Nobel Laureate faults President for anointing successor
Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, has backed the six weeks ultimatum given to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), by some federal lawmakers to find a solution to terrorism or be impeached.
Soyinka spoke on Tuesday in Abeokuta, Ogun State, during an interactive session organised to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Abeokuta Club.
The session, which had a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana; the Registrar of the Joint Administration and Matriculation Board, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede; a lawyer, Gbenga Adeoye; a businessman, Ogo-Oluwa Bankole; and the spokesman of the Electricity Distribution Companies, Sunday Oduntan, as panellists, had as its theme “Good governance or mis-governance: The contract called democracy.”
The PUNCH reports that senators and members of the House of Representatives elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party had last week handed down the ultimatum over lingering insecurity in the country.
Soyinka, who was the session’s moderator, noted that the President should be impeached because he had breached the contract of democracy.
He said, “Democracy indicates a contract, that is why the candidate puts on a manifesto. On the basis of that manifesto, the candidate is either 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.
“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.”
Soyinka, however, threw the question to the gathering whether the President should be impeached or not and majority of the people who comprised members of the club and other dignitaries raised their hands that Buhari be impeached.
He also faulted a situation where Buhari, who he said had performed abysmally to the point that lawmakers are considering impeachment, will decide who succeeds him at the end of his tenure.
He added, “In any democracy, any president, 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 their right to campaign for any candidate they like 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 misgoverned 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, what comprehension they have of this process called democracy because what these governors are 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.”
Soyinka urged the governors to stop desecrating democracy by enthroning a dynasty of failure.
Falana, in his remarks, corroborated Soyinka’s submission on the need to stop the abuse of democratic process.
He decried the imposition of leaders on Nigerians.
Oloyede, in his submission, urged Nigerians not to focus on the faults of the Federal Government but concentrate on the state governments’ involvement in the failure.