EKITI STATE : A Fountain Under Siege (Part 2)

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Welcome back. I guessed you must have read the first part. If not, here is the link http://wp.me/p3DhdK-aU . Without wasting much time, here is the second part.

HERE YOU HAVE IT

The governor may escape this threat but the events have been documented. It shall be revisited soon. In Nigeria politics, a step costs much. The development in Ekiti is also a possibility in many states. In the last general elections, gubernatorial election could not be held in seven states (Anambra, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Osun, Kogi and Bayelsa state) because of ‘court judgments’ that have altered the traditional style of having governorship elections at the same time with the presidential election. In Anambra, the calendar changed when the Court of Appeal removed Dr. Chris Ngige as the governor in 2006 and declared Dr. Peter Obi as the validly elected governor.

The Edo, Osun, Ekiti and Ondo cases are as result of the fallout of 2007 election. The case of Bayelsa and Kogi was due to internal crisis within the party over the choice of candidate.
There will be a repeat of this scenario if any opposition party in each of the states wins the next governorship election which will be held before the next general election in 2019. Guber Polls will be held in Bayelsa, Kogi, Edo and Ondo states next year. If any opposition in these states wins, the governor will have to battle with a house of assembly dominated by members of another party for 3 years before another election will be held in 2019.

Another governorship poll will be held in Ekiti in 2018 and if Fayose (provided he has not been impeached before 2019 or he chooses not to run) loses, he’ll have the chance to avenge this. It will become easy for him because the next house of assembly is 100% PDP. How will APC react then?

Caution is the word for both gladiators. With these developments, both political parties will be ready to spite each other when the opportunities arrive. The All Progressive Party needs to thread with caution here. The recent victory did not come at a cheap price. It was a reward for PDP’s high-handedness and lack of respect for tradition and rule of law. The APC needs to act and call her members to order. The party may become victim of this scenario in another state. In Nigeria’s democracy where we don’t learn from history and political events around us, it will be difficult for us to thread carefully because of future occurrence.

Having won the presidential election in Kogi and Ondo States, the All Progressive Congress looks good to add the two states to her list next year but there may be a repeat of the Ekiti Scenario. In the state constituency election in Ondo State, PDP won 18 seats compared to 8 seats won by APC. In Kogi state, PDP won 14 seats while APC had 11 seats. If APC wins Ondo state next year, the winner will have to contend with a PDP majority in the house; a major problem that will be difficult to be averted. If PDP win the next governorship election in Edo state, the winner will also work with an APC controlled assembly which may lead to what we have in Ekiti State.

If these politicians can think ahead of the present situation, the country will be saved of unnecessary political crises. There are simple ways of preventing this in other states. The first way that comes to mind is the regularization of the election calendar. The governorship and state constituency election should be held the same day in all states of the country. In states where the governorship elections are not being held during the national election, the state constituency election may be held any time the Guber poll is conducted. For example, the state constituency election may be held alongside the governorship election in Ondo, Bayelsa, Kogi, and Edo States in 2016.

After the expiration of the current tenure of governors of these seven states, the president may appoint acting governors for the states till the next general election is held. This writer does not know if it is constitutionally right for any of these to be done but he is proposing what may be a long lasting solution.

A careful study of Nigeria’s politics has shown that Impeachments are motivated by different factors. A governor whose party controls the state house can be impeached. It is simply a clash of interests. In 2006, the same Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State was impeached by a PDP dominated house. Same applies to Rashidi Ladoja of Oyo state who was impeached in 2005 by PDP lawmakers. The difference between these scenarios and that of Ekiti is that the Ekiti Saga is coming too early and one needs no prophet to know is done in a wrong time and maybe in bad faith.

The role of opposition cannot be over-emphasized in democracy. In America, the president most times does not control the legislative arm of government. The relationship of the executive with legislature is vital to the development of Democracy. The constitution is the barometer to measure
the duties of each arm. The development of democracy and government is based on many factors one of which is the ability of the legislature and the executive to constructively work together. From experience, a chorus rubber stamp assembly will not call the governor to order if mistakes are made. In a rubber stamp congress/assembly, there won’t be room for robust debates. A governor should not be afraid to work with an Assembly dominated by Opposition members.

The opposition lawmakers should not see themselves as enemies of the state. Nigerian governors do not like any form of opposition in their dealings. A governor wants to have his stooges in the house of assembly. With that, he would be able to borrow any amount he likes. He will have the power to take over some legislative duties. Few years ago, a governor in a south western region of the country once borrowed some billions with the approval of the state house of assembly to build five stadia in the state which has no Football team. That’s one of the tendencies of a rubber-stamp assembly.

If we can learn to play the game by the rules, this democracy will develop. The lawmakers need to engage themselves in productive exercises rather than issuing impeachment threats. With less than a month to the end of the political dispensation, it is disheartening to note that about 5 governors are battling impeachments. My simple advice to the incoming administration of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressive Congress is that Rule of Law should be obeyed and the gaffes made by the outgoing PDP should be avoided. There should be constitutional provision which will restrain a
governor or a president from mudslinging into the affairs of the congress.

Let me conclude this piece with the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of United States and America’s longest serving president who once said “Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country”

NIGERIA SHALL BE GREAT

REMARK

As events continue to unfold in Ekiti state, Am sure Timi will continue to unleash them in the remaining series of our state of the naion. Thank you for your time. Please share with me your opinnions, gracias.

Credit:
Timi Boyinde is a staffwriter from Ilorin. An Engineer cum Political
Analyst extraordinaire

By: scentmarlc via https://scentmarlc.wordpress.com/

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