Tuesday, 27 February 2007
Atiku: Now Irrelevant, Sits in Limbo! (As President Obasanjo Waits to Exhale)!
By Paul I. Adujie
Atiku Abubakar is not an admirable symbol of the rule of law, due process, democracy or anything good for Nigeria! That much should be clear to all by now.
I suppose by now too, some Nigerians would have recovered from their fleeting euphoria over the very costly and meaningless Pyrrhic victory attained by Atiku Abubakar at the Appeals Court in Nigeria? Perhaps! Atiku disqualification by INEC is precisely that point
No reasonable Nigerian would cast Atiku in those robes or seek that Atiku play such roles. Atiku in robes and roles, wrapped as Mr. Rule of law, and advocate of due process and the ideals of democracy. He is splendidly unqualified! He is unqualified for a million of reasons and then, some. His antecedents are not edifying. His current posturing and rabble rousing stances makes him even more detestable! Atiku cares only for himself.
Atiku Abubakar has been pandering to and desperately trying to commandeer the gallery! In his desperations, he has resorted to uncouth language in every of his reference to the current federal government of Nigeria of which he is supposed to be a part! When did Atiku discover the perversities that he has been accusing others of? Is there perversity at all? If there are perversities, why is Atiku just telling us at this time? So he can be elected president at all costs and by all means?
The more he says, the more morose he appears and sounds. Imagine Atiku, after being part of the government in Nigeria for almost eight years, he now turns around to describe the same administration as despotic, tyrannical, dictatorial and lawless? When took him so long? His self interests or is he just crying wolf, where there is none?
How come some Nigerians are not taking Atiku to task? Why is it that some Nigerians cannot see Atiku for what he really is? He is an opportunist pure and simple. I read an article by Mr. Babs Ajayi in which he used a most fitting description for Atiku, Mr. Ajayi described Atiku as a charlatan and how apt! Mr. Ajayi wrote Atiku Abubakar: A Charlatan's Lecture at Chatham House And it was Mr. Usman Yerima who had asked whether “Is Atiku a Serious Character? In his article, also questioning the manner of man Atiku is. Mr. Ajayi and Mr. Yerima analyzed Atiku and portrayed him as a later-day saint wannabe!
Atiku has suddenly become something of a foreign agent in his desperations, he runs to Washington DC and then to London, seeking foreign interventions in Nigeria’s internal political affairs! The stark reality of Atiku’s self-inflicted irrelevance and political orphan status is surely skin off Atiku’s nose. He is so ill-disposed now, that he is liable to say anything and everything, which in his estimations, would advance his moribund candidature.
He has as result, engaged in all types of ill-mannered pandering to the Nigerian Press, to American and European Media; Atiku has also sought the interventions of the American and British governments! Just when you thought Nigeria is an independent nation needing no supervision, as if a protectorate!
Atiku is down and most probably out as well; Well-meaning Nigerians must hope that Atiku does not bring down Nigeria with him, just because his personal ambition has been extinguished. Atiku seemed to have equated his presidential ambition to Nigeria’s national interests and wellbeing? Hence Atiku is apparently acting as if the heavens must fall, as he cannot be president? How self-consumed and arrogant can he get?
Atiku and his followers may be under some delusions over Atiku’s court “victories” But the truth is court victories are sometimes enjoyed by notoriously known brigands and gangsters! Legal developments or the expansions of criminal laws in particular have resulted from struggles between societies desires for law and order on the one hand; and the perpetrators desire to stay out of jails or to avoid the consequences of their unlawful behaviors on the other hand. Behaviors which the societies seek to prevent or punish.
It must be clear, that Atiku has nothing to offer Nigeria. It must be clear that Atiku is Atiku is one man who is unbowed, undeterred and unconnected to the reality of his political orphan status! He continues to take himself so seriously, he is almost pitifully laughable.
He has become irrelevant and inconsequential and he seem completely unaware!
Criminal elements all over the world have knacks for enhancing legal development.
The litigation of the rights of law breakers, and those accused of breaking the laws, inevitably, leads to the interpretation of laws on the books, all manners of statutory enactments and the constitutions of countries.
Hyde Vs Hyde defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman with the exclusions of all others! The inclusion of anyone else would be bigamy under the common law in England, Nigeria and the United States. With that, what constitutes bigamy was settled, hundreds of years ago.
Politicians in Nigeria who would not pay their taxes, have a certain gentleman to thank for what now constitutes payment of income tax, as an when, due.
In America, the late Honorable Justice Thurgood Marshall, successfully argued against segregation and discrimination against African Americans and peoples of African descent in the United States in Brown Vs Board of Education, a 1954 case, in which the United States Supreme Court made a landmark judgment on equality of rights to education by all Americans.
What is known as Miranda rights in America is a precursor to all criminal charges. An arresting police officer must alert, an arrestee, on pain of misconduct, to the effect that the arrestee has a right to remain silent otherwise anything said may and could be used against the arrestee in court of law. This of course arose from an incident in which someone was arrested and was not availed of all extenuating circumstances and advisement as to his right to be silent.
Al Capone was legendary organized crime kingpin, he was charged with series of offences connected and related to organized crime activities and the charges never stuck. He was eventually, only eventually, convicted on matters relating to taxes!
John Gotti was a notorious, but flamboyant mafia boss in New York City, he was tried more than five times and each times, he prevailed against the federal government of the United States! No small feat! John Gotti was eventually convicted.
We are saying all these, to say that, Atiku may have prevailed in courts several times, only due to exigent circumstances. It therefore must be clear that Atiku is not and should not, by any stretch of the imagination, be seen as a symbol for the rule of law or for that matter, a symbol for democracy!
It is quite baffling that any Nigerian would consider Atiku a symbol for the rule of law, due process and the most thinkable of them all, Atiku as a symbol of democracy! Anyone who thinks that or worse, anyone who says that Atiku is any such lofty symbol for Nigeria, must be among those who I prefer to describe as oxymoronically gifted! How can anyone think that John Gotti is a symbol of any legal principle? But, just because John Gotti beat so many criminals charges and prevailed in many cases that were brought against him by the US federal government? John Gotti was eventually convicted on federal charges and he lived and died in prison.
Gotti, just like Atiku, was idolized by some. Gotti was called the infallible and indefatigable Teflon Don, just Gotti was praised for his dressing and labeled the Dapper Don (Notice that Atiku wears suits and President Obasanjo is magnificent and resplendently regal in African attires)! Gotti did not symbolize any principle of law, criminal or civil. Atiku does not symbolize any principle of law, criminal or civil.
If Atiku is a symbol for anything, it is most probably unsavory. If he is remembered, it will be that he will be remembered for being an extraordinary opportunist and it will be that he is remembered as a desperate politician, who wanted to be president of a republic, and so, so badly that he hired more lawyers, especially, Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) more lawyers than the numbers of lawyers hired by both President Bush and former Vice President Gore as the sorted out the rigmarole of American presidential elections in year 2000 with the particularities of pregnant chad, hanging chad and all other chads. Atiku may indirectly have contributed to an early need to interpret our constitution that does not confer any honors or symbols on him, as Mr. Rule of law etc
I am in complete agreement with Barrister Gani Fawehinmin’s analyses and conclusions on the verdict of our Appeals Court. That verdict is more reminiscent of a political decision tailored after opinions that is current among elite in Nigeria.
As anyone who reads most newspapers published in Nigeria, would think every Nigerian is of the same political suasion! No disparities or distinctions whatsoever between conservatives, liberals and social democrats! A reading of the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times would demonstrate the leaning towards conservative social policies by the former and a leaning toward liberal social policies by the latter. As a matter of fact, you would find certain columnists in The New York Times who are conservative thinkers and writers, even though the paper is for the most part, a liberal one.
On the contrary, almost every newspaper seems to be favorably disposed to Atiku and the opposition political parties and their supporters who are opposed to the current federal government of Nigeria. No divergence of opinions or headlines in the newspapers.
Nigerians newspapers, at least most of them, seem to still operate with the anti military government unified opposition posture. Or when did Nigerian elite or public opinion start to agree on public issues so uniformly? How can any reasonable person be convinced that there are no journalists who are favorably disposed to President Obasanjo’s administration and the reform policies it has been pursuing? How can any reasonable person explain the very bad press, the very caustic press, the very corrosive press that President Obasanjo has received for almost eight years?
Are the press houses and newspapers in Nigeria controlled by the anti Obasanjo forces? Are the magazines and sundry news media outlets bought and therefore in the pockets of the opposition and those opposed to President Obasanjo’s reform policies? Contrary to speculations to the effect that President Obasanjo desires an extension, I actually suspect that he is at this point waiting to hand over power, peaceful, orderly and happily!
Judging by President Obasanjo’s recent public pronouncements, that he does not expect to spend May 28, 2007 in the State House at Aso Rock, it must clear to all that President Obasanjo is himself literarily, counting the seconds, and minutes and days as he waits to exhale!
It is understandable that change and reform may meet resistance, but here, we are seeing such stiff and vehement resistances! Madam Minister Ezekwesili calls them the Reform Resistance Army. And I suspect that these angry resisters are those who are being told that their old corrupt ways must give way to a new era of accountability, transparency and good governance and EFCC’s Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, that indomitable fighter of corruption, has recently alerted Nigerians to the sad possibility that Nigerian Press may have been hijacked by those being pursued for corruption!
Hence the Nigerian Press has for the most part, become some sorts of advocacy group for wrongdoers! Instead of hailing those who are doing the work and all heavy-lifting of policy reforms that are imperative for Nigeria’s development, advancement and greatness