Impeachment isn’t in national interest | Dailytrust

Impeachment isn’t in national interest

In a move supposedly to check the nation’s ever-quickening slide into anarchy, the Minority Caucus of the Senate issued a six-week ultimatum threatening to impeach President Buhari if he doesn’t “fix the security threat across the nation”. This comes in response to revelations that in seven years (between 2015 and 2022) he has collected more security allocations than in the 16 previous years (between 1999 and 2015), yet the nation has descended into lawlessness, chaos and unconstitutionality.

Lamentably, an ever-increasing number of international independent political analysts now classify Nigeria as a “failed state” in which non-elected, non-state actors now dictate to government. 

Bandits roam the streets without hindrance freeing their colleagues from prison, kidnapping and collecting stupendous amounts in ransom, and daily murdering Nigerians on the highways, in their homes, in school, on their farms and most outrageously even in mosques and churches!

There is no assurance of security anywhere in Nigeria and even Abuja, the nation’s capital, is no longer safe! There is definitely something fundamentally wrong with the management of security when bandits can invade the nation’s capital resulting in the closure of schools! 

According to Section 14(2) of the Constitution, the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. Indisputably, this administration has failed to fulfill this statutory obligation but regrettably, this section of the constitution is non-enforceable, which means government cannot be sued in breach. 

Never before has there been an administration that denies easily verifiable facts about the abominable security situation.

The deteriorating situation is not about to get better on its own or with just prayers, things will only improve through better leadership. But appallingly, while the nation is overwhelmed by so many avoidable crises and teeters on the brink, the powers that be entertain themselves with self-delusions of grandeur and success. 

Undeniably, the problems of insecurity, economic collapse, and the prolonged university system strike were all voidable and could have been prevented by better governance. It is evident that the current administration needs help, as they appear totally bereft of ideas. 

The problem is that no matter how bad things become, resigning honourably is not in the DNA of African leaders. Nobody has all the solutions but this administration must stop denying the obvious, which is that the security situation is much worse today than at any other time in the nation’s history. 

Be that as it may, the call for President Buhari’s impeachment is belated. With barely seven months to the end of his tenure, it’s pointless. While it’s true that his tenure has been a perfect example of how not to respond to threats to peace, law and order, it’s far more advisable and will cause far less political turbulence to make the best of a bad situation and manage it until a better, more competent, humane, compassionate and economically sound, group of individuals takes over. 

It’s vital that the incoming administration must be one in which ignoring problems, failing to take on challenges, dismissing public opinion and routinely insulting opponents will not be viewed as “cleverness.” The threat of impeachment is supposedly meant to make President Buhari wake up to his responsibility to protect lives and property and perhaps delegate his regular overseas travels while he stays at home to face the overwhelming problems of the nation.

However, the reality is that although the executive has definitely lowered the bar for governance to previously unacceptable levels, the very legislators threatening impeachment cannot absolve themselves of blame. While castigating them and dismissing the threat of impeachment, presidential spokespersons said the legislators are simply “playing to the gallery”!  This is not far off the mark because they are a big part of the problem.

It is the National Assembly that failed to carry out effective oversight functions, and routinely approved loans for security purposes, which simply resulted in service chiefs becoming billionaires whilst rag-tag militias massacred police and gallant soldiers. Truthfully, legislators have deviated from the path of honour and abdicated the ethical high ground.

They are equally guilty of self-service, concentrating on rewarding themselves, and living in luxury at public expense while failing in their duties. They serially exhibit zero independence and total subservience to the executive. As such, they have forfeited their moral right to demand the president’s impeachment.

Many commentators believe that the inertia and sluggish response of the current leadership is because the majority of presidential inner-circle appointees are square pegs in round holes. They are ill-informed, inarticulate, hold the public in scorn, hold the constitution in contempt, and possess antagonistic personalities.

The problem is that when such difficult personalities are confronted by their failures, they react negatively, ranging from vehement denial to rage, despair, paranoia, and vindictiveness, none of which are helpful to the situation. 

What this administration should be concentrating on is what they can do to rectify the situation in the little time they have left. Changing the service and security chiefs is simply cosmetic.

Rather than wallowing in self-entitlement and laughing off threats of impeachment, the current leadership must realise that democracy is about the will of the people and their opinion of themselves isn’t the most important consideration.

Progress can only be assured through the process of entrenching democratic governance and enforcement of human rights. At this crucial period, wasting time and money, and increasing political ill-will all in an attempt to impeach an outgoing president is certainly not in the national interest. 


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