Your Excellency, I crave your indulgence for taking the liberty of addressing this missive to you publicly. I cannot resist the impulse of overtly expressing my solidarity with you and the GOOD people of Oyo-State over your reinstatement as the Executive Governor of Oyo-State. Your reinstatement to the state of affairs as the Executive Governor of Oyo-State is not only awesome in its symbolism, and hence concomitant with the actualization of many philosophical and ontological principles which have always been evolved throughout the history of mankind, but it has also, so to say, served as the referential fulcrum on which the pivot of Democratic and political aspirations of Nigerians has received a jack of confidence and revival.
In spite of the grandeur of calculated and systematic assault on the Constitution planned by some charlatans of the Oyo-State House of Assembly which, at the same time, emasculated the potency and supremacy of the Rule of Law, your eventual triumph has eloquently reinvigorated the ontological rule of thumb that “LIGHT must, assuredly, always prevail over darkness”. Despite the disturbing friction and the poignant throes which inserted a deep cleft of despondency and uncertainty into the psyche and fabric of citizenry of Oyo-State, your reinstatement as the Governor of the State and restitution of affairs of Oyo-State to the “status-quo” of good governance and competent leadership has corroborated the wise saying that “after the night of weeping and sorrow, JOY cometh in the morning”.
Oyo-State, a once secular State which was known as “Pace Setters State” and devoid of violence, thuggery and tumult just became gravely beleaguered by the clutches of intimidation, usurpation and arrogation. Oyo-State suddenly became a beehive of obscenities and a conglomerating hub of political terrorism and truculence. The masterminds of this chutzpah rubbished the legacy of exemplariness of Oyo State by throwing caution and decorum into the air with their exhibitionism of avarice and barefaced thievery of political will of the citizenry of the State. However, today, not only have these scoundrelly interlopers been put into shame and hence, eternally thrown into condemned dustbin of history, but you have, with your consummate doggedness and courage, given solid flesh and strong muscles to Oyo-State as being the “Pace Setters State” by reclaiming your mandate.
Let me to frugally take you through a dialectic analysis about the concept of Rule of Law and its symbolism to your Victory and Nigeria as a whole.
From the Southern tip of South-Africa to the land mass of the Americas, Asia and even the Soviet union of today, it is a truism that the last hope of freedom and emancipation of common man is the “Rule of Law”. The “Rule of Law” is a legal denotation both of the successive outcome of, and the sacred goal for, man’s unceasing struggle against tyranny, and arbitrary exercise of power. The Rule of Law is an epitome of the English Bill of Rights, the American declaration of Independence, the French Declaration of the rights of Man, and the United Nations Universal declaration of Human Rights. The Rule of Law is the lawyer’s summing-up both of man’s triumph over arbitrary use of power, and an ideal for a just society as expressly spelt out by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1948.
Thereafter the declaration of Human Rights by the General Assembly of the United Nations, there was also an Assembly where the representatives of fifty-three countries unanimously postulated the concept of Rule of Law of universal applicability. In the congress of the International commission of Jurists held in New Delhi, India, in 1959, the representatives of these fifty-three countries, including lawyers, and teachers of law, affirmed in a formal declaration their recognition that the Rule of Law is a dynamic concept which should be employed to safeguard and advance the political and civil rights of the individual in a free society. This commission associated this concept with the establishment of social, economic, educational, and cultural conditions under which the individual could realize his legitimate aspirations and dignity. The Congress also recognized and so declared that the Rule of Law could only be maintained by the existence (1) of an independent and impartial judiciary with security of tenure, free from legislative and executive interference, and (2) of an independent and fearless legal profession. There is no doubt that this declaration offered by this august commission has largely helped mankind in the formulation of concept of “Rule of Law” that has universal applicability.
However, and most unfortunately, all successive Nigerian Governments have never been known in history to have diligently safe-guarded this concept of Rule of Law and fundamental social objectives for its citizenry. Initially, Nigerians erroneously thought that the stint of Military interregnum was responsible for the abeyance of this concept of Rule of Law and negligence of social objectives that will cater for the welfare of Nigerian citizenry without exception or discrimination.
But since the advent of Civilian government in 1999, this concept of Rule of Law had suffered more strangulation, contempt and brutality under General Obasanjo led government than all the Military juntas put together. Constitution has been, by and large, sedulously disregarded and discounted. Time does not permit me to fully chronicle innumerable instances where General Obasanjo’s hauteur and insensitivity to the constitution and concept of Rule of Law remain blatantly unexampled. Deliberate subversion of the Constitution has become habit-nature of General Obasanjo led Federal Government. Illegality, lawlessness and prejudices have anesthetized etiquette and delicate protocol of public office. Persecution and oppression of the opposition have become unspeakable. The callous witch-hunting of the opposition and dissident elements has been quite nauseating and perplexing to the psyche of Nigerians. And to make matters worse, legal luminaries and officers of law, who are charged with the responsibilities of maintaining law and order in our society, have been appurtenant to this abuse of power, misrule and executive lawlessness. In the view of this, Nigerians totally lost confidence in the efficacy of concept of Rule of Law, the judiciary and the workability of Democracy in Nigeria.
Notwithstanding the vicissitudes of Nigeria in the manner by which the “Rule of Law” has been in abeyance under both the Military and Civilian, the remedial steps taken by the judiciary in rescinding the illegal impeachment carried out against you has not only restored confidence in the judiciary and Rule of Law in Nigeria and thereby re-igniting the hope of common man, but it has, so far so good, turned out to be one of the greatest victories of Nigerian Democracy. After that historic and landmark pronouncement by Justice Alfa Belgore led Supreme Court jury, even the crassitude of the barbaric Curmudgeons terrorizing Oyo-State to subjugate the ruling of Supreme Court by taking the verdict to a rookie Judge of Oyo-State High-Court was not enough to cast aspersion on the renewed and reclaimed integrity of judiciary and elevation of concept of Rule of Law in Nigeria. Hence, the dead incandescent filament of dignity and prestige of Oyo-State as the “Pace Setters State” has reclaimed its full, overwhelming and illuminating effulgence because the current of revival and confidence has passed through the body and soul of Oyo-State citizenry. Therefore, with Oyo-State’s renewed effulgence as the “Pace Setter State”, it is my earnest belief that, henceforth, it is only a matter of time that LIGHT of freedom and justice shall overcome the ominous darkness of illegality, injustice, political strife, lawlessness and abuse of power in Nigeria.
Apart from rescuing Oyo-State from the quagmire of lethargy in which Lamidi Adebidu and Alao
Akala plunged the State ever since they conspiratorially disgorged you from your rightful seat as the legitimate and executive Governor of Oyo-State, you have given fresh and practical impetus to the popular Yoruba maxim that “Eni to ni suru, o ni o n gbogbo”. Translation: “A gentle and peaceful person owns the world”. Even when politically neutral and disinterested bystanders became highly exasperated by the shameless desperation of Christopher Adebayo Alao Akala, you never uttered a word despite being stabbed in the back; you kept SILENT, and thereby, evincing the didactic teachings of book of Proverbs which says that “the WISE does not speak but the fool beats his chest in vain”. History has vindicated you as the WISE whilst the foolishness of your detractors is self-evident. Your golden silence in those turbulent times is a testament that, sometimes, SILENCE could be louder, more resounding and potent than the fusion of immensurable decibel of voices and Sisyphean actions.
At this juncture and considering the political temper of Nigeria at the moment, I shall not attempt nor bother to regurgitate the atavism of postulating the surreptitious involvement of some forces in the Presidency in the coup against the Constitution and Rule of Law in Oyo-State that illegally removed you from Office but, spiritually, your conquest over this powerful fiefdom and powers-that-be has confirmed that “one with God is the Majority”. The God that you serve did not forsake you. Just as it is written in the Bible that “the battle is the Lord’s“, God vengefully fought your battle and gave you your rightful place as the Executive Governor of Oyo-State. Even right now in most religious fraternities in Nigeria, your epoch-making Victory has become the new magical mantra for prayer supplication. This is how they now say the hottest prayer point in Nigeria: “The God that restituted Rasheed Ladoja to his rightful place of glory will never forget you…he will heed your plea and answer your prayers!”. In nutshell, the gleeful hullabaloo that you have stirred remains unprecedented in the history of Nigeria. Again, philosophically speaking, you have engraved in history books that with firm dedication, unshaken resolve, fearlessness, doggedness and profound courage, the righteous SHEEP is capable of devouring the brutal and roaring lion!
However, as you now retake your exalted rank as the Captain of the administrative ship of Oyo-State Government, you must resist the temptation of vengeance. Just as Dr Martin Luther King said in his famous “I have a Dream” speech, I shall now quote him: “In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline…again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force”.
Sir, I urge you to allow the Rule of Law to prevail in reprimanding the culprits of punishable offenses in your absence; if need be, the probe panels must be made independent and transparent. In your resolve, I want you to turn your back to the last eleven months as the PAST and concentrate your attention on the pressing FUTURE. The past, no matter how unpleasant it seemed, is DEAD, and gone beyond resuscitation. Even though you have been shortchanged with time, but the FUTURE of Oyo-State is still like wet fine clay in your hands as the potter: you can still produce an excellent and most beautiful pottery from it.
Finally, let me end this missive with my favourite and memorable dictum on courage and fortitude by Chief Obafemi Awolowo:
“After rain comes Sunshine; after darkness comes the glorious dawn. There is no joy without its alloy of sorrow and there is no sorrow without its admixture of joy. Behind the ugly terrible mask of misfortune lies the beautiful soothing countenance of prosperity. So tear the mask and move on!”
Governor Rasheed Adewolu Akanmu Ladoja, Welcome back to Oyo-State. Congratulations and Compliments of the Season!!!
Yinka Leo Ogundiran is a member of a US-based Pro-Democracy organization known as Nigeria Democratic Movement (NDM) and he can be reached through Presidency_yk@yahoo.com