It is significant that Nigeria at the present time is not known to have many people with the character traits of Danladi Umar throwing their indecorous tantrums in the public space.

Of course, it is not as if folks like Mr Umar do not exist in public life. They are there and indeed, in virtually every sector and among all geopolitical groups.

However, few tend to throw their indecorous sides to the public the way Mr Umar has done.

Mr. Umar wears the toga of a judge and also as chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal. That should have caused a restraint on him. But no.

When he drove to the Abuja mall and kicked a security man who rightly or wrongly spoke to him to park properly, he inadvertently displayed a pomposity that reflected the dark narrative that has shadowed his activities in the public space.

Danladi Umar

This same Umar was the subject of court filings by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC over allegations of receiving part of a N10m bribe to clear a Customs official accused of false assets declaration.

His cavalier treatment of the erstwhile Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen is one that will remain forever a sore point in the temple of justice.

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But what happened at the parking lot of the plaza only gave us a public glimpse at the character content and conduct of a man that is supposed to adjudicate over the conduct of other public officials.

The defence of the incident also threw up two major issues: the ethnic profiling of those who mocked his conduct and the competence of the judge and his media team.

First, in taunting those who ridiculed him after he kicked at the security man as Biafrans, it showed the mindset of the CCT chairman. He was one who would ordinarily not tolerate working with anyone from the enclave he so depicted as Biafra.

How such a person could be trusted to administer justice to anyone from the Southeast would be a serious doubt. And certainly not after the rasca press statement.

Should Mr Umar continue against the grain of public decency in that office anyone from the Southeast who appears before his court should quickly plead bias based on the foolery at the plaza and the press statement.

It remains a matter of conjecture if the security man who tackled him is even from the Southeast, given the fact that most of them in that vicinity would have been engaged in one trade or the other in the shopping complex.

Even though the word Biafran is one not to be ashamed of, it is shocking that a high ranking public official would crawl into his ethnic shell to defend his public foolery.

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A second issue with the defence of Mr. Umar’s foolery was the language and grammar involved. While few would claim perfection in grammar, the blunders in the press statement issued on Mr. Umar’s behalf would go on record for now as about the worst in style and grammar of a press statement ever issued in the country.

A colleague posted on Facebook that it would go in the archives for students of journalism.

That again shows how the use of ethnicity and other myopic considerations have stifled Nigeria’s development. It is not as if Mr. Umar could not have found a better person to serve as a media aide from among his non-Biafrans.

Certainly, there are many among his ethnic group. But the selection of his present media team and his approval of the press statement inevitably reflect his own shortcomings.

Good and capable persons to run this country are everywhere from Sokoto to Shagamu, from Agbor to Aba. It would not have been as bad as it is. If all the people running Nigeria were from Danladi Umar’s Bauchi State and did it with a modicum of satisfaction, it would not be as bad as it is now.

But when incompetents are foisted on the nation and they flaunt their failures on the society what else can one say?

The use of such a man as Umar to remove a jurist of the calibre of Justice Onnoghen from office only mirrors the sorry state of the country.

Pitiably, the system has kept mute to Mr Umar’s misconduct, pretending as if it never happened. Allowing the kind of misconduct by Umar is what has led Nigeria to the sorry state it is in.

Vanguard News Nigeria


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