APC House of commotion
By Sanya Oni on 23/06/2020
I have long resolved not to take our political actors too seriously more so as their excitable mind games sometimes border on the delinquency.
Not so however, when such pathologies not only seek to stretch our traditionally fragile institutions to their limits but are actually programmed to undermine, if not destroy, them.
Now, if anyone is still in doubts as to whether delinquency pays, they only need to look at the latest happenings in Edo, Ondo and Rivers’ APC to appreciate how rewarding it has since become for some and maybe costly for others!
From Port Harcourt, to Benin right up to the nation’s seat of power – Abuja; the story is the same of politicians’ endless judicial forum-shopping all in the bid to ambush their opponents.
If it is not a desperate governor seeking to bar opponents from contesting an election in a democracy, his legion of minions are everywhere shopping for courts to use in thwarting the democratic process!
Of course, with countless ex parte orders may of which were procured sometimes at the speed of light and more often than not in the dead of the night from a no less complicit judiciary over just about anything under the sun, there can be no telling of how far things can still degenerate.
Like a friend quipped over the weekend, we might yet see a court in Nigeria issue an order ex parte barring one party in a matrimonial ruckus from performing his/her conjugal duties pending the determination of the motion on notice!
Thanks to the technocrat wayfarer in Edo Government House, politicians have been presented a new playbook when things get really tough.
In the book, political disagreements are supposed to be akin to a dispute over sharing of state money – in other words, those who worked to put you in the Government House aren’t entitled to reasonable expectations of patronage!
Because the fight in Edo, in the book of Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, is one between the forces of ‘good’ and ‘evil’, every conceivable force in the land – from the courts to the police and the legislature – must be suborned in the quest to crush all opponents.
In the project, party rules and practices are fair game; everything must be wrestled into the ground in the bid to return Obaseki to the throne (my emphasis) in September.
Don’t ask me if the hounding 14 in a 24-member parliament into exile is right from the playbook; I leave you, my readers to judge.
Political delinquency has never been so rich and rewarding!
But then, the latter would appear not a preserve of the tenant at Osadebey House. In Alagbaka House, Ondo State’s seat of government, a similar macabre dance is playing out.
Trust the police not only to insert itself into matters strictly within the arena of politics but actually lending itself to partisan play and this in a brazen manner.
Here, I refer to the latest incident in Akure, the Ondo State capital, in which the residence of the deputy governor, Agboola Ajayi, was invaded by a police detachment led by the commissioner of police, Salami Bolaji.
Here is what the state government said of the incident that should ordinarily embarrass its helmsman, a learned Silk: “It should, [however], be placed on records that it is a time-tested code in government’s business for officials to take inventory of offices and quarters before and after an official is moving in or out of offices or quarters.”
Moving out? At this time, the information in the public domain was that the deputy governor planned to resign from his party – the APC; no suggestion giving up the plum job, which he insisted his people had not so directed – which makes it rather far-fetched that the number one cop in the state would summarily revoke the deputy governor’s immunity in his self-appointed role as the state’s chief inventory officer!
Here is the relevant part of the transcript of the comments by CP Salami in video which has since gone viral: “We are not saying you should not go out.
Since you are defecting, even your letter was brought to me in my office this evening that you are doing it (decamping) on Monday.
What the government is saying is that you cannot go out with official vehicles. This is politics; I am not saying it is right. This is a government house, the governor is the one talking, give me a few minutes, let me talk to my boss.”
The summary: an admission that the governor was actually the one behind what in intelligence parlance is called psych-Ops! Never mind the incoherence; the lapsus linguae (slip of the tongue); or even the pathetic attempt at playing the Pontius Pilate, our top cop was merely the marionette!
Stranger still however is the spin put to the shameful encounter days after the embarrassing video hit the cyber-sphere. To Tee-Leo Ikoro, spokesman of the state police command, his boss “only came to the scene when his officers and men at the government house could not broker peace between the aides of the governor and that of the deputy governor over the number of cars the deputy governor would drive out at the time.”
You say blessed are the peacemakers? I say – not those who make an already bad case worse!
For a polity already suffering multiple underlying conditions, the problem isn’t just that our politicians have infested the polity with a deadly variant of pandemic not unlike Covid-19, it is that the two key institutions – the judiciary and the police – which ought to have provided stabilization, have become part of the problem.
Which is why the directive by the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Justice Ishaq Bello, barring judges of the court from issuing ex-parte orders to stop elections comes as refreshing.
Warning that disciplinary action would be initiated against any judge that violates the New Practice Direction operative in all high courts in the FCT, he says: “we want the natural growth of democracy.
We want the political actors’ role to learn how to resolve their disputes within themselves without coming to court, except where it is exceedingly necessary”.
Fine talk, no doubt. But do they care?
Posted on June, 23 2020
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