By Adekunle Kingsley Obolo
Nigerians are not averse or repulsive to criticism, but they obviously deplore aspersions based on censorious falsehood intended to denigrate and portray the President as lacking the essential qualifications and competence necessary for the exalted office. Any act of filibustering by the House of Representatives dominated by members of the President’s party is an unconventional democratic practice.
This belligerent behaviour can be described as anti-party activity. Therefore, under the Presidential system of government, party supremacy ought to take its course and those found culpable should be eased out of the party to look for another platform to actualize their ambition.
This is a parliament made up of close to 2/3 majority in both houses, yet they have turned it to a bureau of opposition, where brickbats, tantrums and contrived manipulation of their assigned constitutional role are so manifestly apparent as to classify them as the most hostile opposition in the world, but why? Because they have seen a most refined, cultured, scholastic, dedicated, well-groomed and hardworking President, who believes in the uniqueness of humanity, and never reacts on impulse, but is meticulous in action and deeds.
This man has not deliberately invoked the instrumentality of his office (power-wise) to suppress, intimidate, or coarse the citizens into following his line of action. Here we are in an unusual political situation, where the ruling party has become the whipping boy in the hands of the opposition, while the opposition is given pre-eminence and prominence in media coverage that is so subjective and biased that veracity and objectivity are noted for their absence.
By our own standard performance rating of this government, the governor of Akwa-Ibom State appears the best performing governor in terms of provision of basic infrastructures, scholarship awards, extending civilization to the less fortunate, construction, maintenance and opening up of new roads that links the rural communities, building of new estates and sale of these buildings at affordable rates, providing transportation for easy movement, buying several cars, buses and allocating just 16% of what is accruable to the state in the budget on recurrent expenditure, where capital expenditure remains the highest in the country, free education, and free medical care for his people.
Yet, the opposition party championed by the current House of Representatives leadership demonized his party, the PDP, as one of the never-do-well parties in Nigeria in collusion with the inveterate enemies of peace and progress within the polity. Why is it difficult for the House of Representatives to confine itself within its limits of 1999 Constitution? Why do they want to perform the role of the Executive, Legislature and even the Judiciary in the discharge of their functions, which is not in total agreement with what is enshrined in the constitution?
What is the hidden agenda? Is it to prepare grounds for the impeachment of President Jonathan before the 2015 general elections, on a spurious allegation that cannot stand the test of Law and reason? How can the National Assembly subject the President to continued witch-hunting by questioning the impropriety inherent in the conduct of government business? Granted that the constitution vested them with oversight duties, does it also ascribe to them the function of the Executive? Or, are they expected to interpret the laws?
The Boko Haram insurgency is threatening the corporate existence of Nigeria by the wanton destruction of lives and property, yet these barbaric acts have not touched the leadership of the House. What Nigerians expect of the lawmakers is to relocate to their various constituencies where the sect is wreaking havoc on the populace and advise to sheathe their swords. In states like Borno, Yobe, Kano, Bauchi, Plateau, Adamawa, Sokoto, Zamfara, Gombe, etc. the lawmakers from these states are enjoying the votes that granted them legitimacy to represent the people of their constituencies, or are they claiming ignorance that some members of the Boko Haram did not vote for them?
Our understanding of the constitution shows that they have overstepped their bounds and because they have seen a promising possibility of equating Jonathan’s simplicity with stupidity, it is pivotally essential for them to rubbish him so that his electoral values would diminish. But let it be clear to all and sundry that those who want to succeed Jonathan would not come from the environment where the Boko Haram are wreaking havoc, because they placed absolutely no premium on human lives and values, and they would not expect states that have been upholding the true ethics of democratic norms to make themselves available for exploitation by those who ascribe to themselves the monopoly of power to rule Nigeria forever.
For the records, there are many brilliant and credible leaders from the North who can rule with the fear of God and malice towards none, but they should rededicate their struggles by stemming the tide of this contrived violence unleashed on innocent Nigerians. If they are not in a position to contain the embarrassment of these barbaric killers, they probably would find it difficult, if not impossible to secure the votes of Nigerians outside the North-West and the North-East regions.
Therefore, any pretension to the contrary would be a costly political mistake. The Jonathan administration has set machinery in motion t redress the imbalance in the system and is trying to revitalize the society on the path of what is good and right, but if the current belligerency and combativeness of political jobbers continues, I am afraid the current nuisances we have in the system would lose out.
If Jonathan can complete all the projects he has set for himself, Nigerians would decide whether to endorse him for 2015. But, until then Nigerians are watching. •Ambassador Dr. Adekunle Kingsley Obolo is President-General, National Support for Jonathan/Sambo Presidency. 08033490401 sms only.