There is therefore and urgent need for a national enlightenment, a national re-orientation and focus on the duties, rights, share power, exclusive powers, current powers, responsibilities, corresponding obligations, both on the parts of the citizens and our governments at all levels. Nigerians must also begin to understand the importance of volunteer efforts, such volunteer efforts are frequently necessary as additional or even independent component of efforts by governments at all levels, even here in the United States. Efforts independent of governments or complementary of governments are a common feature of public social intercourse in America and Europe.
Example of these that Nigerians are familiar with are, the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders, there are Non-Governmental Organizations, NGOs, Support Groups of various types.
It bears repeating here, that Nigerians must learn and accept participatory democracy. It is assuredly not a spectator sport, there is no room for “sidon look!”
When Nigerians learn to imbibe the ideals and tenets of participatory democracy, imbued in the thorough understanding of the constitutional arrangements for our federal system as laid down in our constitutional framework, many Nigerians will cease to blame rainfalls and sunshine or cloudy days on President Obasanjo! And whoever becomes a president in Nigeria thereafter.
I have wondered why there were no public demonstrations urging the Houses of Assemblies in Bayelsa and Plateau to impeach Alamieseigha and Dariye respectively!
I have equally wondered why laudable efforts by our current federal government never met with thunderous and uproarious applauses from our citizens at home and abroad, praise from our citizens in the nook and crannies of our dear fatherland.
But the same docile, quiet or seeming comatose public are assumed to be irritated when the EFCC and other federal agencies do their work? Even when EFCC doing its work actually means the pushing of hitherto inactive hands of members of Houses of Assemblies in Yenagoa and Jos; Pushing of the hands to perform duties that are clearly specified in our federal constitution in the first place! Duties that were neglected by them!
Constitutional duties which these Houses of Assemblies ought to have performed months or years prior to the so-called pressure or the push of their hands by the EFCC and other federal apparatuses. What is a responsible federal government to do? Let criminals and fugitives remain governors and ridicule their state and all Nigerians worldwide? I am an advocate of due process and the rule of law. I am a literal sucker for letting our system work and be fine-tuned. I am a strong believer in making imperfect democracy perfect with more practice of democracy.
I am quick to say, do not truncate the process, never truncate the institutions. But what do you do, when some states rush to create new local government areas and councils, contrary to the provisions of our federal constitution 1999? What should a responsible federal government do in the wake of some governors in Nigeria, literally holding guns to our head in hostage-taking like crisis?
Should Nigeria allow hostage takers and hijackers and child molesters walk free in our land, all in the name of the fine ideals and tenets of due process and the rule of law? Acute infection requires aggressive and rigorous regimen of treatment or therapy! Alamiesiegha and Dariye in engaging in criminal activities, in engaging in gross misconduct and subsequently becoming fugitive of the law, shredded our constitution, our laws and our shared sense of common decency.
Alamie and Dariye sneered at us all, sneered repeatedly at the constitutions and rules! What is a responsible government to do in the face of thieving governors making the front page of The New York Times and cover stories repeatedly on the BBC worldwide? And when Houses of Assemblies are quick to impeach deputies of governors, not for public good or purpose, but because there are schisms and chasms between governors and their deputies and House of Assemblies Speakers, as we have witnessed in many states in Nigeria since 1999.
Whereas, state Houses of Assemblies have been asleep at the wheel, in the face of impeachable offenses, including being fugitive on the lam from the law. Why do these states and citizens of these states stand aside and look? And then, when there are federal interventions, as when Dariye looked the other way, when anarchy reigned in Plateau state and innocent citizens were slaughtered endlessly? When events reached a tipping point and precipice of anarchy and lawlessness, the federal government declared a state of emergency in Plateau state, after duly consulting the relevant opinion and community leaders.
Some still criticized the declaration of emergency in Plateau state as a constitutional aberration, which they considered unacceptable! These same persons omitted to call Daryie to order, before matters in Plateau state degenerated to lowest levels, and he was more interested in his foreign personal bank account in England!
We must balance our national interests, even if, delicately, due process, rule of law and national self-preservation. We must act when exigent circumstance requires it! We must protect Nigeria in the face of the imbecilic onslaught brought on by Alamie and Dariye.
Nigerians must hold political leaders’ feet to the fire, make office-holders become accountable and transparent, make them become good listeners, make them responsive and compel them to practice good governance, this must not be limited to the presidency!
Make your ward representatives, your councilors, your local government chairpersons, your House of Assembly members and your governors and federal legislators in the House of Representatives and Senate accountable and transparent. Make them become good listeners, make them responsive and compel them to practice good governance.
Nigerians must urgently become engaged in learning how the system works. Learn and grasp our individual and collective roles as specified in our constitution. Nigerians must play our required roles for Nigeria’s progress, development and greatness.