A House of Jesters
So it is true. That the House of Representatives wants to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan.
I could not help laughing for minutes when I heard this ominous joke. “Nigeria must be the most absurd, the ‘weirdest’ country on earth”, I said unconsciously. I am just wondering, just meditating. How could the clowns at the House of Representatives be talking of impeachment at this time? How could jesters daily occupied with pantomimic dramatization of law making and democracy be ludicrously talking of a grave subject like impeachment. For once, I felt like taking some mad dogs to the National Assembly to chase away those comedians after a little bite that will leave a memorable scar of representative idiocies on them.
The rumour of this impeachment threat was truly taken for a nice joke among a House of quasi-literate people and a presidency of ambulance chasers. However, on July 19, just before the House proceeded on its ramadam break, it confirmed what had been a speculation.
The reason the House sold to Nigerians in their naivete was the president’s poor and selective implementation of the 2012 budget passed only on March 15, 2012. The House then dropped the cliff hanger- the president had until September to fully implement the budget or be impeached!
The ominous joke here is that these clowns could actually impeach President Jonathan. These are pinheads who don’t weigh the gravity or implication of making a piss-take of the president.
But let me add quickly here that I am not a fan of Jonathan. I cannot be. And I don’t see any sign that I will change this position tomorrow. My awful irritation at the House impeachment mongering is that it seems to have constituted itself into an impregnable albeit notorious islet from where it makes shallow decisions that Nigerians must bow to.
The caustic truth that they must be told therefore is that Nigerians cannot bow to anyone’s whims, not the House, not the President.
Which House are we even talking about? When did they start caring so much for us that they now desperately want to impeach the president for poor implementation of the budget. How can these piss-heads think we are so naïve, if not foolish.
Someone must tell them the truth and it is that they are fighting Jonathan over Otedola’s dollars they shared because they think the president is one of the protagonists of that well executed sting operation. Or did anyone think Farouk Lawan chopped the dollars alone, dollars that have now hooked them in the throat, to use our patois.
Once Farouk Lawan, the Chairman of the House ad hoc Committee on Petroleum Subsidy denied that he collected any money from Femi Otedola, the Chairman of Zenon Oil and Gas and within 24 hours made a volte-face, admitting he actually collected money, not as bribe but to show evidence of pressure on him, the House knew the game was up.
Yes, the House pronto denounced Lawan and yanked him off the Chairmanship of House Committee on Education and that of adhoc committee on Petroleum Subsidy, but it was just an honourable way to tackle shame. Once Otedola revealed that he had the audio and video recording of Lawan’s gluttonous adventure and that the State Security Service (SSS) was involved, the House concluded that the presidency must have been involved in this sweet trap that exposed their rapacity and naked corruption.
If you doubt that the whole House must have been part of Lawan’s dollar adventure, you ponder over the attitude of the Speaker of the House, Honourable Aminu Tambuwal. Here was a man the SSS invited and allegedly showed the recorded tape of Lawan’s ignominious theatrics at Otedola’s house. Yet, for good six weeks after this episode, the speaker maintained a curious and spooky silence until Otedola opened up. Anything that the Speaker said after that can be described as sophistry and any action, a facade.
Another factor that must have frustrated the spearheads of impeachment is the drying vaults of the law makers.
Practically every Nigerian knows that fund for constituency projects is fund for the Rep boys, money they use to settle themselves, their guys and their girls.
Rather than give contracts of these constituency projects to companies, they award them to their own organisations through ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government.
But the government through the coordinating Minister of Economy had noticed and observed this farcical approach to grassroot development and thought it was time to end their binge. So the government now insists that the projects must pass through due process before the contracts could be awarded. Besides, the budget of constituency projects that used to be as high as #40 million to #50,million per constituency has now been cut down to #20million.
To worsen their chequered fate, even this ‘miserable’ sum for the constituency projects was not paid as the Ramadam holiday stared them in the face.”This man must be dealt with”, they must have screamed. With Lawan’s albatross dangling heavily on their neck and now deprived of their ‘pleasure fund’ tagged constituency projects, it was, for them, time to square up with the object of their misery. Impeachment was the best kite.
And now everyone is begging them to sheathe their sword.
But discerning minds feel that their sword is a very blunt one and wouldn’t cut deep. Yet these politically ravenous characters must be called to their senses because they have demonstrated brazen insensitivity and gross impudence in the past. That was why they dared and successfully breached the zoning formula of their party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which has majority in the House.
Still you can add the case of Arunma Oteh, the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (Sec) as part of President Jonathan’s sin against comedians in the House.
Oteh dared the gulf of the cabal by sacking a seemingly untouchable Ndi Okereke-Onyuike, the then Director-General of Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) and went farther to delineate the quantum corruption in the House by exposing the crass misdeeds and unethical conducts of Hamman Hembe led House committee on Capital Market.
This was why the cabal fought back and Oteh was sent on compulsory leave after some frivolous accusations. But a serious and impeccable organization like Price Water House Coopers (PWHC) investigated and reaffirmed her innocence and integrity.
Yet the quasi political heads in the House decided to ask for Jonathan’s head for recalling a First Class technocrat whose integrity has been reaffirmed by a first class organization like PWHC.
In concluding this piece, I need to ask these Reps what their sudden desperation is all about. This 2011 budget was only passed in March 2012 and became effective in April. And now, you want this budget to be fully implemented by September 2012, that is within six months. What then will the executive use to work for the remaining three months. Does it make sense?
Besides, budgets are not made of granite cast. It is a financial expenditure plan of government, all things being equal. It could be adjusted and could be delayed depending on circumstances. And with all the time spent on contract bidding and award plus the careful scrutiny as it passes due process, months are bound to be squandered before the effective implementation of the budget becomes visible.
But our men in the House will not squint to ruminate on all these. They care too much about Nigerians to accept any excuse. They are the new political messiahs in town. And we must abide by their fake love for us.
I repeat that these guys in the house aren’t far from plain piss-heads. They know no decorum and share no abiding faith in any party ethic. The spur of this impeachment nonsense is money, the goal is money and the final outcome, the resolution is money.
In concise term, the soul and spirit of this House is tragically money. And that is why Nigerians must raise their voice against them. This is not an attempt to endorse Jonathan. This is not about his performance. That is a different ugly kittle of tea. Sooner or later, we will look at that Pandora box.
For now, let us collectively say ‘shame’ to these (mis)representatives who should ordinarily be hiding their heads in shame for being so unabashedly corrupt and incompetent.