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POWER TO THE PEOPLE OF NIGERIA THROUGH IMPEACHMENT & RECALL

January 2018

Greetings, folks!

I want to talk about the owners of Nigeria—known in Nigerian constitution as We The People of Nigeria. According to that constitution, The Power of the nation belongs to The People. But the sad thing is that a great number of The People are not enlightened to know exactly what that power is, and how to use it. I want to talk about The Power, and how The People can apply it to play the prescribed Constitutional Role in the rebirth of Nigeria. The key requirement is that The People can’t just sit back and complain about what the leaders are doing wrongly; the constitution gives The People the power and the tools to checkmate the leaders. I want to briefly address two of the most important tools for The People.

Nigerians often react violently to what they perceive as misrule of some Nigerian leaders. For instance, it was widely reported in September 2015 that an angry mob threw stones at Senate President, Bukola Saraki. It was said to occur on a Moslem prayer ground on a Sallah Day. Obviously, that act was barbaric and unconstitutional; indeed, it was a crime against Mr. Senate President. The law of the land does not allow anybody to throw stones at anybody, for any reason whatsoever. There are legitimate ways of venting anger about activities of erring lawmakers as contained in Nigeria’s constitution. And, those legitimate ways do not stop at just letting the lawmakers know that we are angry; they ensure that changes happen. The idea is—Don’t Get Mad; Get Even—Recall a lawmaker if he/she is not doing well; don’t stone him. Americans would say, don’t get mad, get even, meeeeeeeeeeen!!!

Now, let’s talk about The Power that the Nigerian Constitution has given The People of Nigeria, to Recall any lawmaker that The People do not want to continue in office. For the benefit of those that may not know, the key requirement for a Recall is to gather the prescribed number of signatures of the constituents of the lawmaker who had voted him/her into office. In effect, The People are simply saying to the lawmaker: “We The People gave you The Power to Represent us, and we don’t want you anymore; so, we are taking Our Power of representation back from you.”

As long as the required number of signatures of voters supporting the recall in the lawmaker’s constituency is attained, the lawmaker does have to vacate the seat. The only obstacle to this, of course, is that the infamous ‘Nigerian Factor’ will always rear its ugly head, as usual. And, if the Nigerian Factor does raise its ugly head, The People can successfully resist the corruption. Ultimately, The People will prevail if we democratically insist that the Right Thing Must Be Done. I am not aware of any time that a lawmaker has ever been recalled in Nigeria. Please inform me through the feedback channel on whatever platform that you read this, if you happen to know any successful recall of a lawmaker in Nigeria. I believe one attempt is ongoing somewhere in northern Nigeria as I write this (January 2018); I wonder how it will turn out.

Another instrument provided in Nigeria’s constitution to empower Nigerians as the owners of the country’s sovereignty is called Impeachment. In layman’s statement, impeachment is the process of removing an erring sitting executive in government from office. It goes from the president and vice president of Nigeria, to a state governor or deputy governor; down to a local government chairman. More Nigerians are aware of impeachment than the recall. Unlike Recall, several impeachment sagas have happened since 1999. The numerous unsuccessful attempts to impeach the indomitable President Olusegun Obasanjo started it all. And there have been successful and unsuccessful proceedings against several state governors of the federation.

          The People’s primary concern to stay in control of the country as enshrined in the constitution are the lawmakers. When The People can control the parliament, then they can control the State Governors and the Presidents of the country through people-oriented oversight functions and impeachments. In essence, the lawmakers are supposed to take orders from The People because they are representing The People. Actually, it behooves the lawmakers to first obtain The People’s opinions before they vote on any major issue. The People voted the lawmakers into the parliament to represent The People because all 170 million Nigerians cannot cram into one assembly hall to deliberate on the affairs of the nation. The authors of the constitution did know all this. So they did provide for The People how to kick the lawmakers out of office if they refuse to obey The People’s wishes/opinions. Indeed, it should be called The People’s orders, because we are their employers and their bosses, meeeeeeeeen!!!

          The People can ensure that the lawmakers no longer sell The People’s power of impeachment to corrupt governors and presidents, who pay them handsomely to avoid impeachment. The People can constantly, constructively order the lawmakers to impeach errant presidents and governors. Aand, if they disobey, The People shall recall them. If it is too late in their tenure to recall them, then The People can constructively mobilize to vote them out in subsequent elections…YES, WE CAN, meeeeeeeeeeen!!!

          The People shall conquer the Obasanjo-instituted ‘Ghana-Must-Go’ (money-bag) syndrome. Bribe-money has hitherto miss-aligned the allegiance of The People’s Representatives in the parliaments. They have been selling their allegiance, from The People who own it, to errant governors and presidents. It is high time we stopped the evil! The People shall ensure that the reps vote on impeachments based on truth and good conscience, for The People, and no longer for bags of money. Of course, once this revolution progresses, getting rid of errant Local Government Chairpersons is a piece of cake, meeeeeeeeeen!!!

An objective of the No Bullshitting campaign is to enlighten and encourage The People to know and fight for their rights. The constituencies of all national and state lawmakers must begin to pursue their collective right to recall anybody found wanting by The People. And, if anybody attempts to thwart the will of The People illegally; then, there must serious condemnation and rejection by The People.  And, it behooves “No Bullshitting” Blog (NBB) to align with The People!!!

There is a caveat, however: the NBB Movement does not support mischievous moves to unseat any leader. And, we are aware that mischievous moves to impeach executive leaders and mischievous moves to recall lawmakers do happen in Nigeria. #PowerToThePeopleThroughLegislatorsRecall…no more bullshitting, meeeeeeeeeeen!!!

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