DEFECTIONS,IMPEACHMENTS, HYPOCRISY AND POLITICAL INSTABILITY

There is a popular saying that what goes up must come down. Another says that what a man sows he will reap. And another, says what you gain in the straight you lose in the bend. And yet another says that if you defecate on the road on your way to the market,on your way back you will be greeted by flies. Unfortunately, many of our Political Leaders seem not to learn anything from these age long lessons from the sage. And that's why, rather than accept the consequences of their indiscretion, they are either startled by them or look for some one else to blame.

A couple of months ago as I was incensed by the gale of defections mainly from the PDP to the APC. In one fell swoop, five PDP governors defected to APC, followed by hordes of members of the House of Representatives whose Speaker cheerfully announced the defections on the floor of the house apparently completing the 'simple' process of changing parties in the National Assembly. In a blink of an eye, the APC became the majority party in the house and was already gearing to change the House leadership. The 'coup' was aborted by the counter defections of a couple of other members of the house from sundry parties. The same scenario was to play out in the Senate where PDP was set to lose majority until, the Senate President made a deft move by refusing to read the letter from the defecting senators, forcing them to technically remain in PDP in the Senate, though outside the senate, they were already APC Senators. Subsequently the hand of the Senate President was strengthened by the suit institututed by PDP asking the Court to declare the seats of all decamped legislators vacant.

At that time, it was all jubilations for APC leaders, members and some supporters who were so enthused with the successful dismembering of PDP. For many, it was Democracy at work, nothing immoral, nothing reprehensible. But I had argued in my despatches that it was political fraud and totally morally reprehensible for a governor elected on a particular political platform to just wake up one morning and decide to defect to another party without caring a hoot about the feelings of the electorate that put him in office. I had reasoned that constitutionally, it is the political parties that contest elections and that is why it is only their symbols that we see on the ballot papers. Though our choices may be influenced by the individuals contesting, but we vote for the parties they represent. My case was supported by the Supreme Court justices who made Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi Governor of Rivers State, when he actually was not a candidate at the elections, but because his party then(PDP) won the election and they felt he should have been the candidate and not Celestine Omehia. The People of Rivers State had no choice but to acquiesce.

I had said then that I had no problem with any Governor or any elected political office holder changing his party for whatever reason. All I insist upon is that they will need to resign their positions and go back to contest on their new political platform if they want to retain the political office. That will then give the electorate the opportunity to agree to support or to refuse the new party and all that it represents. To do otherwise is to take the electorate for granted and to abuse their mandate. I received no support as apparently the politicians especially the opposition saw no merit in my argument. All is fair in war!. Now the chicken has come home to roost and what goes round has come round. And hell is let loose!

A couple of days ago Governor Nyako of Adamawa formerly of PDP, but now in APC was impeached by the PDP-dominated house of assembly. First, we thought that the impeachment threat was a joke and when it became serious,Nyako made frantic efforts to stop the proceedings. He tried everything in the books and some outside the books including declaring two days of Public holidays for no just cause except, political survival. The state legislators were implacable and went ahead to impeach Nyako. Meanwhile the rumors of impending or actual impeachment began to fill the airwaves from Borno, Oyo, Enugu, Edo and Ebonyi. Not only of governors, but also of deputy governors and Speakers. As all these stories and rumors were swirling around, Nassarawa legislators began to hunt for Governor Al Makura to serve him impeachment notice. Panic ensued.

Having lost two States in a row within one month, with a third threatened, it was natural to be frightened. May be the whole party and its gains were quickly unravelling. Such could cause hysteria and lead to the kind of outbursts we have been hearing from APC leaders especially that from General Buhari. And most of the outburst has been directed against President Jonathan. He is being accused of either being the author or the mastermind of all the impeachment moves, including the electoral loss of EKITI. This led a friend of mine to ask, "But this Jonathan whom they say is clueless and can not even bring back our girls after 100 days, when did he transform to become such a lion and master strategist to cause APC such unbelievable pain discernable in Buhari's statement?" I had no answer!

Personally I do not support Impeachment if it goes to subvert the electoral mandate of the People. When a people have elected a Party or a particular candidate through the party, I believe it is the responsibility of the People to vote out such a party or the Party's candidate at the next election if they no longer want the party or its candidate. Though the legislators may claim to represent the people and that the constitution permits it, they are only expected to exercise choice on behalf of the People in such matters as change of governor or the governing party in extreme and grave circumstances. It is not a responsibility that must be taken lightly or just done to pander to political whims and caprices. It must also not be taken in a manner that will threaten National Security and political stability or disrupt the economy. So all political actors must exercise utmost caution noting that all actions have opposite and equal reaction.

The trouble with our current situation however is that we have too much hypocrisy in our Polity. Principles and values are lacking. A politician who sees nothing wrong with five Governors decamping from their parties to join his in one day, can not start sermonizing and threatening our sensibilities when one or two governors from his party are impeached especially when those being impeached were the same ones who decamped to his party. Where is the moral basis to cry wolf and threaten our polity? We must always remember that what is not good for the gander, should also not be good for the goose. Or is it the other way? Which ever way, I trust that you have gotten my drift.

Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa OFR

www.samohuabunwa.com

samohuabunwa@gmail.com

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

IS THE NMA A PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION OR A TRADE UNION?

PERPETUATION IN OFFICE: BUHARI ACTS TYPICAL

RACISM, ETHNICITY AND TRIBALISM .... What's the difference?