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Democracy under siege



Democracy under siege

Certain things are better not imagined. Realities around us are pointing in the direction of political crudity, cruelty and gangsterism of the highest order. Happenings around us are consistently making us object of ridicule and continuously enriching our barbarism in our political conduct. When these bizarre engagements take place, we tend to laugh over them as the normative rather than take serious exemption.


Since last week Tuesday till date, nothing has been heard of the political coup that failed to unseat the number 3 citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria again. What we heard from the President’s Police Force was that those police officers and vehicles we saw on television in that show of shame, were part of the Senate President’s paraphernalia of office. That statement also tells us the level of decay in the Police; if they could come up with such nebulous claim as if the Senate President doesn’t have knowledge of those immediate staff of his.


The charged political atmosphere in the country is a recipe for political radiculopathy. It’s utterly shameful that we could be celebrating our path to moral perdition and political perfidy without giving a thought about the well-being of the ordinary Nigerian on the street. The elite class has taken leadership to a rascally level, behaving like gangsters trying to coerce the system and forcefully take over the reins of power in very dubious manner under the very eyes of a president that considers anti-corruption as his cardinal agenda. The level of political corruption in this administration has gone bunkers and the actors seem to be enjoying the endorsement of Mr. President. We laughed at the follies of these political desperadoes, rained abuses on them, while the nation agonizes over the incandescence of this heavily militarized system and their willing collaborators, our children watched with dissonance the ugliness of our actions.


Tuesday, 24th July, 2018 was a day that democracy came under severe threat by agents allegedly loyal to Mr. President. Pro-Buhari Senators had perfected their impeachment plot, but left out God Almighty in their devious scheme. Grapevine information had it that they had written a prepared speech that was to be read by Senator Abdullahi Adamu who was being tipped to replace Dr. Bukola Saraki as Senate President. The “coup” was planned in such a way that the two leadership of the Senate, would be locked down, and prevented from accessing the premises of the National Assembly. Then pro-Buhari Senators were already assembling themselves at Transcorp Hotels, from where they would be ferried to the Chambers for the impeachment of Saraki and Ekweremadu. It was a day of heavy downpour in the early hours, as if God was reminding them that he owned the universe. The rain delayed some senators from getting to the Transcorp take-off point.


All the “coup plotters” were making frantic phone calls. The President’s Police Force had already positioned itself at the residence of the Senate President, to prevent him from honouring invitation earlier extended to him to answer to frivolous allegations concerning the Offa Robbery incident. He was to report to the Police station of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad. Rather than allow him to honour the Police invitation, the Police reported themselves to the residence of the Senate President as early as 6a.m. While that was going on, the EFCC, the alternate wing of the President’s controlled forces, quickly wrote a letter inviting Ekweremadu, the Deputy Senate President to answer to certain queries bordering on financial crimes. The letter was ingeniously dated 24th July, that same Tuesday and the Deputy Senate President was expected to report to the headquarters of the anti-graft agency by 10a.m. Without allowing him the benefit to report, the EFCC also reportedly locked down his premises on that fateful morning.


They are plotting their plot, I am plotting my plot, but Allah is the ultimate planner, so says the holy book. At the residence of the Senate President, his convoy was initially prevented from moving out, but later given access, which made the convoy to head towards his official Guest House. Seeing the full compliment of the convoy, they were cock-sure their plan had succeeded. Time was ticking away. The early morning shower was still pouring down. By the time it was 10a.m., the inimitable and irrepressible Bukola Saraki emerged like a bolt from the blues. He was seen walking into the entrance of the Chambers. Shell shocked, some bystanders who had gathered to watch the scenario, dubbed him a magician. Calls went round that the political iroko of the National Assembly was already entering the Chambers. Pro-Buhari Senators scampered to the National Assembly only to find out that the lion was already seated. The prepared speech melted in the pockets of the plotters. A look of disbelief took over the faces of pro-Buhari Senators. They couldn’t believe themselves.


This is how God works. While the Pro-Buhari Senators and the party leadership were plotting their “coup”, Senate President had a full briefing and waited for them to conclude their plot. While they snored away their sorrows, the Senate President was alleged to have found his way to his office the night before, accompanied by one of his trusted senators. He rested well and was looking forward to the next morning to laugh at the folly of some of his colleagues who have suddenly become desperate. He was said to have been driven to the premises in a less than posh vehicle that won’t give him away. So while the Police were beating their chests that early morning, in a Gestapo manner, to underscore the success of their nefarious plot, using the blockade as evidence, Senator Saraki was drinking tea within the premises of the Assembly ostensibly laughing at their collective follies. So his sudden appearance shocked everyone to the bone marrow. Looking unruffled, he walked majestically to the Chambers with candour and elegance, as if to tell his traducers; you ain’t seen nothing yet.

He conducted the business of the day and adjourned the Senate proceedings till September 25th to allow members the opportunity to participate in their respective party primaries; that is after 14 Senators had defected to the PDP from the ruling APC. This political gangsterism and rascality on the part of those maximum rulers who wanted to replace the leadership of the Senate brings us to one thing: that those leaders who mouth democracy and tend to showcase their credentials in glowing terms, are actually what late Fela would call; “animals in human skin”. They have been blaming themselves for a failed coup plot in the Senate and couldn’t possibly understand how it got leaked and thereafter quashed. Till date, the President of the country, hasn’t been heard condemning that ugly incident, instead, he hosted his foot-soldiers Senators to a meeting in the inner recesses of Aso Rock pantheon. He raised their hands up as if to say well done, “even though our plot failed”. Given the president’s background as a military officer, and someone who once participated in a successful coup to subvert democracy, what happened last week Tuesday was just a normal procedure in the life of military officer.


Democracy is surely driving on the rough path of ignominy and barbarism. It is assuming a reprehensible dimension by the day, with bloated egos competing for space and relevance. So if the leadership of the Senate had been successfully torpedoed, what would the leadership of the APC say? Perhaps thump their chests in self adulation of a political “coup” well executed or what? They would have popped champagne and drank to stupor even as they would have re-assured the President that they had ousted Dr. Saraki, who has become a pain in their ass.


But it is worthy to note that democracy is seriously under threat and may suffer further trepidations in the hands of APC desperate hawks and their collaborators who are bent on foisting a re-election of President Buhari down the throat of Nigerians no matter how bizarre the exercise is. They have moved to Benue State trying to use eight members of the State Assembly to commence impeachment of the governor who recently re-adjusted his political platform. The palpable fear in the polity is ominous. We can feel air of desperation, gangsterism, barbarism and crudity in the atmosphere. The Police has become accomplices in this whole ridiculous scenario to undermine every democratic principles.


I want to commend Governor Samuel Ortom’s tenacity of standing by his people and offering leadership that has remained a motivation for all Benue people. For a man who has been at the receiving end of mindless killings and avoidable bloodlettings, Ortom and the great people of Benue deserve our empathy and not this present gangsterism that attempts to dislodge the leadership in Benue State. The APC has acquired the notorious reputation of militarising democratic engagement instead of following due process of law to undertake political indulgences. But like every political engagement, this cup shall pass over us.

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