Our thoughts determine our emotions, and how we feel about our thoughts determine our actions. It is time to act on how we feel about our freedom and democracy. The REVOLUTION of values and it's attendant consequences has become increasingly important to the African nations with countries like Mali, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and a host of other troubled Nations in focus, including: Zimbabwe, South Sudan where the word DEMOCRACY only exists in the dictionary. Gross violations of Human Rights and abductions, torture and murdering of anyone who is against corruption. There is no Press freedom at all.
We can't be doing the same thing, same way and expect a different result. The reason why the current gladiators and their supporters suddenly became paranoid about the word "REVOLUTION" which in itself by dictionary definition is not "an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed." It's about that time we all face the "inconvenient truth."
Take a look at the current situation in Nigeria today as a case study. Nepotism has been elevated to statecraft. Where in a secular country the headship of the three arms of government and nearly all the security forces are dangerously in favour of a particular religion and region to the detriment of the other sections and religions? This has become increasingly difficult for a genuine interest, cohesion and greater unity to enable us to manage our diversity as a nation. We all know the "inconvenient truth" that Nigeria needs to be purged of these elements of nepotism, tribalism, greed corruption and other similar vices and some of it inhabitants.
African continent is full of unimaginable numbers of despots and dictators oppressing its citizens. Coups seems normal as exploitation, plundering of resources, squandering of riches, lawlessness, recklessness and corruption is a default way for self enrichment. Government positions aren't considered as a privilege to serve, rather an avenue to become stupendous rich at the expense of the society.
The beautiful continent of Africa is rich in natural resources and human per capita but poor in minds. Politics doesn't improve as the year goes by but decaying for making only the current dictators stupendously rich. Cry beloved continent, mama Africa. In rethinking, redefining, repositioning, repainting the image of Africa and rewrite our history; again Nigeria plays a pivotal role in all of the above.
Nigeria As A Nation On Auto-pilot:
The executive branch of government is incapacitated, completely insensitive of the plight of the malnourished children and it's citizens and very divisive. The judiciary arm of the government is compromised by reasons of the scheming and anti-democratic tendencies of the executive branch of government.
It should be recalled that the current chief justice of Nigeria, Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad CFR was railroaded into office for a hatchet job of which he delivered "Technicalities." In July 17, 2019, as part of the process for his confirmation as Chief Justice of Nigeria, Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad CFR was drilled by the members of the National Assembly on several issues pertaining to the administration of Justice in the country.
The Chief Justice had been asked a question by the Senate Majority Leader, Eyinnaya Abaribe, to explain if the Supreme Court under his watch would be more concerned with delivering judgments based on the merit of cases or technicalities of such cases. In response, however trying to define technicality, defined technicality as something technical and went ahead to compare a technicality with the inability of a judge to effectively fly an aeroplane.
He said, "There are technicalities in Nigerian laws because the laws were inherited from the British." The Chief Justice said he could not “drive a plane” because of the technicalities involved, adding that: “If something which is technical comes before the court, what we do in trial courts is to ask people who are experts in that field to come and testify. We rely on their testimony because they are experts in that field.’’
The Chief Justice did fail in his response. Even a law school student would have done better. Apart from the controversy surrounding his actual age which has been a subject of litigation, his health status is a serious issue of concern. During his screening process at parliament, before he became the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria, he was so incoherent and completely out of point during the process.
This brings to the fore the question of both his mental health and well-being, which has become increasingly important to examine the state of mind and physical health status by an independent medical board, given the situation on ground. It's funny a Chief Justice doesn't know that planes are flown not driven. The legislature is near non-existing for the reasons of corruption and compromise.
The Independence of The Judiciary In Nigeria Has Been An Issue:
The Nigerian Judiciary is under siege from politicians, particularly the government of Major General Muhammad Buhari, both in the military and civilian era. Major General Muhammadu Buhari hasn't for once masked his disrespect for the judiciary, moving beyond rhetorics to having many judges homes raided by the officials of the secret service (headed by his kinsman) on charges of corruption.
We lost it completely during the drama of the removal of Justice Walter Samuel Onnoghen, the then Chief Justice of Nigeria; a Christian from the Southern part of Nigeria, and the only Southerner heading one of the three arms of government. This is to pave the way for a much more amenable Northern Muslim Justice purposely for a hachet job. Appointments are done based on loyalty not competence; and that's why we are stuck with mediocrity for the foreseeable future. “The law of attraction says like attracts like" which explains why Muhammadu Buhari is a magnet for mediocrities.
The consequences of the removal of Justice Walter Samuel Onnoghen former Chief Justice of Nigeria is currently haunting us as a nation. An action carried out by Major General Muhammad Buhari himself, hiding behind an Exparte order issued by a tribunal chairman of code of conduct, an equivalent of a Magistrate court. It was a shame of a Nation. It was a complete desecration of an institution that is sacred and that desecration is still haunting us as a Nation.
Past Chief Justices of blessed memories: Hon. Justice Taslim Olawale Elias CFR, GCON, Hon. Justice Atanda Fatai-Williams CON, GCON, Chukwudifu Oputa GCON, Udo Udoma, Anthony Aniagolu, Mohammed Bello GCON, and Ayo Gabriel Irikefe, SAN OFR, CON, GCFR will all be crying in their grave, lamenting the state of Nigeria Judiciary situation.
The appointment process of Judges must be taken out of the purview of politicians having been abused. In this regard, we must amend the constitution to leave Judiciary appointment to the judiciary authorities alone. So, as to avoid conflicts of interest and a repeat of the ugly situation of the recent past and interference from the executive branch. The current Judiciary system cannot be said to be independent of the executive branch of government given that the current Chief Justice of Nigeria was a preferred person; considering the way and manner that he was railroaded through the back door. The financial independence of the Judiciary is equally important.
The Clarion Call:
Africans need to wake up and smell the coffee, hold our leaders past and present accountable and demand for a responsive leadership across board.
Never before, in the history of our dear nation, has there been a great need for change in every facet of our national live than now. Otherwise, the next four years is going to be the most incompetent in the history of this country. Incompetent Presidency,
Incompetent legislative and incompetent Judiciary. Recent Supreme court decisions, particularly the Imo State Governorship ruling as a classic example.
The redemption much needed is yet to be gotten because if there is a protest, people either get shot or the leader are going to be bribed and he will remain silent. The redemption much needed....people are not allowed to have peaceful demonstrations to express their dissatisfaction, And typical of all Dictatorships, people either get shot at, thrown behind bars and denied bail, get poisoned, during their incarceration, e.g. not only in Nigeria, but its much more prevalent in Zimbabwe etc How long are we going to remain silent in this manslaughter and abusive ways? How long are we going to keep selling our future? My heart bleeds for our beloved country Nigeria.
Leaders have a legal right to correct the ills in the society through the constitution. The people have legal rights to correct the wrongs in the society through protests, civil disobedience, strikes, revolts and revolutions. Let's not just rant on the internet, in the comfort of our rooms hidden from the possible fall out of the so called "revolution." We must take conscious step to change our sad reality. We must consciously avoid the road to Mali and focus more on the way to Kigali.
Given the natural resources which Nigeria and the rest of Africa are endowed with, no citizen should go to bed on an empty stomach, "HOPE '93 SLOGAN" President Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola GCFR on my mind; but alas with all the wealth we have more than three quarters of the population live below the PDL-( Poverty Datum Line), and ironically these same people after getting a few Naira and Party Tshirts during election time, will forget about their day to day struggles and vote back their oppressors. What people seem to overlook is that food, shelter, clean water, basic healthcare constitutes Human Rights.
In February 2011, Major General Muhammadu Buhari urged Nigerians to emulate and be prepared for a REVOLUTION like that of Egyptians which led to the death of over 800 people. Three years later, the same Major General Muhammadu tagged the same revolutionary actions by Omoyele Sowore as a treasonous offence. These are same people whom were in the opposition before 2015 general election.
The Judiciary is heavily flawed and justice can never be meted out accordingly. Criminals seem to have more rights than their victim's, its in essence the law of the jungle, a survival of the fittest scenario where as Alan Paton once wrote: some animals are much more equal than others.
In November 2014, at a mega protest tagged "Salvation Rally" with thousands of party supporters in Abuja. He accused the People’s Democratic Party, PDP-led Federal Government of playing politics with Boko Haram and also accused Former President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP of gross incompetence and unprecedented display of impunity. But today, he's finding it extremely difficult to tolerate his own cup tea he has served others.
These were some of his words at the mega protest, "APC is out to make sure that we stop lousy system by voting PDP out. Vote out the PDP next year. If you want a secure and efficient Nigeria, you just have to do that. No alternative. Make sure you get your permanent voters’ cards.”
Major General Muhammad Buhari, in his days as a full-blown Dictator and now as a pretentious Democrat is a well known person who engages in divisiveness, religious bigotry and drudgery. A new Nigeria requires a revolution of values and change of plan and pacesetter that are ready to bring change. It will be unfair and shameful to pass the current state of our nation to the next generation just the way our parents bequeathed it to us.
Conclusively, we call on world bodies, friends of Africa and men of good conscience to take more than a passing interest in the Nigeria situation, and the rest of the troubled Nations in Africa, because we need to avoid the road to Mali and be a positive influence on the smaller nations of continent.
Richard Olanrewaju Odusanya
Convener, Africa Covenant Rescue Initiative (ACRI) By Richard Odusanya