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Author Name: Anthony Joseph Onoh
Number of articles: 9
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Politics and Demagogy
Author: Anthony Joseph Onoh | February 01, 2010



The recent theatrical ranting by the Nigerian lawmakers, demanding the resignation of President Yaradua and the handover of power to Vice President Jonathan Goodluck, using all kinds of demagogic comments like the send the letter, mail or correspondence to us is nothing but a carefully staged political game, in a âwag the dog styleâ, in Nigeria. Enthusiasts of politics, like myself, are watching the ridicule of the lawmakers with great interest and dismay. Obviously, there is an internal political squabble, rivalry and head on collusion is part of the recent political fanfare which was generated by the long absence of the President from the office. No one seemed to give credibility to that nonsense, baseless arguments and unexciting circus which was recently staged by the Senate. The President is back and that was all that really matters. Every on going political and judicial process to oust him has been stalled by his presence in the country. Even the insinuation of a possible military intervention has been relegated to mere speculation. With the President in the country, the aggrieved law makers have limited their expressions to mere murmuring and grudging. No one dared defy the political might and judicial expertise of the nations chief law officer, Attorney General Mike Kaase Aondoakaa who seems to be the one calling the shots at this time. Having successfully absorbed the impact of all the punches thrown at the President and quelling ,with his professional eloquence in the technical application of the law, every intent by the opposition to outrun the Yaraduaâs administration with wacky interpretation of the law, he has won (almost) all the battle for his boss. Why didnât the lawmakers request President Yaraduaâs appearance before it in order to give account of his sudden disappearance and seek possible answers to other questions poised by his long absence? The answer can only be found in the lawmakers huge display of cynicism and sectarian politics since we were told that the Presidents absence created a vacuum in power, spelt chaos and possible lost in direction for the nation. Perhaps, they should have asked him to appear before the senate floor to inform Nigerians on what transpired during those over 60 days of his absence. President Yaradua alone seems to, sacredly, kept the secret of what is going on around him. So much secrecy around the President is not a sign of a healthy democracy for a nation of over 100 million people. My apologies, I forgot to mention the unhealthy physical and perhaps, mental condition of President. Nobody in his sound mind would leave his personal business A.W.O.L for over 60 days and return without giving any explanation regarding his/her whereabouts, let alone, when entrusted with the affairs, welfare and well being of over 100 million people. Either way, it is criticisable, morally wrong, yet legally binding. Or, at least, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) has so declared in a very defiant tone, asking anyone to challenge it in any court of the land. Apparently, no one has the courage to challenge the Federal Executive Councilâs (FEC) decision to declare the President fit, under section 144 of the constitution, to continue in office. In a bid to skip its responsibility by failing to act decisively and effectively in order to correct the erroneous Presidential adventure, the lawmakers have sought to involve the judiciary in a matter of its exclusive competence. All the voices calling for Vice Presidentâs take over where ridiculed by the complicity of the secondary actor in this matter, Vice President Jonathan Goodluck. He was quick to endorse the communiqué made by the FEC which declared the President fit to resume his duties without any verifiable medical report or certification by any qualified medical doctor. It is my opinion that when the legislative body fails to ask the necessary questions and resorted to blame game, all our efforts to check such irresponsible action by the President becomes âa wasted labourâ. Calling for the amendment of sections 143, 144 and 145 of the constitution, is just another cheap and pure demagogy because, there is no bases for that except for the need to slowly and gradually relegate the matter into oblivion; ignoring the uproar it has generated from across the globe. Nigerians will be aghast by wonders with the possible amendment of section 143 of the constitution of Nigeria which regulated the impeachment procedure for the President, section 144 of the same constitution which empowers the council of Ministers to declare incapacitated a sitting President or his Vice and section 145 which regulated issues pertaining the absence of the President from his duty on account of illness or holiday. Will they be amended to, perhaps, create a more chaotic situation? No body knows! There seem to be no debateable issue here. If the Lawmakers considered that the President failed to comply with section 145 of the constitution which required him to transmit a letter to the National Assembly to enable the Vice President perform the duties of the office of the President; they should have acted promptly to compel him to do so. If he ignored the Supreme rule of the land, my guess is that, it was sufficient reason to initiate an impeachment process against him. Now the Lawmakers have erred in the execution of their legitimate duty in the country and every other âcocktail and tea timeâ talk aimed at justifying their grave error is completely irrelevant. We are not dumb. Politics and demagogy seem to rhyme. Does it occur to anyone that the inconsistencies in the general behaviour of the Lawmakers during and after the entire crisis was completely staged? Affirmative, everything was staged, negotiated and carefully executed politically in order to buy time for the ailing President. The AGF has eloquently and skilfully outplayed everyone here. Now, there can be no possible action against the President anymore without taking into consideration the position of the FEC which, obviously, has declared him fit for his job. Interesting though, as we go into another week, packed full of political manoeuvrings and judicial persuasion; we remain expectant that the stream will follow itâs right cause and leave all these nightmares as a healthy and positive lesson to our politicians and most of all, to our young democracy.

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