The belated but necessary threat by some members of the Senate last week to trigger an impeachment move against President Mohammadu Buhari for abandoning Nigeria and Nigerians to Fulani bandits and terrorists is a worthy, noble and patriotic intervention in the escalating insecurity situation in the country, which is steadily and gradually creeping to envelope the entire nation.
While we sympathize with the senators, we are not enamoured of, and carried away, by their theatrics. Their action is a wrong prescription for an ailment, which solution is so elementarily obvious to warrant the constitutionally laborious, and politically unstable and uncertain process of impeachment, particularly, in a very ethnically polarized and religiously charged, and divided country.
Although, the senators, described by the Presidency as “a minority of the minority,” may be justified in the step they took, they are being dishonest and hypocritical in trying to play to the gallery with such serious existential challenge in the country, and intended to deceive the people of their own complicity and constitutional failure.
Insecurity in Nigeria today is no longer a political problem of the party in government as President Buhari and the APC reduced it to before coming to power in 2015, and have consistently tried to make it since assuming power, an opposition pretext and pastime to demonize the regime; but it has become the single worst threat to the unity and collective existence of Nigeria and Nigerians.
At no time since independence is the future of Nigeria so precariously poised than today; not even during the civil war. Then, the cause of the crisis was obvious and the perceived emeny known, and government was determined to prevent such outcome.
Today, the story is totally different: The enemy unleashing the worst form of attacks everywhere remains masked and undistinguishable even by the security agencies; their motives for the senseless and unprovoked killings cannot be defined, and the government, whose responsibility is the protection, and safety of life and property, is abjectly and abysmally unprepared, and or unwilling, to deploy the coercive resources at its disposal even if it requires foreign assistance – as they did during the civil war – to end the threat.
It is tragically sad, that after spending trillions of naira on the military and the fight against insurgency, we are farther from our objective and the insurgents and terrorists are still better equipped, more motivated, and fiercely emboldened to continue their nefarious enterprise to annihilate those in their way.
The recent threat to abduct the president and Governor el Rufai of Kaduna state is the climax of their utter impunity and disdainful disregard for the government. Coming after the dare-devil invasion of Kuje Correctional Centre, just 35 kilometers from the Aso Villa, Nigeria’s seat of power, says volume about their level of audacity and emboldment. It suggests clearly that they can hit any target in their sight.
Worse still is the disclosure by Gov. el Rufai that President Buhari was unaware of such threat to his life, which should be really concerning to all Nigerians, and points to the apparent indifferent aloofness of government to this crisis. The question that immediately arises is, how much does the president know about this worsening insecurity in the land, and perhaps, other things, if he did not know the one that would affect him personally?
Again, the assertion by Deputy Speaker of the House of Reps, Hon. Wase, that there were 40 intelligence reports prior to the Kuje attack, is actually the icing on the evil cake being baked for the nation. It proves evidently the collusion of high officials of state and members of our security agencies in the unfolding macabre dance of death.
With all these developments and indeed, failings, by the federal government and particularly, Mr. President, it is hardly tempting for the senators to embark on the wild goose chase of impeaching the president. It is even more tellingly indicting of the senators that the constitution amendment process they half-heartedly undertook was done in this prevailing situation of insecurity without any thought or mention of state police, which many people agree is the best approach to insecurity in a large federal country like ours.
Throughout the world, and particularly, federal systems, there are devolving levels of policing to cope with local threats as they arise. All previous constitution amendments had, at least, included it, though eventually defeated. That the 9th senate did not even contemplate it for fear of rankling some interests that may be in cahoot with those perpetrators of insecurity in the country, is eloquent testament of their concerns for Nigeria and the dutiful representation of their people.
As a newspaper, we are duty bound to reject such infantile foolery of impeachment by the senators, when the easier and better option would have been to amend the constitution to empower the subnational governments to complement the efforts of the federal in dealing with the challenge.
Impeachment is not likely to succeed with just five months to elections, and is even inadvisable. Moreover, it cannot solve the problem, because the problem is now beyond the president, any president. The president cannot veto an amendment approved by two-thirds of the states.
Insecurity is now systemic and only a structural recalibration of the security architecture can withstand and resolve this threat. So, we call for an emergency session of the National Assembly to empower the states to raised their police forces to support the federal police in securing the nation from the unknown enemy. This is the only way to go to achieve lasting peace and security in the country.