By Kassim Afegbua
The reported impeachment of the Speaker of the Kogi State Assembly this week has further exposed the unreadiness of all of us to tailor the essential ingredients of democracy. That it is coming from those who were said to be elected to make laws for the good people of Kogi State makes the thought even more painful.
How can one rationalize the idea of using 12 members of a 25-member assembly to impeach the Speaker and yet expect the world to take us serious? What democratic manners are we exposing to the world? Is 12 the two-third of 25?
Dubious arithmetics from over-ambitious few desperate to please the inner recesses of a Governor that is as clueless as the election that brought him in the first place. I am pained that as much as we continue to exhibit this barbarian approach to politics thus undermining the very essence of democratic principles, the farther we dig deeper into the abyss of uncivilized conduct.
We are just not serious about our lawmaking process, making the whole world laugh at our follies.
I do not want to believe that those 12 members that were reported to have impeached the Speaker, his deputy, majority leader, minority leader and other ten principal officers actually went to school. I want to believe that they were just branded into the Assembly by default, just to represent their people.
I do not think they also know the import of lawmaking or the integrity that follows the doctrine of lawmaking. To be called a law maker is as heavy a responsibility as to be called a Pope, but to be a lawbreaker is as serious as to be called an armed robber. Why twist the law simply to impress your paymaster that you are loyal? Why bend the process simply to make an impression about how crude power can be? Why wash your dirty linen outside in a manner that exposes your inadequacies both in intellect and capacity? To be called a distinguished Honourable member of any Assembly carries a heavier import than to be called a President. Law is what governs the society.
A lawless society is one proned to anarchy. A lawless society is one meant for barbarians and idiots. It is one meant for over-ambitious and desperate politicians behaving like famished baboons let loose into banana plantation.
I find it curious that the Kogi State Police Commissioner appears to have been compromised on this matter. Why was the Assembly padlocked when the 13 members were to resume on Thursday, 18th October, 2012? Who is the Commissioner of Police trying to impress on this matter and by that behaviour? Trying to prevent breakdown of law and order? Where was he when the 12 members illegally reconvened a House that was on recess to carry out the impeachment? I think the Commissioner of Police is a bad egg to the transformational initiative of the Inspector General of Police that is already yielding positive fruit. Why would the Police Commissioner reportedly withdraw the security aides and details attached to the authentic Speaker and accord all paraphernalia of office to the so-called new Speaker Jimoh Lawal? This is a slap on democracy. It portends danger by every material particular to the survival of democracy and sound democratic etiquette.
The President must
immediately call the House to order since they are members of the same leprous hand called the PDP. He must act fast before the situation gets out of hand. There are more serious things to do in the face of flooding than mooting an impeachment that exposes the laziness and lack of intellect on the part of those who are expected to make laws for the good of society.
Why is the Governor maintaining mum as if he was not the architect? The impeachment move has been on the political radar in the State for sometime now. The muscle flexing and ego showmanship have been on parade from the Governor,s end. Political leaders have cautioned him overtly to sheath his sword in the interest of democracy but the Governor would not listen to any of that. He was determined to do away with the Speaker, Honourable Abdullahi Bello, but in a manner that now undermines democracy and good reason.
What were the reasons adduced for the so-called impeachment? Ridiculous and ribaldrous reasons, thus reminding us of the days of Chimaroke Nnamani Enugu State when lawmakers were forced to be making laws from Abuja. I thought we had gone past the Nnamani era but the latest display of crude politics in Kogi State has brought us several miles backward.
Honourable Abdullahi Bello as far as any reasonably minded person is concerned, still remains the Speaker of the Kogi Assembly. For sure 12 members cannot preside over 13 members in a game of majority rule. That would be over stretching the principles of democracy beyond any rational appraisal of situation.
The Attorney General of the Federation must also speak out. All rational minds must speak out. All reasonable people must speak out. It is not about Kogi State alone, it is about us as a people desirous of making the right impact for democratic survival.
The action of the erring 12 members and the Police Commissioner with the active connivance of the Governor of the State is condemnable by all materials particular. We all should wake up to this great challenge to save this democracy from further implosion. It is a responsibility that is not too much for us to sustain in the interest of our democracy.