Nobel Laureate, Professor, Wole Soyinka, as well as Human Rights lawyer, Femi Falana have threw their weights behind the moves by some members of the Nigerian senate to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari over what they described as his failure to provide the needed security for the citizens.
Recall, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators, who were joined by some of their All Progressives Congress (APC) colleagues, as well as their counterparts in the House of Representatives, had issued a six-week ultimatum to the president to find a solution to the insecurity plaguing the country or be impeached.
The duo of Soyinka and Falana, who spoke on Tuesday, August 2, 2022, in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital during an interactive session, organized to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Abeokuta Club, submitted that President Buhari has breached the “contract of democracy” following his inability to halt the spate of terrorism across the country.
The interactive session, themed: “Good Governance or Mis-governance: The Contract called Democracy”, had Professor Soyinka as the moderator, while Falana; the Registrar, Joint Administration and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede; a lawyer and Chartered Accountant, Gbenga Adeoye; a businessman in the state , Ogo-Oluwa Bankole and the spokesman of the Electricity Distribution Companies, Sunday Oduntan were the panelists.
Soyinka said, “Good governance or mis-governance, the contract called democracy, a democracy indicates a contract that is why the candidate puts on a manifesto on the basis of that manifesto or they either be accepted or rejected.
“Very often, the grounds for breach of contract, I think we all agree, is mis-governance and one of the ways of breaking this kind of contract we know even before the duration of a contract is known as impeachment.
“And the reason we will go by some legislators to impeach the president who is the head of government. In fact, one cleric has gone even further , he believes that the impeachment should take place not in the legislative home but in the bush with the kidnappers and he appealed to the kidnappers to quicken the process by impeaching the president and take him away and some of his aides and one or two governors.”
The Nobel Laureate also submitted that the decision of the president to choose his successor shows that Buhari has breached the contract of democracy.
“I am a moderator here today, If I want to go to the toilet and I will be away for a few minute and I want to appoint somebody in my replace, I am likely to look for somebody who moderates like I do, someone who shares principles with my moderation, the same methodology and perhaps the same position , somebody whom I believe will moderate effectively as I have tried to do.
“In any democracy, any president, any prime minister or whatever is entitled to one vote, we are not saying we should disenfranchise somebody because they are on top of governance. They had the right to campaign for any candidate they liked but there is nothing in any constitution that I know of, in any democratic constitution which says that the head of government should appoint his or her successor. I am not aware of it and this is a head of governance who is generally agreed, I believe, as having failed, having mis-governed to the point that impeachment is being considered.
“I hear the governors go to this individual, go to this failure and say to him please give us your successor. Many of us in this country, including governors, including chairmen of local governments, know what comprehension they have of this process called Democracy because what this governance is telling us is that after a failure has occupied a seat of government for eight years, that failure should give us another failure for another eight years. So, those who feel that those governors who went to Buhari to give us a successor should also be impeached, can I please see your hands up in the air,” Soyinka said.
Mr Falana also criticised the president for seeking permission from the governors to choose his successor.
“As a follow-up, what the president did say is that ‘allow me to choose my successor because in your states you have appointed your successors without any interference,’” Mr Falana said.
In his contribution, Mr Oloyede urged Nigerians to also berate the state governments for their involvement in the failure of governance.
“What have we entrusted to the state that has not failed? They destroyed our public primary schools. Primary education is supposed to be at the residual level that the state and local government should take care of. How many of us are ready to send our children to public schools?
“The state destroyed all these primary schools. Where are the health centres built? Where are the health clinics in the states?”
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