The devil we know is better than the angel we don’t – Aphorism.
More often than not, breaking the head is not the solution, especially if the case is like that of headache. This is because drastic measures such as head-breaking do not solve the problem. Rather, they take away the subject matter — head — which is radically different from solving the problem. My lords, this is what impeachment does. It merely takes away what seems – to people like my opponent – to be the problem. In considering whether President Muhammadu Buhari ought to be removed? Then we should consider; to what end? Does it solve the problem? My lords, no, it doesn’t.
What more could have led my opposing counsel to believing his stance if not for the recent occurrences that have pointed accusing fingers at the security sector of the country, and by and large, the government. While I understand their concerns, I do not see any logicality in why they think impeachment is the solution to this. At this point in time, if there is anything which time is to be expended on, it is not the rigorous processes of impeaching a soon-to-be-done president. Rather, the contributed efforts towards reforming the country and obtainable state of things. This is because in reality, impeachment would not solve the problems of insecurity, and underdevelopment, but, lead to a distraction of the executive from captaining the ship of the nation – the ripple effect of which would be felt by the generality of the populace.
My lords, if there is any attire too cheap to be worn today, it is that of myopia. We are not oblivious of the killings, and accidents that have taken place. Neither do we seek to avoid the fact that the nation’s security is not as uptight as it ought to be. But in assessing the development of a country, various metrics are considered on the plate of togetherness. In determining whether President Muhammadu Buhari should be impeached, we should not just consider security, and blind ourselves to other determinants. It would interest you to know that the Buhari led government has, in fact, made certain progresses. However, people have just decided to turn away from these.
Under this administration, Nigeria exited its worst recession in decades. After five quarters of negative growths, the economy bounced back into positive territory. More so, Nigeria saw bumper of food harvest, especially in rice whose local production continues to rise significantly. In fact, Nigeria rose 24 places on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings, and earned a place on the list of top 10 reformers in the world. But no, Nigerians would not see these. All they choose to see is an insensitive government, a failed president. My lords, as much as the government has not levelled up with expectations that does not translate to outright failure.
Let’s face it. Let’s assume Buhari gets impeached, what exactly do we stand to gain? I can categorically say that the only thing that would change is the country would no longer be led by Buhari. That is all. Every other thing that obtains still stands a high chance of persisting. There is absolutely no guarantee that the person that replaces Buhari would do any better. In fact, it could get worse. This, thus, validates the problem goes far beyond the shores of impeachment.
In a country like Nigeria, where judicial processes are easily frustrated, and where no president has ever been impeached, should we even think of impeaching Buhari? My lords, I make bold to say it is a waste of time – one which could be better on making better laws by the National Assembly, and addressing pending cases in the court of law. Interestingly, the impeachment process could span from now till the time his tenure in office would lapse. Hence, if truly Nigerians see reasons not to have Buhari as their President, why not wait for few months – behind which 2019 elections are hidden – and then decide with their thumb what they want? But, while that persists, a devil we know may be better than an angel we don’t. No further arguments, your honour.
“Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.” — Mark Twain.
Tuesday, June 5, 2018, after three hours of back and forth ratiocination in the floor of the National Assembly, amidst growing concern of the doubles of troubles facing the country, there was a move for the impeachment of the President. In those three hours of deliberations, nine resolutions were made. Else, the legislature cautioned, “the National Assembly will not hesitate to evoke its constitutional power if nothing is done to discuss the bulk of resolutions passed today.” Your Honour, many days have passed after these resolutions were made by the lawmakers yet the gloomy Nigerian skyline hasn’t cheered up. When shall we then cut the President some slack by serving him the peppered meal of impeachment? Your Honour, for reasons that will follow, I strongly believe that impeaching the President is the way to go, and now is the time to go that way.
What more can we say? Nigeria is far from being a haven for Nigerians. This year’s May, Nigeria took the lead in the international league of extreme poverty: 87 million Nigerians, almost half of the population, as reported by the World Poverty Clock, are extremely poor. In fact, more than anywhere in the world, extreme poverty in Nigeria is increasing by six people every minute. We do not need binoculars to see that the President has failed us and the earlier we flush him out the better for us.
Talk of security, the one the President has always flaunted his quick braggadocio upon, Nigeria has been far from being a place where you can sleep with no eye open. In the first 10 weeks of this year alone, death pill was forced down the throat of 1,351 people. Nigeria, of 163 countries, has hovered around the 148th and 149th positions in past two years of Global Peace Index. Death toll keeps tiptoeing to the heavens high; kidnaps here and there; bandits rampage is on the ascendency; herdsmen and farmer crisis is unabating. Yet, the smartest comment Mr President could mouth is “Nobody can say we haven’t done well in terms of security; we have done our best. But the way the situation is now, we have to pray”. This shows cluelessness. It shows a President who doesn’t seem to have answers to potpourri of problems plaguing the nation. Since he can’t honourably bow out, then the available and other viable option is impeachment!
Of course, I agree that impeaching the President especially in this clime of ours is harder than winning a race with a cheetah. Because it is hard to impeach a sitting president is the exact reason the President should be impeached. Placing the President on the troll of “vote of no confidence” does a lot of checkmating in placing the septuagenarian on his toes. It is similar to a student “promoted on trial”; if he is in his right senses, such student would strive hard enough to stand the trial of being promoted on merit. This is what Buhari needs.
Away from the ambit of the aforementioned, one of the ultimatum given to the President is the strict adherence to the rule of law. Unfortunately ours is a President who has held the Leader of Shiite group, El-Zakzaky, and his wife in detention for long without trial. Namadi Sambo too was in detention without been charged to court for long. Under his stint as the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic, many journalists have been stung by various molestation from security personnel. In April, as against the stipulation of the law of the land, the Office of the Presidency purchased a $496million aircraft without the ratification or the approval of the lawmakers. Your Honour, the President’s list for the disregard of the law is inexhaustible. And you know what? It is the law Buhari disregards that can be used in teaching him what says the law and how sacrosanct laws are. And the language of the law that teaches best here is impeachment. Impeach the President and he learns.
By and large I have not come to completely coat the strides of the President in the colours of shadows. No. Neither have I come here to drum the beat of rebellion against the numero uno citizen of this great land. Never. But what I strongly believe and have come to affirm today is that the administration of President Muhammad Buhari has gotten to a stage that the tide of national control is out of its .reach, and such, for everyone – myself, yourself and the “unborn selves” – impeaching the President is one of the effective ways to put things right. Nigeria must be great, again.
CONCLUSION: This column is about you; it presents the two sides of a case courtesy of two writers from different schools of thought. “Audi partem” means hear the other side before passing your judgment. Take the gavel, make your decision and slam because you are the judge in this courtroom. You can also vote for the scribe whose argument you adjudge better by using the vote toggle below.
SHOULD BUHARI BE IMPEACHED?
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