“I do not admire politicians; but when they are excellent in their way, one cannot help allowing them their due.”
– Horace Walpole
As lovers of true democracy in Nigeria still swim in the euphoria of victory as a result of historic emergence of a bipartisan legislature—made possible by the return of Senator Ike Ekweremadu as Deputy Senate President of the 8th National Assembly, there appear to be echoes of disenchanted voices of unscrupulous and anti-democratic elements that are hell bent on subverting the nation’s nascent democracy via their ignoble call for the resignation or impeachment of duly elected and constitutionally-backed Deputy Senate President, Distinguished Senator Ike Ekweremadu just to satisfy their avarice.
It is no longer news that the Enugu-born senator was duly elected by his colleagues in the Red Chamber to lead them as Deputy Senate President together with the indefatigable Senate President, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki—who demystified political demi-gods to secure the independence of legislative arm of government, which in turn gave birth to bipartisan 8th National Assembly. It still baffles the imagination of discerning minds that those anti-democratic irredentists who hitherto were challenging constitutionality and credibility of Senator Saraki’s election as Senate President, are now unleashing their frustrations on Senator Ekweremadu for being elevated to the office of Deputy Senate President by seeing him as a soft target they would unlawfully stampede out of office as compensation for their loss of Senate Presidency—for no other offence or breach of Nigerian constitution than being a member of opposition, PDP—which has formidable number of lawmakers in the National Assembly.
The frightening aspect of the game of wits being employed by these irritated and disillusioned rascals is that they have resorted to allegedly bribing of senators and cutting of underground deals to influence the impeachment of Senator Ekweremadu to pave way for one of their own to emerge as Deputy Senate President against the spirit and intents of the nation’s constitution which stipulated the process of electing and removing principal officers of National Assembly. Those who are embarking on this ill-fated mission should bear in mind that Nigeria of 21st century has out-grown this national embarrassment motivated by hatred, strife, ethnicity and ignorance of the law; inspired by politics of bitterness. In every action, there is equal and opposite reaction, therefore Nigerians will not sit down and watch those who live on false impression that they are the owners of this country reopen the wounds of the past in this unfolding conspiracy and ugly quest to render South-East politically impotent by pushing for the impeachment or resignation of Senator Ekweremadu, as if he does not have the mandate of his people to represent them anymore.
Less than three weeks of being in the saddle as ruling party, the APC should not forget in a hurry that Nigerians prayed and worked diligently for the post-election peace and tranquility we are experiencing now in the country. Former President Goodluck Jonathan—the unsung hero of African democracy conceded defeat to the then President-Elect, Muhammadu Buhari not as an act cowardice but patriotism—which exemplified his clarion call that his ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian without factoring in the irrefutable fact that he had the power to reject the outcome of the elections but did not, instead he transcended into heaven of statesmen by conceding defeat before the final result was announced.
If PDP that held sway for sixteen consecutive years as ruling party could relinquish The Presidency with all the leverages of power attached to it not minding the irregularities that characterized the electoral process; ranging from lopsided distribution of PVCs skewed against the stronghold of the party, malfunctioning of Card Readers during and after elections, ill-preparedness of INEC, etc. So, if a former President with the power of incumbency at his disposal when he was in the office and then serving Governors of PDP could concede defeat to the then opposition party, APC both at the Presidency and State levels, respectively, why is the APC as a party finding it very difficult to concede defeat to the PDP as regards the election of Ekweremadu as Deputy Senate President?
Why can’t the APC make this inevitable sacrifice for the peace of this nation—after all one of their own—Senator Bukola Saraki is still the president of Senate and chairman of National Assembly? If APC wants to govern Nigeria in peace in synergy with a stable National Assembly, they should call to order some of his aggrieved renegades members who are stoking fire via their unguarded utterances by calling for the impeachment of Senator Ike Ekweremadu for no just cause, because any ill-conceived and mistimed action in the Red Chamber propelled by inordinate ambition of a few will truncate the fragile and grave yard peace being experienced in this country.
The recent unpatriotic, un-statesman-like, condemnable, provocative and inciting statements credited to immediate past governor of Kano State and former presidential aspirant of APC, Senator Musa Rabiu Kwakwanso is nothing to write home about. Senator Kwakwanso made these highly inflammatory utterances when he demanded the immediate resignation of Ekweremadu as Deputy Senate President or his exalted seat be declared vacant by Senator Abubakar Saraki-led Upper Chamber. When did Senator Kwakwanso become a change agent? Is he not the same person who rose to his political stardom by riding on the back of the PDP as Minister for Defence under President Obasanjo and two-term governor of Kano State under the same party he is now pronouncing dead? Senator Kwakwanso should wake from his illusions because Saraki/Ekweremadu bipartisan leadership of 8th Senate is a better deal for Nigeria’s democracy under a stable NASS.
Nwobodo writes from Abuja