There is obviously a sense of apprehension in the air now, especially in what one would like to call controversial States where impeachment kite is flying all over the place. In fact, impeachment appears to be defining the political lexicon of Nigeria, so much that even the issue of Boko Haram and the danger it poses to the nation’s corporate existence is beaten into the background.
Impeachment noise is becoming deafening in the states where the governors rode on the back of all-powerful Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to power in 2011 only to quit and defect to opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) while still in offices.
When last year, four erstwhile PDP governors of Adamawa, Rivers, Kano and Sokoto states moved to APC, it naturally shook the ruling party. The governors were in top spirit even as they threw PDP into confusion. It was like a political earthquake.
Of course, PDP was helpless but, it never occurred to anybody, even to the defecting governors that PDP could hit back at them.
And so, when governors are now facing the impeachment musical chair in their states, the APC is shouting foul.
On the Tuesday impeachment of Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa state, the national chairman of APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun asked an obvious question at a news briefing in Abuja on Wednesday: “What was Nyako impeached for?” Before anyone could guise the answer, he came up with one: that he was impeached for offences he allegedly committed five years ago.
“Those offences” he said surprisingly, “were not impeachable when he was in the Peoples Democratic Party but the moment he defected to the APC, they became impeachable.”
Oyegun asked a question and he answered it correctly, with no viable addition to make it more complete.
In other word, the APC boss is saying the obvious: that when Nyako and other governors were in PDP, whatever offence they committed was seen as not impeachable. Even a little school pupil would acknowledge that reality about PDP. But, the issue at stake is not that of political propriety or nicety of the impeachment in the way it is being done. It is all about finding a soft spot by PDP to hit back. To PDP, this is a payback time.
Indeed, the scenario playing out now is akin to a situation where a not-so-powerful person would initiate a boxing tournament with a very powerful giant and, it is the not-so-powerful that would begin to be the first to hit the powerful giant.
Everybody watching the tournament would be clapping for the not-so-powerful for his prowess and imagined power. Indeed, the not-so-powerful would be so naïve as not to take a precautionary measure, just in case the powerful giant decides to ‘retaliate.’
So, it is immaterial for, and of course, understandable, why APC is now crying foul and pointing finger at imaginary facilitators of the travails of the governors, but that is besides the point.
This scenario has really brought out clearly the obvious devious nature of an average Nigerian politician. When he begins to implement his group’s agenda, what matters most is the self and group interest; the national interest and the possible consequences of such self-centred interest count little.
That makes the politicians of today not to be different from the politicians of the 60’s, immediately before the first Republic; the ones in second Republic of the late 80’s and those in the General Babangida’s truncated unending transition.
If therefore, the current political behaviour is not different from what obtained in the past, it then simply means that Nigeria is still wallowing in the past with the genuine fear that we are courting the consequences of such fixated behaviour: of haughtiness, arrogance, self-centredness and sadism.
Whether or not such consequences eventually overtake the overzealous political gladiators, the bottom line is the sad fact that it is the common man that suffers.
And unfortunately, the common man is always an onlooker, even though it is his course the unruly gladiators are supposed to be fighting for.
Will it be too late, within this context, for one to therefore caution our hot-headed politicians, from both sides of the divide, to tread softly?
Read More Articles From This Author: Yusuf Ozi-Usman