and revalidation exercise in parts of the state warning them “to desist from such reprehensible acts”.
According to the party, media reports have it that some identified members of the outlawed Park Managers System (PMS), who were fully harmed with guns, machete and charms, stormed Aliwo location of Polling Units 05 and 06 of Ward 12 in Ibadan North East local government area in early hours of Tuesday and unleashed terror on residents of the area before carting away registration materials of the APC.
APC, in a statement issued on Wednesday and made available to journalists in Ibadan by the Secretary of its Committee on Media and Publicity, Olawale Sadare, frowned at what it described as unwarranted and unprovoked attacks from the PDP elements “who must have been jolted by the rate at which the good people of the state are trooping to register as new APC members while old members also attach much importance to revalidation of their membership.
“We have had reports of violent attacks against our registration officials and members in places like Olagoke Akano Street of Ward 11 in Ibadan North East local government area, Academy area of Ward 06 in Egbeda, Iyana Bodija Market of Ward 05 in Lagelu, Orita Challenge in Ward 02 of Oluyole, Owode in Ward 06 of Ogbomoso North and many other places where political thugs were mobilized to the venues of the registration and revalidation exercise since the exercise began about two weeks ago.
“It is clear even to the deaf and the blind that those behind these shameful acts are those close to the corridor of power in the state who feel that violence, brigandage and lawlessness have to be reintroduced to the politics of Oyo state after the last administration of late Senator Abiola Ajimobi had successfully stamped it out. These disgruntled elements believe it is by unleashing terror on political opponents and hapless citizens that their desire to retain power in 2023 but this would be resisted by us in APC and other well meaning people in the society”, Sadare said.
Meanwhile, the APC media committee has appealed for calm among party faithful and members of the public who had expressed their worries over cases of non-availability of additional registration and revalidation materials in most places designated for the exercise which has now been extended to the end of March this year.
“We are not unmindful of agitation for more supplies of the necessary materials used at most registration and revalidation points where those deployed have since been exhausted as a result of influx of the citizens who are desirous of revalidating their membership of the broom party or willing to be registered as new members. It is worthy of note that the national Secretariat of our party deployed 100 forms to each of the 4,778 Polling Units designated as Registration Points but reports indicate that officials in about 60 per cent of these Registration Points attended to 100 registrants in less than 48 hours and thus used up their materials.
“In view of this development, we are glad to disclose that the national Secretariat of our great Party has been duly notified as we have it on good authority that more supplies would be delivered to us in few days to take care of requests from across the state. Also, the leadership of the Oyo APC is poised to do everything necessary to ensure the success of the exercise which has signalled a new hope of a stronger, united and pragmatic Progressive movement in Oyo state ahead of the 2023 general elections”, Oyo APC Media Committee added.
2023: Ex-Reps Member, Lam-Adesina Dumps ADC, Returns to APC
A former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Adedapo Lam-Adesina, has defected from the African Democratic Congress (ADC) returning to his former party; the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Lam-Adesina represented Ibadan Northeast/Southeast federal constituency between 2015-2019.
The defection, which was done amid jubilations by his supporters at the Felele residence of the late former governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Lamidi Adesina, came weeks after leaders of the APC visited the ex-lawmaker.
Lam-Adesina, who formally declared his withdrawal from the ADC informed that his decision to rejoin the party was as a form of respect to its leaders and elders who had persuaded him to return to the progressive fold.
The ex-Oyo commissioner for Youth and Sports, together with other aggrieved members of the party, grouping under Unity Forum, defected to ADC in June, 2018 to pursue their political bids owing to irreconcilable tussle within the party.
Lam-Adesina further disclosed that he had tabled his grievances to those who visited him and others who had promised to address it.
The late governor’s son said he was happy to be back home after what he called a ‘loan deal’ to ADC. He thanked the leadership for making the platform available when it was needed.
In his words, “I am happy to be back to APC. For me, it is a great homecoming. Like I have said, I have told our leaders who spoke to me let us address our problems once and for all”.
2023 Presidency: Monarchs endorse Tinubu, as SWAGA takes crusade to Ogun
The Alake and Paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo and other prominent traditional rulers in Ogun state including the Akarigbo and Paramount Ruler of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, the Olu of Ilaro and Paramount ruler of Yewaland, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle have pledged their support for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s 2023 presidential ambition.
Also, the monarchs described the former governor of Lagos state and the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the rightful candidate to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
The cultural custodians, who played host to a group of rainbow coalition of like minded politicians of South West extraction under the aegis of South West Agenda (SWAGA ’23), in their palaces declared that Tinubu is the best and preferred choice from the southwest zone of the country.
Remarking, the Alake of Egbaland , Oba Gbadebo, who said he had envisioned the former Lagos state governor serves as the nation’s president a very long time ago, also expressed confidence that the group will succeed in its assignment.
Also commenting, the Olu of Ilaro noted that his support for the APC national leader is apolitical, stressing that Tinubu is the most qualified candidate any political party in the South West could boast of.
According to Oba Olugbenle, the south west could not produce any other candidate that is as fit as Tinubu for the Presidential race in 2023
The Paramount ruler of Yewaland maintained that the contribution of Tinubu to the growth and development of Nigeria was second to none, adding that he possesses the needed sagacity, tenacity and experience to rule the country.
“His legacies as former governor of Lagos State can attest to the fact that he is the most qualified for the job.
“When he was the governor of Lagos State, the foundation he laid was what all his successors are building on, which has made the State a force to be reckoned with in the country.
“It is not about party. It is about the product that we are bringing in. He is the best man any party can present in the south. Not about APC or any other party but about the national development”, the monarch said.
On his part, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, the Akarigbo of Remoland noted that the Presidential bid of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is a collective project that must be supported not only by Remoland, but the entire southwest.
The monarch, who offered prayers for the success of Tinubu’s presidential aspiration in 2023, also assured that the entire Remoland will key into the project of ensuring a true and patriotic Nigerian in the calibre of Tinubu to succeed Buhari.
Also receiving the SWAGA 23 delegation at his Asoludero Court, Sagamu residence, former Ogun state governor, Gbenga Daniel preached unity of purpose.
While noting that the group has reignited the political strength and unity across the southwest, Governor Daniel, however advised its leadership not to lose focus and mobilise support beyond the southwest. He urged the group to collaborate with similar groups in order to actualise its ambition.
Earlier in his address, the Chairman of SWAGA ‘23, Senator Dayo Adeyeye disclosed that the mode of operations of the group is strictly voluntary and self-financing body, with the objective of convincing Tinubu to contesting for president in 2023.
The former minister of state for works further emphasized that if the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) would follow agreement and zone presidency to the south in 2023, the APC national leader should be put forward and supported by the southeast and south-south.
Adeyeye submitted, “Tinubu is a good product that doesn’t need any advertisement and he has contributed greatly to the growth and development of the nation. He is consummate democrat and progressive.
“South West is interested to contest for the presidency in 2023. The person who can help us win this ticket is Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
“He has done a lot for Nigerians irrespective of religion and tribe. He has built bridges across the country”.
The delegation included, former Senator Adesoji Akanbi, former House of Representatives’ members, Hon. Bosun Oladele (Secretary), Hon. Rotimi Makinde, Hon Ojo, Senator Obadara, Ogun State Central Working Committee chairman, Arch Dunni Opayemi, Suraj Adekunbi Ishola and Hon Abiodun Ishiaq Akinlade, Ogun State coordinators of SWAGA 23 among others.
The group, thereafter launched its Ogun State chapter in Abeokuta, the state capital on Tuesday, targeting Kogi and Akwa Ibom states soon.
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