Democracy triumphs where it is pillared and powered by free speeches, pluralism of opinions including political tolerance and accommodation and, most importantly; independence of judges and rights of those criminally indicted to be heard and defend themselves at all times up to Supreme Court where necessary. Democracy totally forbids infamous art of using presidential powers and political structures of a ruling party for the purpose of destroying or persecuting political opponents.
It amounts to presidential terror and (ruling) party toutocracy when the above becomes the case in a democracy. As a matter of fact, it is no longer democracy but birth and intensification of tyranny or autocracy through the instruments of presidential terror and party toutocracy. Tyrannical toutocracy is a branch of tyranny responsible for spreading and defending false policies and actions as well as propagandas and criminal conducts of the tyrannical government using massive State resources and institutions particularly the government and privately owned mass media. Part of toutocracy, also, are conscienceless mortals in the social media recruited and paid by tyrannical government as well as the presidential and ruling party public image managers; for the purpose of defending sundry regime atrocities and spinning and diminishing universally laid attributes of credible democracy.
We (Intersociety) have, therefore, observed with deepest dismay the raging presidential terror and ruling party toutocracy deadly deployed by the Buhari administration and its ruling party’s toutocrats against the office and person of the Deputy Senate President, Barr Ike Ekweremadu, seeking to remove him as Deputy Senate President and destroy him politically at all costs, in utter disregard to rule of law, separation of powers, due process and democratic pluralism . It is recalled that Senator Ike Ekweremadu, alongside other leading federal lawmakers were legislatively elected in June 2015 as principal officers of the Nigeria’s 8th National Assembly. While Barr Ekweremadu was legislatively elected by most of the 109 Senators as the deputy senate president, Senator Bukola Saraki became the senate president by the same highest voice votes. Hon Yakubu Dogara, on his part, was named the speaker of the house of reps. While the duo of Senator Bukola Saraki and Hon Yakubu Dogara got elected into their positions as APC lawmakers, Senetor Ike Ekweremadu became the Deputy Senate President from the opposition PDP.
Their elections did not go down well with the ruling cabal in the APC, leading to instigation of a petition from some senators, believed to have been presidentially sponsored; alleging forgery of the Senate Rule 25 of 2015. As petty as the issue was in the midst of mountainous governance and justice sector challenges facing the ruling APC and Buhari government, the administration and its toutocrats maliciously retained the issue and sustained it till date in the front burner, leading to recent arraignment in court of the duo of Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu for forgery of Senate Rule 25 of 2015. Though the crime of forgery is clearly contained in Nigeria’s federal criminal laws, but as for whether the conduct or act and its intent (if any) under reference literally constitutes forgery has remained deeply controversial till date.
As if these were not enough, the presidency of Buhari and its toutocrats have defiantly continued to run riot on all Nigerians and members of the international community with such a petty issue, to the extent that the amount of public funds presidentially committed is more than enough to tar or reconstruct over 10 kilometres of road out of the country’s 34,400 kilometres of acutely deplorable federal roads.
It is no longer news that Nigeria under Buhari’s Presidency has been eclipsed by sundry regime atrocities including State butcheries and others forms of State or official terrorism; disobedience to rule of law and gross disrespect to constitutional liberties; social dislocations, mass poverty and economic downturns; hyper criminal activities including entrenched institutional graft and politically oiled non-State actor butcheries such as Boko Haram and Islamist Fulani terrorism and indiscriminate butchering of Christians and burning and destruction of their sacred places of worship. Others are entrenched structural violence and northernization and islamization of key public appointments and institutions as well as political exclusion, segregation and intolerance. The rest are abuse of office and power, deepening inter-religious and tribal divisions, reckless disregard to the 1999 Constitution and its fundamental provisions as well as State threats to the secularity and collective security of Nigeria.
There are over 125 Constitutional Breaches and Regime Atrocities associated with the Buhari administration in the past one year with the latest being alleged recruitment of armed Saudi Islamist Fundamentalists or armed Saudi Jihadists (Saudi Under-Water Mercenaries). For the fact that the Presidency has kept mute on the recruitment and arrival of the foreign or international organized criminals under refernce, expressly suggests that it is real. Criminologically, mercenaries of any kind operating or recruited across borders are classified as international criminal syndicate and under-miners of the territorial integrity and collective security of a sovereign political territory. Their recruitment and deployment territorially amounts to a gross misconduct. It is also impeachable!
Shockingly, none of these mountainous constitutional breaches and regime atrocities has been addressed till date, yet the Buhari administration has the effrontery to continue to run riot on the collective peace of all Nigerians who are already impoverished, despaired and disillusioned. Instead of facing its basket-loads of bad governance infested social toxaemias, the Presidency of Buhari is busy chasing shadows; with its toutocrats running riot on Nigerians and squandering scarce State resources; using mass media, social media, falsehood and propaganda.
We condemn in strongest terms the rampaging persecution and massive infliction of State terror against the person and office of the Deputy Senate President, Barr Ike Ekweremadu. He must be left alone and let be until ongoing persecutorial trial by the State is competently determined by courts. It not only amounts to prejudice on the part of the same Presidency and its ruling party’s toutocrats that arraigned Senator Ekweremadu for “forgery” trial by disallowing the judiciary a free hand to dispense justice in the matter, it is also a clear case of disrespect and disregard of the highest order of the judicial sanctity and rule of law. We call on all Nigerians and Igbo Nation to rise in sustained defense of the persecuted Deputy Senate President against his presidential persecutors.
For: International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety)
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman
Chinwe Umeche, Esq., Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program
Obianuju Igboeli, Esq., Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program