An Open Letter To President Muhammadu Buhari – Alaafin Of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III
Yoruba Question in Nigeria Conundrum
I have never been timid or shy of my total support for the success of your administration to deliver the country to the Promised Land.
My confidence had always been based on Your Excellency’s ability, fitness and competence in leading the country to the Promised Land, where Law and Order prevail, individual liberty is guaranteed, economic well-being of the citizens is assured.
That my confidence in Your Excellency remains unshaken to date. In recent time however, I am worried about the security situation in the country, especially in the South West geo-political zone, nay the entire Yoruba-speaking area of the country including Kwara, Kogi and Edo states.
This has to do with the incessant and increasing menace of Fulani herdsmen that have laid siege in almost all the highways of Yoruba land. Whether in Owo, Akure, Ilesa/Ife-Ibadan road or Ibarapa zone and Ijebu area of Ogun state, the story is the same.
I have held series of consultations with opinion moulders and eminent Yoruba leaders across board about the menace of these cattle herdsmen with such assault like raping of our women and in some occasions, in the presence of their husbands. That is apart from massive destruction of our agricultural lands; which ultimately points to imminent starvation.
On top of it all is the menace of professional kidnappers usually in military uniforms. What is more worrisome about the kidnapping notoriety is what looks like impunity which these kidnappers enjoy their nefarious activities.
After due consultations with Yoruba leaders and as the pre-colonial head of the Yoruba nation, we are worried by the audacity of these lawless people in effecting their illegal acts in broad daylight on our usually bushy highways without any arm of security being able to do anything.
Worse still is the confidence with which they demand ransoms and collect such illegal levies at the designated spots without any arm of security being able to lay siege on them as it was the practice in the recent past.
Now, we cannot even talk of parading suspects, when in actual sense, no major arrests have been made in this part of the country. Without arrests, we cannot talk of their facing of the law.
Unfortunately, and painfully indeed, in the face of the apparent helplessness of our security agencies, where do we go from here?
It is at the wake of this manifest frustration of our people that our people have found it unavoidable, even though reluctantly to resort to alternative measures to safeguard their lives and property.
Suffice to say that is most part of Yoruba land, their pre-colonial military structures have not been totally collapsed. Hence, such structures like Odua People’s Congress, Agbekoya and other vigilance groups.
Having stated the above, and having established my premise as a stakeholder in your administration in the firm belief that we all believe in the Nigeria project, kindly permit me, Mr President, to make the following points and submissions as the Alaafin of Oyo, the King and Head of all Yoruba at home and in the diaspora and the Chief Custodian of Yoruba culture and values.
The people of Yorubaland in the traditional six State of the South-West geo-political zone and extending to some parts of Kogi, Kwara and Edo State live in palpable fear because of new wave of insecurity of life and property they now witness on a daily basis and which is alien to them. This new uncomplimentary development is not unrelated to the new wave of criminal activities usually associated with banditry, armed robbery and lately, kidnapping and rape of genuinely innocent and law abiding citizens.
I remember when these nefarious activities were first noticed in Oyo/Oke Ogun area of Oyo State, I took proactive steps to stem the tide and to amicably normalize relations between farmers and herders. Our initiative succeeded because we were dealing with genuine farmers and herders who had a commitment to Nigeria and who were interested in promoting their economic activities in a peaceful, prosperous and united Nigeria.
However, it is becoming obvious that the nature and character of banditry and kidnapping today are different from what they used to be.
Today, it is not merely infraction in the course of doing business, but blatant and criminal violation of the constitutional right to life and liberty of innocent citizens of Yoruba land. A few publicly known instances will suffice.
Certain individuals were kidnapped along Erio-Aromoko road, Ekiti State. They were tortured and exposed to danger in the forest for upward of two weeks.
These victims included the Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, Ikole Branch, Adeola Adebayo whose decomposing body was eventually found after a ransom price of four million Naira had been paid.
Two officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps both Yoruba were picked up along Ilesa-Akure highway. In the process of this kidnap, an unnamed individual died.
Musibau Adetumbi, a legal practitioner based in Ibadan was going to attend an Appeal Court session in Akure when he was kidnapped along Ilesa-Akure highway. Professor Adegbehingbe, a surgeon at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-ife was adopted along Ibadan-Ile-ife highway. Dr. Muslim Omoleke, the Administrative Secretary of the National Electoral Commission was kidnapped around Ilesa, Osun State.
Mr Ayo Oladele, an employee of Guinness Nigeria and an Old Student of Christ School, Ado-Ekiti was adopted and taken away and lately, Dayo Adewole, son of a member of your 2015-2019 executive council and Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole was kidnapped on his farm at Iroko, a village along Ibadan-Oyo road.
There are many other instances of kidnapping, raid, rape and banditry not publicly known but which were reported to the Police and other law enforcement organizations.
As ugly as the picture above seems to be, the people of Yoruba land have remained generally peaceful and have resisted concerted efforts to push them into civil disobedience or adopting self-help mechanisms to protect themselves in their homeland.
They have demonstrated confidence in you and in your ability to stem the tide of these criminal activities. Yoruba have been restrained from believing the new found Islamization or Fulanization theory.
I am therefore writing to you, as a concerned stakeholder in your administration, to alert you and demonstrate to you, the urgency of the need to quickly respond to these and other issues concerning Yoruba land.
There is a general impression among opposition group that you are not known to take decisive and proactive steps in many matters of national interest and that you are not usually too disturbed about the gale of insecurity in Yoruba land.
May I also share with you the outcome or product of my wide consultations in Yoruba land to let you know, beyond what official security reports will make available to you, that there is a growing feeling of frustration, disappointment and despondency among our people, which if not immediately addressed, could lead to other serious national catastrophes and security challenges.
The present state of insecurity is posing enormous challenges to people’s engagements in other economic activities. The incessant and increasing menace on our highways and farms in Yoruba land is making farming and other economic activities hazardous and dangerous.
I recall with sadness that the Old Oyo Empire disintegrated because the slave trade introduced insecurity that made all other economic activities which had supported and enhanced the prosperity of Oyo to decline. It is never my wish that any part of Nigeria will ever go through this harrowing experience again.
Apart from massive destruction of farms and crops planted on them, the new wave of Fulani, pretending and disguising as herders have unleashed a reign of terror on Yoruba land.
They destroy crops, they kidnap men and women, violate and rape our women, right in the presence of their husbands. What this portends id definitely more than the simplistic interpretation of farmer/herder clash but the deliberate acts of hostility and criminality.
What makes it worrisome is the fact that for reasons best known to the Police establishment, they have not been apprehending or pretend to be in the defence of victims.
There is always a tendency to blame the victims and demonstrate helplessness in apprehending and bringing perpetrators to book to face the full wrath of the law.
It is even said, Mr President that these criminal pseudo herders go about their nefarious activities in broad daylight and many times in military uniform. They carry sophisticated weapons, the likes of which are only available to state actors.
There seems to be no doubt that the security apparatus of the country is both overstretched and rustic.
The philosophy of policing the State, protecting life and property and ensuring the existence of atmosphere that is conducive to life and living in Nigeria is lost on the security personnel. In Yoruba land, we are scared and worried about the outrageous audacity and effrontery of these criminal elements in carrying out their activities and without any challenge by security operatives.
In situation where money exchanged hands, the Police are adequately equipped to trace every paper money issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria. Intelligence gathering concerning money paid as ransom should lead, finally to these criminals since they would eventually make transactions with the proceeds of their illicit and criminal activities.
As no major arrest of Fulani pseudo herdsmen has been made till date in Yoruba land, suspects cannot be paraded, let alone arraigned.
Even threatened a sitting traditional ruler and asked him to comply with certain directives go about as if they are indeed above the law and beyond arrest. It is unheard of that the State could be seemingly helpless in the face of these criminal assaults on its integrity and capacity to carry out the most sacred of its mandate; preserving life and property.
Mr President, let me assure you that the Yoruba people traditionally have what it takes to defend themselves and interests against all enemy attacks. What is of immediate concern is the possibility of these traditional self-help mechanisms of defence to conflict with legal and constitutional framework of the security organizations.
This is indeed my greatest fear, recluse the situation is fast degenerating into what could trigger complete breakdown of law and order under a constitutional state arrangement. Thus latent frustration must be nipped in the bud to avert a breakdown of the state system in Yoruba land.
I am aware that members of the Odua People’s Congress scattered all over the world are already being mobilized to stand in the defence of their land and are ready, willing and able to raise an army of volunteers as was done in 1968 by the Agbekoya.
It is trite saying that a stitch in time saves nine. For me, and relying on ancient wisdom, the dilemma of a possible breakdown of state authority and power could still be managed and the slide to anarchy arrested.
Historically, and even now, ethnic relations between the Yoruba and the Fulani had been managed adroitly through excellent statesmanship and participatory administration of inter-ethnic group relations. I have had many instances of settling farmer/herder disagreements in my Palace to the extent of instituting workable modalities for inter communal conflict management and peace building.
What is strange is the new wave of criminally minded Fulani groups. What is again disappointing is the ease with which these criminals will leave our country should there be anarchy in the land.
They have other places to return to, but Nigerians don’t have another country apart from here.
This is a serious national emergency, when Fulani herdsmen are engaged in criminality all over the country and the sitting federal government seems helpless and generally unperturbed by what is going on in the security organizations. There is no doubt that some leaders of these security organizations are either incompetent or bankrupt of ideas. Some are even compromised to take any decisive actions against criminals.
What we are witnessing in Nigeria is an anomaly because it is inconceivable that in the 21st century, when the whole world is making appreciable progress in providing enhanced standard of living, Nigerians will be living under the fear of banditry, brigandage, rape, kidnapping and terrorism.
Insecurity is posing a direct threat and imminent danger to living in Nigeria. It is capable of de-robing the country in the comity of nations and passing it off as uncivilized and barbaric.
As more and more countries issue travel restrictions to Nigeria and parts thereof, it is just a matter of time for Nigeria to lose whatever gains it has made in repositioning itself for more decisive participation in the international system.
I trust that you will not allow this to happen and will quickly and decisively take immediate steps to re-established confidence in your government and demonstrate the capacity of the state to protect all legitimate interests.
I wish you God’s guidance, courage and wisdom to do what is right, appropriate and necessary to build the Nigeria of our dreams, where no ethnic group is oppressed or taken for granted.
While urging you to take out time to read and consider this letter as coming from a stakeholder in your administration, I wish to assure you of the warmest regards of the Royal stool.
Osun’s maladministration: When will Dr. Deji Adeleke address that press conference? By Ismail Omipidan
*Osun’s maladministration: When will Dr. Deji Adeleke address that press conference?*
*By Ismail Omipidan*
The popular saying, ‘Promises are like babies: easy to make, hard to deliver’ appears apt in situating the promise made in July last year by a business mogul and elder brother of current Osun Governor, Dr. Deji Adeleke, that he would be the first to address the press if his brother, Ademola Adeleke, derails in the administration of the state.
Ordinarily, if this unprovoked, unsolicited and solemn promise was made at any of the political gatherings, I probably would not have bothered to keep tab on it, let alone bring it to the knowledge of the public. But because it was made in an academic environment that does not tolerate frivolous claims, I feel duty bound to take Dr. Deji Adeleke to task on this matter. And if after today, he is unable to provide any credible and verifiable evidence as to why he is yet to address the press, I will never take him seriously again on any serious state matter.
I will also mobilise every right-thinking and discerning Osun citizen, every lover of liberty, democracy and free speech, every well wisher for Osun’s posterity, never to trust and believe Dr. Deji Adeleke again.
But if he decides to justify his criminal silence over the way Osun is currently being run and insist that the governor, his younger brother, is doing well, I would excuse him, since, like me, he is equally entitled to his opinion. I will only remind him that while comments are free, facts are indeed sacred.
To move forward, we must remind ourselves where we are coming from. It is time to think beyond party lines, and think Osun first, if indeed we are desirous of having a changed society.
I believe that it is not too late for Dr. Deji Adeleke to prevail on his brother to reconsider some of his administration’s bad policies and missteps that have become challenges to Osun and its people.
One of the challenges the State appears to be grappling with is the issue of Osun’s share of the Federal Government palliatives, which I addressed in my interview on Monday. After the interview went viral, instead of addressing the issues raised, the governor’s spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed, and some of his media handlers resorted to personal attacks. In fact, one of them called me a foreigner, simply because I was born in Benue State and had to work in the north before I was invited by my Principal, Adegboyega Oyetola, to join his team in 2019. Well, I am proud of my birth place, just as I am equally proud of my Ila Orangun origin.
In the interview under reference, I queried why Osun remains the only State in the South West that has not allowed the FG palliatives to impact on the people of the State, including the workers.
Interestingly, it took them several months after pocketing the funds before they admitted that they even received any fund. At the “Ipade Imole” held last month, the governor disclosed that the N2billion palliative fund received from the Federal Government would be spent on three projects, namely the purchase of additional buses to complement the buses in the pool of the state, the rehabilitation of health centres in the state and the purchase of food items for distribution to the people of the state. The government made it emphatically clear that there would not be any addition to workers’ salaries.
But after my Monday interview, I was embarrassingly surprised to wake up to a circular this morning, signed by Sunday Olugbenga Fadele, a Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Human Resources and Capacity Building. He revealed that workers in the service of the state would get a N15,000 wage award while pensioners would receive N10,000 and that the wage award will run for six months, beginning from the month of December. This is a welcome development and this is what we have been asking them to do since August this year.
However, I have a push back. Why give approval on November 28 and then set effective date in December? If the money is available, why the delay in disbursement? Again, at what point did the government change its mind? This is what I said about telling lies in public and political communications. For me, this latest summersault appears to vindicate my position on Monday that Osun workers are not smiling. I am sure they’ll wish for a better deal than what it is getting from the dancing and singing Governor, who unfortunately was not around on Monday to show the people of the state what he knows how to do best.
Well, as Osun citizens, whether you are for the PDP or APC, it is in our collective interest for the government to succeed. God forbid, if it fails, we will all pay dearly for it. Our state will pay for it and our children will never forgive Dr. Deji Adeleke and all those who collaborated to unleash an adult who had little or no working experience, on us in Osun to manage our affairs.
Osun must survive beyond APC and PDP, and we all must play our part if we truly want Osun to survive.
Omipidan writes from Abuja.
Osun: Adeleke’s government and reign of unchecked impunity By Waheed Adekunle
Saying impunity has become pervasive in Osun, a state once known as ‘State of the Virtuous’ is to say the least of the reigning illegality, unlawfulness and flagrant disobedience to the rule of law in the last one year of the current administration of Governor Ademola Adeleke.
In what appears ridiculous, appalling, nauseating, embarrassing and repulsive, the appointment, confirmation and installation of the card-carrying member and die-hard loyalist of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the Chairman of the state electoral umpire – Osun State Independent Electoral Commission (OSIEC) by Governor Adeleke led-government in the state had cleared all doubt that the state government is poised to get anything done, regardless of the illegality attached to it.
There’s no doubting the fact that the incumbent government has been glowing and blossoming in the pool of impunity, selfishly engraved in carte blanche since its inception in November last year.
A critical understanding of the happenings within the government circle since the emergence of Governor Adeleke would clear any sense of doubt and give an insight into the manifestation of the unchecked impunity that has become the order-of-the-day
The leadership style of the Governor as manifested in his inward and outward dispositions to governance is a pointer to the reign of impunity, abuse of power and flagrant disobedience to the rule of law overtime.
The inherent era of impunity that has become a ‘norm’ within the political circle and ruling class in the state, is perceived by many as a political maladroitness, repugnant and horrendous – far from logic, rational thinking and basic reasoning.
The menace which is now a ‘cancerous tumour’ to socio-economic growth and development of the state largely draws public attention when the Governor arbitrarily announced the dissolution of the members of the State Statutory Commissions and subsequently inaugurated his own people for same positions.
Starting on a revenge voyage and vengeful mission, the administration had left no one in doubt, the extent of its imminent expedition and total departure from the existing blueprint propounded by the successive governments; the decision, that is not only illogical or irrational but one far from proper reasoning and the propensities have now become a monster difficult to uproot.
Recall that the Adeleke’s government began with the declaration of diabolical Executive Orders targeted at suppressing the system, and permanently silencing the roared voices of the notable individuals perceived to serve as a clog in the wheel of its self-serving motives.
From the purposeless obnoxious Executive Orders to palpable malfeasance and ill-heartedness vis-a-vis its attendant ubiquitous display of impunity, the wheel of the state has been drifting off in retrogressive backwardness in the last twelve months.
It is on record that the Adeleke’s administration, having unlawfully distilled, suspended and ultimately dissolved the University of Ilesa Governing Council constituted by his predecessor, still went ahead to constitute a Review Committee with a view to unraveling what was perceived hidden in the conduct of the disbanded Council.
Though, the Adeleke’s reasons for the dissolution of the existing Governing Council as well as his self-serving conviction for constituting his own is not only untenable but amounts to unlawfulness and flagrant display of impunity going by the way and manner at which the exercise was carried out.
Governor Adeleke had erroneously appointed Professor Ashaolu Taiwo as the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Review Committee on Ilesa University to review the guidelines of the Implementation Committee constituted by his predecessor, the decision which was taken in contrary to the known extant laws governing Nigerian universities.
Sequel to this, precisely on 13th of May, 2023, the governor announced the appointment of the same Professor Ashaolu Taiwo as the pioneer Vice Chancellor of the Ivory tower without any official report of the Ad-hoc Review Committee being chaired by the same person to have properly informed the citizens on their findings.
No doubt, the government’s manipulative gimmick was to ease out members of the Project Technical and Implementation Committee and install its stooges as done in the case of the VC.
However, the appointment of the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Review Committee as the Vice Chancellor was not only an aberration but an abuse of power and political summersault in the art of governance going by the extant laws.
Knowing full well that former Governor Adegboyega Oyetola inaugurated the Governing Council for Ilesa University, ably led by the former Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, before the expiration of his tenure, of what benefit was the disbandment of the Council and appointment of another set of people as members of the Council by the Adeleke’s government?
The funniest part of the government’s decision was noticed when the Review Committee failed to make public its report but instead, jostling for the leadership positions of the University as seen in the case of the appointed VC which is in contrary to the extant laws governing the affairs of the universities in Nigeria.
Constitutionally, it is crystal clear from the provisions of the law that the appointment of a Vice Chancellor is the statutory responsibility of the Governing Council of any university.
Section (4) stipulates that: ‘The Council shall select and appoint as the Vice Chancellor one candidate from among the three candidates recommended to it under section (3) of this section and thereafter inform the Visitor i.e (President or Governor as the case may be)’.
Once the appointment has been made, by the Council, it is legally binding and effective without any input from either the President in the case of Federal University or Governor in the case of State University. The latter has no direct role to play in such appointment. The law only requires the Governing Council to inform him (President or Governor) of the appointment after the Council has made the appointment. It is for him to approve. The law doesn’t require him to do anything about the appointment.
From the above constitutional analysis, it can be easily inferred that in whatever way, any appointment of a Vice Chancellor made by the Governor like in the case of Osun, without recourse to the Governing Council is a breach of the extant laws and therefore patently illegal, null and void.
Ditto the execution of some roads that were not budgeted for in the state by the incumbent government, contrary to the dictates of the State Public Procurement Laws, 2015.
It is on record that some of the roads that were embarked on by the Adeleke’s administration were not captured in the 2023 Budget and there was no budgetary allocation for such, infact, there was no any record of supplementary budget as at the time some of those projects were being executed not until recently after works had begun on many of the projects that the state government presented supplementary budget to the State Assembly and even attempted to call for the bidding of a contract that had long been awarded.
Section 23 (1) Governing Rules on Public Procurement of Osun State Public Procurement Laws states that: ” Subject to the exceptions under this Law, all procurements carried out by any procuring entity shall be governed by the following rules: (a) open competitive bidding using clearly defined criteria, and offering to every interested bidder with equal information and opportunities to offer the works, goods and services needed.”
Paragraph (b) states that: “promotion of competition, economy, efficiency and equal opportunities to all parties who are eligible and qualified to participate in public contracts.” Paragraph (c) of the same law stipulates that: “executing in an effective, efficient, transparent, timely, equitable manner to ensure accountability which shall conform with the provisions of this Law and its Regulations with the aim of achieving value for money and fullness of purpose.”
While Paragraph (g) states that: “procurement plans shall be supported by prior budgetary appropriation; no procurement proceeding shall be formalized until the procuring entity has ensured that funds are budgeted and appropriated to meet the obligation.”
Subsection (2) states that: “all regulations, procedures and timelines to be prescribed pursuant to this Law and specified by the Agency from time to time shall always conform to the provisions of paragraphs (a)-(g) of subsection (1).
Evidently, all the aforementioned constitutional provisions were flagrantly flouted as at the time many of the awarded roads were being executed. Even the Commissioner for Information, Kolapo Alimi alluded to this on a radio programme where he admitted due process infractions on the ongoing construction of Akoda-Ede Oke-Gada Ede to Ofatedo-Prime area Osogbo dual carriage road, but argued that the move was based on the urgency.
It is disheartening that many of the roads being constructed in Ede in particular and the state in general were neither taken through Due Process nor part of the existing Budget inherited by the Adeleke’s government.
The ongoing construction of the dual-carriage road from Akoda-Ede/Oke-Gada Ede/Ofatedo/Prime area in Osogbo was glaringly not part of the existing Budget and there was no instance where the government came up with supplementary budget or presented same to the House as at the time the project commenced.
Similarly, both Statutory and Non-statutory members of boards and commissions appointed under the administration of former Governor Oyetola were arbitrarily disbanded as new members were appointed by the Adeleke’s government.
The affected boards are: Osun State Civil Service Commission, Osun State Judicial Service Commission, Osun State Independent Electoral Commission, Osun State House of Assembly Commission, Uniosun, Unilesa, Ospoly, Oscotech, Osun State College of Education, Ila-Orangun, Ilesa College of Health Technology, Local Government Service Commission, Hospital Management Board, State Universal Basic Education Board, OSBC, Pilgrims Welfare Boards, Tescom, Osun Council for Art and Cultural, Osun Tourism Board, Osun Internal Revenue, Osun Water Corporation and Osun State Local Government Education Authority (LGEAs) respectively.
It is quite unfortunate that the state government could take its impunity too far to the extent of disbanding the Statutory Commissions contrary to Sections 197, 198 and 201 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
According to section 197 (1) (a-c) “there shall be established for each State of the Federation the following bodies, namely- State Civil Service Commission; State Independent Electoral Commission; and State Judicial Service Commission.”
Section 197 (3) states that: “the Governor shall conform with the provisions of section 14(4) of this Constitution in appointing chairmen and members of boards and governing bodies of statutory corporations and companies in which the government of the state has controlling shares or interests and councils of universities, colleges and other institutions of higher learning.”
Also, Section 201 (1) stipulates that: “any person holding any of the offices to which this section applies shall not be removed from that office by the Governor of that State acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the House of Assembly of the State praying that he be so removed for inability to discharge the functions of the office (whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or any other case) or for misconduct.
Going by the aforementioned constitutional provisions, it is crystal clear that the state government erred in laws establishing the commissions.
Also, another bizarre move that appears irrational, illogical, overbearing and flagrant abuse of power, was the initial approval of the arbitrary suspension of the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Adepele Ojo by the Governor over alleged gross misconduct and abuse of office last week before same was stylishly and technically reversed.
The law is clear as to the appointment, discipline and removal of any judge. No Governor under whatever guise has such power to fire any sitting judge let alone a Chief Judge of the State.
For instance, Chapter 7. Part 4. Section 292 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria states: (1) a judicial officer shall not be removed from his office or appointment before his age of retirement except in the following circumstances:
a). In the case of
i). Chief Justice of Nigeria, President of the Court of Appeal, Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Grand Kadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and President, Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, by the President acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the Senate.
ii). Chief Judge of a State, Grand Kadi of a Sharia Court of Appeal or President of a Customary Court of Appeal of a State, by the Governor acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the House of Assembly of the State, praying that he be so removed for his inability to discharge the functions of his office or appointment (whether arising from infirmity of mind or of body) or for misconduct or contravention of the Code of Conduct;
b). In any case, other than those to which paragraph (a) of this subsection applies, by the President or, as the case may be, the Governor acting on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council that the judicial officer be so removed for his inability to discharge the functions of his office or appointment (whether arising from infirmity of mind or of body) or for misconduct or contravention of the Code of Conduct.
Besides, separate Supreme Court verdicts had affirmed the NJC as the only body, constitutionally empowered to investigate and recommend sanctions for judges.
The questions to ask are, under which constitutional provisions did Governor Adeleke gave his consent to the suspension of the Chief Judge on the recommendation of the House of Assembly in the first place before its reversal? Was the Governor and his legal aides not aware of the provisions of sections 4, 5 and 6 that stated clearly the powers limitations of the Arms of Government to prevent undue interferences in whatever form? Is he (Governor) not in the know that the NJC is the only body that could investigate and recommend sanctions for judges as affirmed by the Supreme Court in the recent similar cases?
It is unambiguous that a state government can not discipline, sanction or sack the Chief Judge of a state without recourse to the NJC as erroneously and ignorantly done by the Adeleke led-government. And if Adeleke claimed to have informed the NJC, as he later claimed, why didn’t he wait for the body to investigate the accused before assenting to her removal in the first instance?
This action could be best described as a display of ineptitude, incompetence, ignorance and lack of administrative acumen and governance prowess to administer the affairs of a state like Osun.
Assuming without conceding that there was a dilemma in the case of the CJ, what is the responsibility of the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice who is the Chief Custodian of the Laws in the State? The dispositions afterwards showed that they lack the requisite knowlege as he himself authored an arrant statement justifying the illegal act previously taken by the government.
There is no doubt in the fact that the incumbent government has taken Osun to the map of ridicule in the comity of states due to the way and manner her affairs are being managed under the ‘Dancing Governor’ in the last one year.
The House of Assembly has become a ready-made instrument in the hand of the Executive as it is not only rubber-stamping whatever comes before it but giving illegal backing to whatever that comes from the executive in violation of the principles of separation of powers and doctrine of checks and balances.
One would wonder if the House comprising 26 members did not know the limitations of their constitutional powers to have hidden under oversight functions of interfering in the affairs of an independent arm (Judiciary).
Though the whole scenario is a ‘good riddance to bad rubbish’ as it further exposes the government the more and shows clearly the rots in the system, it is impunity of the highest order being perpetrated by the ruling class.
If it were to be in a saner clime, government officials would have taken cognisance of the similar cases in Sokoto, Rivers and Kwara states respectively vis-a-vis the Supreme Court verdicts in that regards.
As much as discerning citizens are passionately disappointed at the current situation in the state, the respite is in the fact that no one can give what he or she doesn’t have let a lone a government that is erected on the pillar of hypocrisy, falsehood and propaganda.
The due process was deliberately jettisoned by the two arms to pave way for their sinister motives and hatchet jobs just for political reasons. Posterity beckons, and the discerning citizens are taking copiously the record of events under the current administration.
Fingers shall continue to be crossed. Truth shall continue to be told. Sanctity and legality shall continue to be defended. Discerning minds shall continue to watch painstakingly and meticulously, and as well study unfolding events as government continues to administer the affairs of the state.
The end would definitely justify the means as our dear state strives to be rescued from the shackles of retrogressive backwardness.
May God heal our land!
Wike, Fubara Imroglio – A Tale of Two Governors?
The recent face-off between ex-Governor Nyelson Wike and his god-son successor of Rivers State South-South Nigeria, Similayi Fubara, belies the Opaque condescending posture of a manipulated democratic governance in the country today, where Rulers exhibit an all is well attitude when everything about them is amiss. Governance as a result, is often reduced to a chess game of money sharing among gladiators in the corridors of power.
The political actors wield powers with least concern for the hapless citizens, trade their collective destiny for their comfort and those of few mindless oligarchs, their families and hangers on.
Rivers is on Keliglights as an oil-producing state, where power mongers deploy political muzzles for political ends. It is a story of “grab Rivers and possess the key to her vault”. This is why elections in Rivers State are acrimoniously contested among major political parties, and fuelled by god-fathers in ferenetic war of attrition and destruction.
The political crisis in the oil-rich state might not have been so worrisome but for the depth of rot exhibited by the two power contenders for control, with dire consequences on peace and well-being of Indigenes and residents of the State.
Ex-Governor Wike and his successor have by their utterances, and demeanors betrayed every sense of decorum, integrity and disposition to good governance.
The Ex-Governor was accused of demanding a monthly return of twenty five (25%) percent of the state internally generated revenue. Wike was accused of extending absolute dictatorship, (a hall-mark of his Administration) to the political governance of his successor. This is believed to have made the Executive, Legislative and Judicial operators to kowtow in subjugation to the Lord Mayor of Abuja.
The inference is that, Similayi Fubara is Governor of Rivers State in name. His, is the first worse case scenario of a Governor de-robed of real power, whose decisions are not his, and who is rail-roaded into appending his signatures on documents approved by Master Wike in Abuja.
Inspite of the proclivity of Nigeria’s democracy for absurdities made of it by its political godfathers, the public exposure of Ex-Governor Nyelson Wike’s Jugular hold on Rivers State for Eight (8) years and his penchant for its continuation in the Fubara Governorship makes nonsense of succession principle in democracy.
Similayi Fubara may go down in history as the worst lame-duck Governor, having condescended to rule under a shadowy god-father, who initiates and approves decisions on where funds appertaining to the state are funneled.
Speculations are rife that Rivers State Government was handed to Fubara after he agreed to sign certain documents which purportedly gave Wike the power to appoint key officers in the Executive arm, nominated virtually all members of the State Legislature, apart from Influencing appointments into ministries, parastatals and agencies of government.
Why did Similayi Fubara sign such documents? Is he not aware of its consequences? The attempt to question his god-father and the melee that ensued can thus be described as Fubara’s last ditch effort to save his job and political career. The same may be applicable to Nyelson Wike who is unwilling to brook any challenge to his authority or allow a mutilation of his political structure and dominance in Rivers State.
Rivers State is in the eyes of the world today unfortunately for wrong reasons. No thanks to the supremacy battle between a Governor who wants to truly govern and a god-father who wants to rule two states.
The control for the soul of Rivers State is a rehash of the 18th Century storming of the Bastilles, by Revolution insurgents, recruited from the ranks of ordinary, lowly-placed French Parisians.
The medieval armory fortress and political prison fell, after four (4hrs) hours of bloody fight that left ninety four (94) soldiers dead. The takeover of Bastille has become an enduring chapter in the history of the French Revolution and a symbol of resistance to absolutism and freedom for the oppressed.
Is Similayi Fubara attempting to replicate the 14th July, 1789 French history of resistance? Can he succeed? Subsequent developments will tell, but not until either of the two gladiators get each down.
A Creative Writer and Media Consultant based in Osogbo
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