For quite some time now, I have stayed away from writing. I have been engaged in this siddon look stance. But I perched at a vantage point to be able to observe carefully and to document what I seen.
Recent events in Nigeria have left me wondering whether we are a part of the mainstream world or not. For instance how can a president say to the highest body of lawyers in the land that the Rule of Law is secondary to National Interest, and they clapped?
Human rights cannot be secondary to any other interest. It is on the pillar of human rights that democracy is built. Without human rights, there would be no democracy.
The implications are very enormous. The lawyers should have known better. I will address our supposedly learned men later.
Back to the implications of the president’s purported concern for national interest which he thinks is superior to human rights. May I remind the president that Fulani herdsmen have murdered so many people in the middle belt region of Nigeria, and beyond?
Nothing has been done by the government headed by the man who’s so concerned about national interest. The lawyers should have reminded the president that national interest is to be fair. National Interest is to be just. National Interest is to be impartial. National Interest is to not use state security apparatus to haunt perceived opposition
The implications of the president’s concept of National Interest dovetails in monstrous dictatorship in the long run. It means a man’s house can be seized by government without recourse to the courts. It means a man can be killed if the government deems it fit, it also means opposition can be hounded into detention if the president sees it as priority.
That the lawyers clapped for such a mortal democratic blunder is not only scary but demeaning to their so called learned profession. How can people sit by, who are supposed to be versed in law, and the president of their country comes to tell them that he will not obey the law, yet they did not read between the lines?
The next time a lawyer tells me he is learned I’d question his ability to deduce implications from a cursory statement. It shows that even education in Nigeria has nosedived seriously. Is the president of the Nigerian Bar Association looking for a favor from president Buhari? Why could no one be bold to tell him that the Rule of Law is Supreme?
So the National Assembly has a great job to do if there is need for democracy in Nigeria beyond 2019. Nigerians fought for the democracy of which Buhari is a major beneficiary. Eye service from those who should know better should not encourage him and his APC party to truncate it and plunge our nation into another crisis.
Buhari body language has shown over time that he has dictatorial tendency. In his first six months in office, he had reportedly said that the courts would be his headache. This simply means that, were it not for the courts, he would like throw into jail anyone he pronounces corrupt in his own court. He later sought emergency powers. This, if granted would have conferred on him the ability to be arbitrary in many cases. Now he is making a potently scary statement. And what a place to say it, in the gathering of lawyers! And they clapped, opened teeth and shook hands.
Let it be on record that the lawyers have the onus to spell it out there and then that it is not so. But not Nigerian lawyers who produced the Keyamos,Falana, Sagays and so any others who have long forgotten they were lawyers. They have chosen to pervert the ancient truism of tested legal foundation because of the crumbs the receive from the table of people in power.
We must not fold our hands and pretend that Buhari is just making a statement. President David Dacko of Central African Republic once said Bokassa was too stupid to pull a coup d’etat. The same Bokassa he underestimated kicked him out and took over his government. That was the beginning of destruction in the hitherto peaceful country.
Nigeria must be protected at all cost.