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Adamawa's Impeachment: Can The Body Polity Stand The Heat? By John Danfulani

July 17, 2014


In their separate updates on Facebook,two Nigeria’s social media czars, former ministers during Obasanjo's era, and kingpins of ruling party PDP and opposition APC Malam Nasir Ahmad El-rufai and Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode piqued the impeachment train has left Adamawa and heading to other states. El-rufai lamented this development in this fashion "We will fight this with every drop of blood, and as I wrote earlier, we will see how this ends. Nigerian has been there before". Mr. Fani-Kayode was cherry of the development and revealed States that the train of ousting State Chief Executives will soon stopover. It can be summed up as: E-rufai is crying while Fani-Kayode is jubilating. 

Reading the thin blue lines in Fani-Kayode's outburst, impeachment of recalcitrant opposition Governors is a design by his party using the federal might. The forecast shows that, by the time they are through with the last opposition in their targeted States, they will reclaim their lost states- and even make inroad into terrains like Borno that has naturally been a clime of opposition since inception of this democracy in 1999.

In a democracy, plotting the fall of opponents is a norm, including impeachment. Sure, no doubt about it. Much of it is done through mobilizing the mandate givers in election periods or during referendums to deny incumbents fresh mandates or refuse questions relating to continuity of governments in a referendum. Even with this, there are laid down processes that must be followed to make them credible and acceptable within and outside those political geographies.

Some comments/questions to ponder on:

1) Can what happened in Adamawa, which was clearly said to be a ruling party's agenda of reclaiming lost territories stand the test of credibility and the law? 

2) Is it a norm and something permit-table for a kingpin of a ruling to make public outbursts and tell others outside his constituency that they will be goners pretty soon as pronounced by citizen Fani-Kayode?

3) If the planned impeachment rolled without hitches, is that sinking deeper our root of democracy or starving it of needed nutrients which is found in the existence of opposition in a body polity?

4) In politics, Newtonian Third Law of motion is a golden rule most actors observed like a religious right. If the opposition reacts in equal proportion, will the body polity stand the heat without suffocation that might snatched life out of it?

Without any fear of contradiction, I think making impeachment of opposition Governors part of 2015 game plan is by PDP or their "opposition terminating gang" wrong and scarce of any scintilla of civility. This is by no means advocating that, Governors that committed impeachable infractions should not have a noose tied round their kleptocratic necks and hang in line with provisions of the law. What I don't agree with is external engineering of those responsible for the impeachment through use of party solidarity or back channel means that the law abhors.

I beseech the "monsters" to thread softly because their actions is capable of capsizing the democratic ship, the high seas might look stable but nobody knows the type of storm their victories will brew. The Federal Government's meddlesomeness in South West in the First Republic and a repeat of the process in the Second Republic contributed strongly to the collapsed of those republics. May history not repeat itself.


Danfulani, a political scientist teaches at Kaduna State University