The scales appeared to have fallen off Senator Rochas Okorocha’s eyes last week when he reeled out what he considered the major drivers of instability pulling Nigeria to a precipice.
The immediate past governor of Imo State had postulated that 75% of Nigerians were hungry and angry over worsening insecurity.
Okorocha’s stance, including two other stories, grabbed national attention as countrymen kept close watch at developments in the National Assembly (NASS) past week.
Okorocha’s ‘Damascus’ report
On May 10, Senator Okorocha identified injustice and poverty as the major factors behind the current insecurity plaguing Nigeria, stressing that the President Buhari-led administration needs to review its style of leadership.
He said this when he joined the Ona of Abaji and hundreds of Muslim faithful in the breaking of their Ramadan fast in Abuja.
“You can’t solve a problem unless you know the cause. The cause of our problem lies in injustice and poverty m, and the quicker government moves to address the issue of injustice, the better it is for our nation to reduce the level of anger in the land.”
There’s no denying Okorocha’s postulations. Reports of nepotism and favouritism have continued to dominate complaints about the Buhari administration.
Added to this is the palpable economic crunch that has made life unbearable for most of the citizenry, confirming Nigeria’s place as the headquarters of poverty in the world.
As the scales fall off Okorocha’s eyes, and he finds courage to speak truth to power, it is also time for him to do a serious introspection of the kind and quality of service he rendered to the people of Imo State.
In taking a deeper look at his submissions, it will not be totally out of place to hold him and his ilk substantially responsible for the mis-governance that has laid the foundation for radical demands for a dismemberment of the Nigerian federation.
While the Buhari-led administration fiddles with its policies, and attempts to improve the quality of governance, the twin challenge of injustice and poverty will remain a huge stumbling block to progress unless they are quickly resolved.
NASS MEMORY LANE
“This is not a war to fight on partisan basis. I have immunity on what I said at the floor of the Senate. I am being crucified outside for what I said during plenary. I am going to report back to the Senate. All the security agencies must see the threat I am subjected to because I performed my duty as a Senator. They have promised to deal with me. If not for the State Commissioner of Police yesterday, nobody knows what would have happened. I obeyed the Police Commissioner; I remained where I was until the Governor came?”
Answer: See end of post
Two other stories
“Impeaching the President has a process. Anybody calling for the impeachment of the President should give a good reason. Then, we shall take it, discuss it, and the two chambers must come together. Impeaching the President is not what someone can just wake up one day and call for. There is a procedure for it. Why do you want to cause a problem and create confusion that you cannot solve?” he said during a courtesy visit to the former Governor of Oyo State, Rashidi Ladoja.
READ ALSO: Okorocha resumes ‘quarrel’ with Gov Uzodinma
It is not an uncommon feature to find party members defending their own. Abdulfatai’s stance can easily be seen from this perspective, and this right is inalienable.
Since last year, calls for Buhari’s impeachment by some elected officials and groups have gained ground. The Northern Elders Forum (NEF), for instance, has repeatedly called for the President to resign owing to his inability to fulfil his number one constitutional responsibility of protecting lives and property.
In the Senate, the minority caucus, led by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, had championed the calls for Buhari’s resignation.
No doubt, removing the President constitutionally is deemed a tough and delicate task.
Are there grounds for impeachment? Perhaps, many but that is where it stops. What is really required are the essential ingredients of rigour, consensus and tact. These key elements appear missing at the moment.
So, while Abdulafatai’s disposition can be held sacrosanct, it remains to seen if the Senate, working in a bipartisan manner, can muster the numbers, and influence the same in the lower house, in order to sack the president.
Beyond the hues and cries, a constitutional removal of President Buhari looks unlikely at the moment.
Abaribe, shooting Buhari again
On May 14, Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, stated that the increased agitations for restructuring and secession were due to perceived indifference towards national issues by the Buhari government.
While addressing lawyers at the 25th Law Week of the Awka branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), he said: “There is a litany of executive arbitrariness by the APC-led government of the Buhari’s presidency that has led to thunderous clamour for restructuring. Before now, Nigerians have argued stridently over discrimination, but the recent upsurge in perceived impunity and bias in federal appointments by the Buhari presidency has sparked concern of a very dangerous slide to sectional strife.”
He added: “There is agitation for restructuring and extreme demand for secession, and all are fuelled by injustice and feeling of being left out, particularly the South-East.”
For ardent followers of Abaribe, this is not the first time he would be calling out Buhari. His strident attacks, often intended to keep the ruling party on its toes, are the stuff that a credible opposition party should be made of.
As Minority Leader, nothing less is expected of him in terms of pivoting impactful governance that can better the lives of Nigerians. In all, he would do well to contain the vicious attempts to muscle him but stay the patriotic course and realize that in the interest of the nation, there would always be a handshake across the aisle.
Answer: Matthew Urghoghide
Urghoghide made the statement on April 29, 2018, after he was harassed by a protesting crowd, suspected to be members of the APC at the Benin Airport. His motion that Section 143 of the Constitution should be invoked on President Buhari for withdrawing funds from the national treasury without obtaining the necessary legislative approval was said to have fuelled the harassment. He represents Edo South Senatorial District.
By John Chukwu
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