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Thoughts on Nigeria 

After watching the unfolding of events within the past week, it is now imperative to say that our great nation is either a lost cause or about to go great guns. Peter Obi has finally joined the presidential race in the coming 2023 general elections. The ruling party All Progressive Congress (APC) has concluded their national convention. Abdullahi Adamu, a founding member of the opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) emerged as the national chairman of the APC. The affairs of Nigeria are arousing curiosity and attention. Also most recently, the airport in Kaduna State was attacked by terrorists and subsequently, the Abuja – Kaduna train was attacked on Monday. The state of security in the nation is rather unfortunate and disappointing. One would say that the government just keeps digressing from their major objective.

At the moment, the dominant matter Nigerians are concerned about is Leadership. Who can lead the nation? and Who can revive our numerous woes?.

I think it is important to relate national affairs with public opinions. What we as citizens think of our own country is crucial to our destiny.

In other words, the onus now directly lies on the shoulders of both regions to simultaneously reach out to each other and share arguments on the presidential position.

A take on Presidency

“We need a patriotic leader, a leader who sees all citizens without prejudice”. Since 2015 till today, certain sections of the country have decried the marginalization of their people. Our president, Muhammadu Buhari responded to this claim with hostility. And now, some Nigerians are loosing faith in National justice and equity. The resulting perception is ‘Wait your turn’. A very sad state of mind clinging on tribalism and nepotism which is then passed on to the younger generations. This is where our country now leads. Nigerians now believe that all they need is to get into a position and favor whoever they find as family.

This thought has a long term injurious effect on all.

Is the 1999 Constitution the problem?

“Most problems still exist not because solutions are inexistent”. We have laws contained in the legal document but part of our problems seems to be enforcement and sometimes contradictory interpretations.

Additionally, to govern properly, dynamics has to come in play. There are critical issues of the constitution; challenges with the current realities of a modern country which need to be addressed.

An instance of these challenges is the Immunity of Certain Public Officers from Prosecution; according to Section 308, the court in Nigeria is unable to compel the appearance of a sitting President or his Vice and a sitting Governor or his Deputy. This also indicates clearly that the mentioned public officials are immune from prosecution whatsoever for the duration of their tenure.

It is important to note that the immunity or exemption clause was adopted with good intent. To protect the Nation’s image and not the leaders’. But it has turned out to be an avenue for undue advantage in government. “All men should be under the law”.

Many Nigerians view public officers as ‘Semi gods’ because they are seen as above the law that now grinds the poor or the supposed common man. There is this lack of belief in the judicial system for exercising justice and fairness. In 2014, a fellow citizen said to me, “Even if these men steal all the money in the nations account, nothing will be done to them”. This assertion is miserable but a reality.

Definitely there is the possibility of impeachment enshrined in the Constitution which will open the gates of prosecution. The process of impeachment of a President in Nigeria is contained in Section 143 of the 1999 Constitution.

Notwithstanding, the Constitution still needs to address the problem with political leaders living with their criminal activities while in office and wait till their tenure expires before prosecution. Public office should serve as a deterrent for any wrong worthy of prosecution.

This week’s resulting thoughts are alarming, although the problems pertaining could still be solved.

On the bright side, we have a second chance at redemption against Ghana in the World Cup Qualifiers Match in Nigeria on Tuesday. It ended as a goalless draw in the first leg. Let’s have some faith in our country, as it said that sports are meant to bolster unity. GO SUPER EAGLES!.



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