By Nelson Ekujumi
It is often said that birds of a feather, flock together and this statement aptly describes the characters of executive governors of two states in Nigeria, Governors Nyesom Wike and Ayodele Fayose whose conducts and utterances is an assault on the collective psyche of Nigerians as well as a desecration of the exalted office which they occupy.Only recently, Governors Ayodele Fayose and Nyesom Wike were in the news for assaulting the constitution by obstructing law enforcement agencies in the discharge of their statutory responsibilities in Ekiti and Rivers states. While Governor Nyesom Wike, led thugs and miscreants to prevent the arrest of a judge for alledged corruption by the DSS in Rivers state, Ayodele Fayose, who has attained notoriety for his infantile tantrums, prevented operatives of the EFCC from carrying out their duty with regards to the questioning of the wife of Mr. Femi Fani Kayode who attempted to make financial transactions from a bank account that has been flagged down by the authorities. Just like Wike acted in Rivers state, so also did Mr. Fayose, lead thugs and miscreants to assault the constitution in Ekiti state.
However, in the midst of the recurring desecration of the exalted office of the governor of a state by this duo, one noticeable feature which has come out clearly in their conduct and utterances, is the orchestrated plot of intimidation, incitement, campaign of blackmail and calumny against national institutions notably the DSS, EFCC and INEC for now.
Unfortunately, one is not surprised by the conduct of the two governors, whose electoral mandates were derived under “special condition”, apology to the chief returning officer for Rivers State at the 2015 general election, who made the infamous statement at the national collation centre in Abuja, when on being queried for his inability to read a statement handwritten by himself, had to adduce special condition, for his flop.
These governors have continuously cast aspersions on the integrity and image of national institutions for reasons other than to incite public unrest and the instances of such utterances are countless.
Following his recent visit to EFCC office in Abuja to see Mr. Femi Fani Kayode in custody, just like Father Hassan Kukah, some Senators and the Senator Makarfi led wing of the PDP, but unlike them, Mr. Fayose came out to accuse the EFCC of violating the fundamental rights of his friend and acolyte by his detention for an offence for which he is likely going to be arraigned in court on 10th November, 2016. In case Mr. Ayodele Fayose does not know or pretends not to know in his mischief plot, the security agencies have the right under the constitution to re-arrest a person who has been granted bail by the court, if there is sufficient evidence to warrant such for a new offence or based on fresh evidence on the old offence.
May we also use this medium to remind Mr. Fayose that instead of grandstanding and blackmail, the most appropriate step to take when one is concerned that a person’s fundamental human right has been violated, is to seek judicial redress either in person or on his behalf and one is sure that this advise is within arm’s reach for Mr. Fayose through his state attorney general and commissioner for justice who am sure, is a lawyer.
On Wike’s part, just like Fayose, the usual victim of their campaign of blackmail and calumny, is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which has continued to disappoint a lot of mischief makers and anti democratic elements by being faithful to its constitutional responsibility of ensuring that elections conducted, complies with provisions of the electoral act, for it to be conclusive and for this, they deserve a big kudos.
Following INEC rescheduling of the Rivers state legislative assembly rerun elections which was formerly put on hold but has now been fixed for December 10, 2016, Mr. Wike has devoted much of his time and state resources at the expense of pressing state matters to intimidating, assaulting, threatening and running down this body by resort to spurious and unsubstantiated allegations.
Surprisingly, as a result of the recent arrest of some persons alledgedly belonging to a particular political party for alledgedly printing of fake results sheets for the forthcoming legislative rerun elections in the state, Mr. Wike has been making allegations of complicity of INEC in the alledged criminal offence even before the security agencies commenced investigation.
Thus, the question to ask Mr. Nyesom Wike is that, if he knows so much about the alledged crime, will it not be appropriate to call on him to divulge how he came to the conclusion that INEC is involved in the alledged printing of fake result sheets in order for us all to be convinced beyond reasonable doubt, other than this name calling?
If we are to go by the reasoning of Mr. Wike, is it rational and logical to suggest that persons arrested for printing fake naira and dollar notes which is a crime that is as old as the state, must have benefitted from the complicity of the CBN and Federal Reserves in the US? Is it also logical to suggest that fake drugs manufacturers must have had links with the original copyright owners, who must also be held responsible for the crime? Can we hold the IGP and police authorities or the chief of army staff and the military establishment for culpability when fake policemen and military men are arrested? The answers to the various questions can only be substantiated by the outcome of investigations by the security agencies and not just on the face of it as alledged by our mischievous governors, notwithstanding the fact that sin, is man’s second nature.
In a radical departure from the blackmail, irrational and illogicality of Mr. Wike’s campaign against INEC, may we call on the police authorities to thoroughly investigate this alledged crime and ensure that the culprits are prosecuted in tandem with the rule of law in order to send a strong signal to anti democratic elements who are hell bent on derailing our democracy and jeopardizing national security.
One must warn Mr. Nyesom Wike to focus on governance and desist from stoking up tension and inciting the peace loving people of Rivers state against INEC in order to fulfill his personal agenda against the collective interest for peaceful, orderly and credible rerun elections. Mr. Wike’s conduct is a violation of his constitutional oath because it constitutes a threat to the security of the people of Rivers state and the sanctity of the ballot box which remains sacrosanct.
Nelson Ekujumi, a public commentator and analyst, wrote this piece from Lagos.