By Barrister Dele Awokoya
June 10, 2021
The President asked a question: Can they say that I have not been governing according to the Constitution?
In the practice of law, lawyers are always delighted when such an open question is asked, because it is an opportunity to take up the gauntlet that has been thrown and score damning points in a case, especially if you have facts to controvert the assertion.
The President left his flanks open in that speech and since that day, I have been waiting for the rebuttals to come from those who have been in arms against him. You see in cross-examination, we always caution that a lawyer must never ask a question that he does not already know the answer. So if the President opened himself up, surely his traducers should jump at the opportunity to nail him.
Like I said, I have perused the media, and read and heard the chatter and the anger on SM, but I have not seen one person take up the challenge. And why is that so? Why did the traducers decide to do what they do best-deflect. Why leave the meat and start chewing on bone? Why get upset when you can get even.
The President made a truthful statement -that those fomenting trouble obviously did not know what the Civil war cost Nigeria in lives and property and in development. The President even betrayed emotion-he said “we killed ourselves” His statement was nationalistic, non judgemental of any tribe, but lamenting the carnage of Nigerian lives.
Where are the rabble rousing chorus of “The President is marginalising us”! “His appointments are lopsided! He is an ethnic bigot, no He is a religious Bigot”! Where are Abaribe, Madam Oby Ezekwesili, Osita Chidoka, Jimi Disu (he mentioned this same charge when I was guest on his show middle of May), Muoghalu, Femi Falana and son, and the patchwork quilt of EndSARS. The President has thrown you a bone, why have you not snatched it up and gnaw on it?
This takes me to the madness of the opposition in Nigeria and by opposition, I do not mean just the PDP or the noisome club of between 30-50k vote base Presidential aspirants. By opposition I mean, those 2 groups and the citizens who are somehow part of the fray because they glory in hate, ignorance, laziness, folly or insanity or in all the potpourri of unreasonableness.
The fact that no one has set out to prove the President wrong shows that Nigeria is dealing with a more sinister evil than the alleged marginalisation of the Igbo tribe, a topic I will address in Part 2 of my treatise. If there is marginalisation then, that will be unconstitutional. When an unconstitutional act is perpetrated there is a constitutional arbiter, the judiciary. Why has Senator Abaribe not marched to the Federal Courts to challenge the claim of marginalisation. Instead why is he the advocate of the proscribed IPOB dissident group?
I have always known that the President to be an officer and a gentleman, and never have I been as proud of my support for him as I was when I listened to his passionate speech that Twitter decided with typical arrogance of a demagogue Businessman to delete. He asked: “WHAT DO THEY WANT?” “Have I not been governing in accordance with the Constitution? Why has no one taken the President to court for these alleged unconstitutional acts? Why has Abaribe not raised an article of impeachment against the President for the so called marginalisation against his people? Daily he goes from TV Station to TV Station demanding fairness but refuses to do what will stop the alleged unfairness? Why the rabble rousing?
So I sought to examine the character of the opposition in Nigeria. What is the common ground? Why do we see such a gathering of opposition to a man who in his Godly naivety seeking to rule in accordance with the Constitution?
The opposition are united in unholiness and muck. That is all I can say. These are the various categories of opposition:
(a) The Envious:
These are those who had the opportunity to serve Nigeria with integrity but failed in this simple job and don not want anyone else to have a legacy of good service, because such a legacy will record their failures for posterity. This group see the infrastructure- Railways, roads, airports, seaports, etc, and they are angry. They are very angry. Their anger is fuelled by that human foible-envy. This group consists of the former rulers and former political party big wigs who find themselves out in the woods and fear that should the spate of infrastructure development continue, their party would likely not ever come back to power. They do not want the Fulani man to have a legacy. Everything that will give the Fulani man a legacy must be destroyed so that people can say he too failed. Remember OBJ said PMB was doing well in Security in the first term but gave him a low score on the economy, but the attack on the security came in fast and furious-Kidnappings, bandits, secessionists outcry.
(b) The Spoilers:
This group consists of those who have been in the corridors of power as Ministers, DGs of MDAs, etc. They are the group just beneath the Envious group. Some are angry because they were once in the corridors of power and could have made a difference in their respective portfolios but failed. They see the achievement of Rotimi Amaechi who has put his ‘gra-gra’ that they abused him for, into use and is delivering railways across the nation, they see Fashola coming up with bright funding ideas on roads from SUKUK to the recent HDMI. They wonder how they failed at ordinary Ministry of Education and how History somehow went out of the Secondary School Curriculum? They look with anger-fuelled facial contortions as they see JAMB which made losses under them suddenly become a star MDA. How will history then judge them? Surely as failures! They are daily plotting one evil or the other, writing one evil report or the other simply in an attempt to rescue their legacy of emptiness? Their intent is this: “We surely cannot allow these successes to stay. We must bring the Oga ‘patapata’ down such that no one will praise anyone. Some members of this group are also angry on behalf of the President under whom they served- If OBJ is no longer the best President that Nigeria ever had, then it means our own time is also going to go down in history as having been useless.
(c) The Rogue Elite:
This group are the ones who held sway in the corruption of the olden era and in this group are many of our ‘heroes’, parents, friends, etc. Those who became rich by patronage of the political class but who have not much substantial business enterprise to name as their source of wealth. The patronage stopped, so they are out deeply in the cold. This is the “no money in circulation” group. They see infrastructure and all they can think is that the money spent has been sunken and they cannot get their hands on it, ever. I am going into their thought process to bring you their thinking and their frustrations: “money that should have been in circulation, this Fulani man that knows nothing has sunken it. There is no money in circulation for us to junket and buy useless consumption things, marry new wives and buy things for our ‘thick’ girlfriends. This life has no duplicate-Na who infrastructure help?” This group are the ‘adepts’ like the Yorubas call them-they cannot milk the cow but they can spill the milk. This group are ferociously angry and they are dangerous. They are the ones who arm the SM rats and pay them to stay daily on SM spreading disinformation about the nation.
(d) 2023 Aspirants from PDP and APC
So many permutations going on for the 2023 elections. The SE Agenda, the SW Agenda, the Governors jostling. The alignments and re-alignments, the Fulani Herdsmen as a weapon of political alignments. The intra and inter party movements, the sham and the real. All these are playing up in the banditry and secession calls and this is a topic that deserves proper addressing on its own.
(e) The NGOs
This group are comprised of mercenaries. I will not generalise as not all NGOs are bad, but the compromised ones know themselves. NGOs are formed for idealistic reasons-to plug a gap that Government is not filling, to advocate for the voiceless of society, to do some good, but in Nigeria like every other institutions, NGOs have become a funding vehicle for disorganisation and disharmony. They take grants from international organisations, foundations, countries and they use the fund to fight against their country. I was invited by an NGO to speak in favour of a SM Bill once and I asked this question of them: Why do we want to allow people to have a right to lie? Why is it that the NGO saw nothing wrong in fake news propagation in Nigeria? Surely the NGO should want some sort of regulation on fake news? The proprietor of the NGO dismissed my views and was adamant that the SM Bill had to be killed. Who does that? If something is wrong, it is the duty of Government to regulate it.
(f) The Ignorant youth
This group are just out there waxing around enjoying the freedom to be as absurd as they want to be. They are on a cruise of absurdity. They are blissfully having a voice and lacking in responsibility and accountability. I pity this group a lot, because sadly, they will inherit Nigeria and God help Nigeria in their hands.
There are many other groups, but I am going to pause a while and bring Part 1 to a close, lest I go totally off tandem.
Friends, the opposition is sinister. Their bile is coming from a position of deep envy of a man who is proudly proud because he is not a rogue, because he genuinely wants to do the best for this country . Like I always say, I have looked into the heart of this President, my dear Bubu, I see innocence and purity-naivety also. I heard his heartfelt hurt -am I not ruling according to the Constitution? You are sir, we must assure you, but what is constitution when people are angry? Are they complaining by the book? When did you see Madam due process challenge your due process with records. They say you are marginalising them? Have they challenged this position in the law courts. Have they ever brought the facts of the marginalisation? I personally have looked at the Federal Capital Commission (FCC) website and analysed it In all MDAs that are in the South, there is FCC skewed towards the South. In fact in all institutions that are in the SE that are federal, 95% of staff in them are indigenes and no other state is crying marginalisation. FCC is not only about the service chiefs? Did the President not honour the Constitution in all Constitutional appointments like Ministers? Is the SE not represented in the Ministries according to law? The service chiefs in under the purview of the CinC and not subject to FCC and this is also law so no one can accuse the President of flouting the law especially as there are 4 positions to 6 zones. Is the NC or NW quarrelling about Marginalisation in the service chiefs?
I challenge, no, I dare SENATOR ABARIBE, OSITA CHIDOKA, KINGSLEY MUOGHALU, MADAM OBY to take the President to Court and challenge the alleged Marginalisation. If they do not do this, they are traducers and there is nothing in them that is truthful, only an agenda.
Twitter’s owner Jack Dorsey did what it has a right to do, that is fine. Nigeria as a sovereign has also done what she has a right to do-suspend Twitter and ask that all SM practitioners in Nigeria must register. I have never been ‘prouder’ of my President as I am now and finally Lai Mohammed is awake. I pray that the Attorney General Malami will also wake up so that our nation can be saved from the madness of unruliness. ( Copied from NUJ platform)