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Nigeria, just as many countries on the African continent has had her own bitter share of power drunken leaders – leaders who wear their power-intoxicated ego like expensive gold jewelry. Her supposedly or alleged incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari, and his gang of irresponsible clansmen – the APC have taken impunity and lawlessness to new lofty heights.
The gap between leaders and the led is horribly alarming and this is easily attributable to how leaders and people who wield political power perceive the ‘common’ man. These leaders break rules and violate the constitution which should ordinarily be the ground norm without implications simply because they possess ‘power’, to be more succinct, the situation can be likened to a cobweb that traps only helpless insects but allows big birds the luxury of flying through seamlessly.
A few days ago, an incident that brought to bear the interplay of class, power, and violence was witnessed in Abuja, the capital city of Africa’s most populous country. Indeed that ugly occurrence is a perfect example to deeply elucidate how such an arse the law is in Nigeria. It was about the chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) Danladi Umar – for starters, the ‘CCT’ is a kind of special court that is responsible for the prosecution of an aspect of official corruption, the CCT chairman went to a shopping complex and got into a real physical scuffle with an individual identified as security personnel in the mall. He went home after the embarrassing incident seething in ‘righteous’ angst. Maybe, he could have dealt more properly with that ‘insolent’ son of a poor man, condemned to poverty. Yes, this could be deduced from the balderdash his media aide concocted and passed on to pressmen.
The ethnic conflagration, the CCT chief attempted to stoke with the ‘press release’ would be a matter for another day, that isn’t the focus here. The focus here is that not even the outrage that followed his dance of shame could force him to resign or even issue a public apology, till this moment, Danladi Umar is still on his job and Nigerians have done what they know how to do best – bark like toothless bulldogs and move on. Terrible!
Tragically, Umar is a perfect representative of the predilections and pompous violence of Nigeria’s privileged class towards people of lowly pedigrees and vocations, this on a wider outlook, perfectly captures the glaring misgovernance, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has adorned itself with.
Lets put this in a more direct perspective, Mr. Umar is a public judicial officer, paid from public coffers and sworn to serve the public, to uphold the highest ethical and legal standards, to conduct himself according to the laws he enforces, and to be impartial in his dealings with the public. Almost one week after, the president who is the number one citizen in the land didn’t feel mortified enough to direct his immediate suspension or outright dismissal or better still in keeping with the nepotistic tradition of the current Nigerian ‘presidency’, ask for his voluntary resignation.
Indeed Mr. Umar hasn’t acted worse off than the current set of clowns masquerading as leaders under the ruling All Progressives Congress. The ‘progressive’ element about them is their penchant to abuse the rights and privileges accruable to Nigerians even if it means riding on the lacerated backs of the Nigerians they have terribly impoverished. Nigeria is in a perilous state today and the limited freedom its citizens once knew and enjoyed is being systematically taken away from us by the Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress, they don’t seem to even care about any consequences because sadly, there are none. What best explains the fact that the President of Nigeria, is today on medical vacation in the UK while the National Association of Resident doctors are on strike – languishing in penury at pain after being denied their entitlements and earnings – their sweat.
The only reason why Nigeria is today strutting towards a possible implosion is mostly due to growing lawlessness, although some of today’s members of the ruling class could decide to continue basking in self-denial, some of them, including notable ones, are however coming to terms with reality. Notably, Kaduna State governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, recently at a national dialogue, pointedly described Nigeria as a lawless State and he wasn’t wrong by any standard. Today’s APC-led government indeed handed Nigeria its biggest blow by exposing her to the misfortune of undermining its rule of law institutions that would have countervailed its dangerous slide to instability, today, state institutions have been privatised and ethnicised and nobody cares – Nigerians can only ‘wail’. The endpoint is banditry, poverty, hunger, starvation, and every feature of a failing state.
Today, many poor Nigerians are languishing in several ‘correctional’ centers while facing trials for various alleged offenses while the real criminals frolick in luxury and affluence sponsored through the senseless looting of public funds without repercussions, Governor Umar Ganduje is still retaining his position even after being caught on tape stuffing his ‘babariga’ with stolen dollars, this isn’t entirely as surprising as the approach his benefactor and Godfather – President Muhammadu Buhari employed in posing a fierce defense for him by asking suggesting that the ‘technology’ used to doctor the video was sophisticated. The Nigerian judiciary of the All Progressive Congress (APC) is obviously a judiciary that creates loopholes for an escape to corrupt Government officials no matter the gravity of their alleged crime.
Finally, the APC government of today has through its body language and by discontinuing the reform process of the electoral system which even brought it to power has refused to deepen democracy that could afford the average Nigerian a better chance of enthroning purposeful leadership. These are really perilous times for the once-celebrated ‘African Giant’.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK