By Zik GBEMRE
With the recent news that Senators pushing for the removal of President Goodluck Jonathan have set December 16, 2014 as the date to set their plan rolling, we consider it expedient to sound this note of warning and reiterate the fact such move by the Nigerian Senate, is not only in the wrong direction, but is also capable of heating up the polity and escalate the existing insecurity challenges beyond everyone’s imagination.
According reports, the arrowhead of the Jonathan-Must-Go in the Senate, Senator Alkali Jajere, said on Tuesday (2/12/14) in Abuja that the aggrieved senators would table a motion for the impeachment of the President before the Senate on the said date. Senator Jajere said he signed the impeachment motion because of his conviction that there were impeachable offences against President Jonathan and that the process started early in the year but was truncated. The senator, who said he practiced journalism for over two decades, insisted that the constitutional breaches committed by the President were enough grounds to impeach him.
All we can say is that you cannot use petrol to extinguish a fire. Agreed that our dear President Goodluck Jonathan has his faults and lapses as every human being on earth, but that does not mean an impeachment move is the best solution. Whatever wrong(s) the President must have committed, some of which we are very much aware of, does not amount to the legislators concerned to be calling for his impeachment. The truth is that the people of the South-South (Niger Delta) will not take this likely or sit and fold their hands and allow this to happen. We have had past political leaders that have committed worst atrocities against this country but they were never removed from office. That does not mean we are in support of such evidences of ‘bad governance’ in the polity as credited to this present administration. On the contrary, the onus is on every one of us to keep talking and playing our part in making things better by giving the right advice to those in power.
Come to think of it, how come is it now that we finally have a President from the South-South region that these set of Senators and lawmakers are fighting tooth and nail to see the President’s impeachment? In the history of this country, no civilian President has ever been impeached, even when there were calls for such impeachment process. So, why is the present administration’s own different? Why is it now that we have a President from one of the minority ethnic groups in the country that all hell is being let loose for his impeachment? No Northern or South-Western President has ever been impeached in the country. So, why should that of the South-South be different?
Mind you, we are not here to defend anybody or to speak for anybody. We also not here to speak for, or in support of any political party or political interest group either; as we are not a member of any. Our major and primary concern here is to speak in the interest, progress, peace and ‘unity’ of the Nigerian entity. We do not want to see war in the country. Hence, those who think that the political leadership of this country is their birthright, should better think again because the people of the South-South will not take such marginalization laying low, and the said impeachment move will only end up aggravating the already heated up polity beyond everybody’s comprehension.
It has become very obvious that there are disgruntled elements within and outside government circles that are bent on ‘frustrating’ President Jonathan’s administrations by all means necessary. But those who think they can break up the country for their selfish interests will be disappointed. We are strongly of the opinion that in spite of all; Nigeria will not disintegrate nor divide as a result of its overwhelming problems. We also believe there are so many factors and attributes in Nigeria that will make it impossible or very difficult for Nigerians to allow for the disintegration of its country on ethnic, political or religious grounds. One of such factor is the interwoven, intertwined and inter-relations existing within and between Nigerians which spans over a century. And with each decade that passed down the line, as more states were being created with the ever increasing population and economic business activities, the ‘bond’ of this interconnectivity has continued to grow. For instance, we are so interwoven that we have very good friends from the Northern part of the country and the Eastern part. Friends that we can tap their doors and enter their houses and eat and sleep comfortably. The same thing in the West.
The crux of the matter is that the move by some members of the Nigerian National Assembly (be they in Senate or House of Representatives), to impeach President Jonathan is uncalled for. It is senseless, baseless, unnecessary, self-centered and not nationhood-centered, and a step in the wrong direction. Though, there is need for President Jonathan to caution his Media and Public Relations aides, as well as the Inspector General of Police (IGP), against using derogatory words, undemocratic actions and disrespectful attributes on the Nigerian lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives. But we should not allow our ‘egos’ and selfish interest to create more problems for all of us by encouraging this impeachment move.
The truth is that if we want to sustain and consolidate the progress and unity of this country, every move by our lawmakers to impeach President Jonathan has to be stopped. We are sounding this note of warning because of what we foresee such actions will bring to the Nigerian polity if allowed to happen. We are very much interested in the peace, progress and unity of our dear country Nigeria. Our lawmakers and those in the Presidency should put the interest of the country first and above all selfish or political party interests.
Zik Gbemre, JP