Two Interrogations For President Yar’adua

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At the weekend, a newspaper reported an ethnic community organisation as requesting the president to resign; the reason it gave was that up till now, Yar’adua has not visited Jos, despite the killing of hundreds of Nigerians in the recent tragic episode. It is also true, that President Umaru Yar’adua has not visited the Niger Delta, even as a symbolic gesture, to see for himself, what the people there are going through, and learn firsthand, the root of the rebellion, as one would expect of our servant leader. What puzzles me, is that the outings our president has attended with so much effusiveness are when some governor crosses over into the PDP, as happened in Zamfara recently; or when a re-election will take place and the PDP/INEC Siamese of electoral malpractices, needs the public imprimatur of the president. It’s a trend that I have noticed over a period.

The second interrogation is related to a point of law and in that matter I am a lay man. The point is even subjudice, but I have been worried sufficiently to raise the interrogation. It is about the ongoing court case between mister president and LEADERSHIP newspaper. The media reported earlier this week, that  the president told the court, that notwithstanding Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution, the law permits him, the president, to sue in his personal capacity. The reader might remember that LEADERSHIP newspaper is facing a criminal case instituted by the president. Now if we accept that our president can sue in his PERSONAL capacity, and we must, then he will have to answer a few questions for rank and file citizens of Nigeria, like this reporter. One, if he can sue in his PERSONAL capacity, why did he use the SSS and other security outfits to harass the LEADERSHIP newspaper team? Similarly, why is an action in his PERSONAL capacity being pursued by the Director of Public Prosecutions in the Federal Ministry of Justice?

Curiouser and curiouser stiil, you will admit with me. In the undeveloped world, it seems an impossible task to separate the state from the whims of the leader; that is why state institutions remain in a pathetic state of deformity and underdevelopment. The state is unable to develop that critical autonomy which helps the legitimacy of ruling class projects. That conflating of the state into the personal preferences of the ruling elite or the individual heading the regime alienates the state from the people and opens the state to forms of crime that dog the state in most parts of the underdeveloped world. The state and its institutions are used to facilitate theft, corruption and the cheapening of the lives of the citizenry. In turn, citizens find all ways possible to survive the privatization and criminalization of the institutions of the state by a lumpen ruling class. This is a serious problem which can undermine the state in the long run. It is also one of the sure routes to the emergence of tendencies of a failed state in many of our countries. Now, you know where my interrogations are sourced from!                                             

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