By Ayinla Mukaiba
The political landscape in Nigeria has not known respite since the All Progressive Congress (APC) issued a directive to all its members at the National Assembly to block all executive bills emanating from the presidency. It also enjoined them to stop the screening of the service chiefs recently announced by the president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) loyalists immediately deployed their arsenal to counter this order. Minister of Information, the all-too-loquacious Labaran Maku, also joined the fray, articulating his disavowal with this order in his usual extreme superlatives. Ditto many of the presidency apparatchik who, it would seem, needed to perforate this to continually gain relevance in the sight of their master. But in the process, a major error is being made in throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
Let us look into the fundament of the APC’s order. Rivers State. Either from Rotimi Amaechi or from Nyesom Wike and his destructive ally called Joseph Mbu, the state Commissioner of Police, a state of siege has been made of the land of Isaac Adaka Boro. The refrain now is, can any good come out of Rivers State? It has become such a bedlam that anything is permissive once it originates from Rivers, no matter the tenor of the impunity. From one impunity of bombing a court to a state Commissioner of Police wearing an obtuse lapel of arrogance and self-righteousness, everything is wrong with Rivers. And, as rightly adumbrated by the APC, whether we like it or not, if an infringement is going to happen to this attempt at democratic government in Nigeria, it would arise from Rivers State. So, anything done to restore sanity to Rivers, it would seem, is in order.
Since the tiff began in Rivers, President Jonathan has shut all his perceptive senses from an awareness of the state of anomie that is Rivers. Not even when the equally loquacious Amaechi alleged that Rivers is atop the mind of the president for conquest, as an extension of his conquistadoral empire, especially since it overlooks his native Bayelsa, is rich in oil and is his in-laws’ groove, was the president forced to wake up from his playing the dumb.
Every impunity that has astounded the world which emanated from Rivers has received the deaf disposition of the Jonathan presidency. Even though we are supposed to be practicing a presidential system of government and the governor is presumed to be the Chief Law Officer of his state, Mbu has displayed an arrogance of immense proportion that is baffling and could only have been reflated by a presidential abetment.
With the above as a premise, with all available lawful means to bring the president’s attention to the sliding state of affairs in Rivers proving futile, holding the presidency by its dangling scrotum would not be a bad idea at all. Whichever form its intervention would take, only an irresponsive government would allow the sore of Rivers to fester and court gangrene as the Jonathan government has done.
And who says filibustering isn’t allowed as a political tool? The APC has not violated any law of the land in instructing its members to use what it has to get the sanity that we all need in Rivers. Those who argue that the national budget is the binding zeal of the totality of Nigerians were probably reading from the theoretical book of economics or political science. The truth is that Nigerians have been carrying on as if there is no government or its budgets, in all facets of their lives. Very few people, aside those in government and parastatals, really benefit from the ritual of yearly budgetary allocations. Budgets of health hardly have any effect on the sick and this applies to virtually all sectors of the economy. If a temporary stop is put to this nonsensical ritual, the losers would be the pot-bellied leeches who feed fat on the common wealth.
At the level of discourse, the order from APC is enriching the substance of democracy and is making the behemoth PDP and the lackadaisical federal government to become aware that nothing is QED in Nigeria. For decades, governments at all levels had taken the people of Nigeria for granted, using as foundation the yearly ritual of order and the way things have always been done from time immemorial. Right now, APC has jolted us from sedentary, from how we had sat pretty doggo believing that the Almighty Federal Goveernment can always have things its way whenever it desires.
The daily lionizing of the APC in the states and the National Assembly is very good for the polity. Aside waking us all up from our lethargy, it is making us as a people count in the estimation of the PDP Federal Government. The probability that we would be taken for granted by the rulers of Nigeria is paling into zero now. As things are, in conceptualizing ideas, the nuisance of APC and its capacity for making noise that will attract the deafest of us all would have to be taken into consideration.
These are all the areas we should look into while appraising the APC call. It could sound against-method and unconventional but for a government like that of Jonathan that has lost any redemptive sense and is becoming a dissembler of itself, something would have to be done to it to wake it up from its Kabiyesi domain and conception. No sensible government would retain the leprous police headship in Rivers State, even if only for the stain and bad image it had brought the way of the country in its journey of pretence towards democratic governance.
Culled from: http://www.tribune.com.ng/news2013/index.php/en/columns/2012-10-29-11-16-41/saturday-with-ayinla-mukaiba.html