The first Senior Advocate of Nigeria from Bayelsa State, and former Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Anthony George-Ikoli SAN has warned that the Public hearing proposed by the Senate may be another ploy by a section to accumulate more power rather than to serve as tool to birth an egalitarian Nigeria.
The Senate through its Deputy President, Sen Ovie Omo-Agege had announced a public hearing on the review of the 1999 constitution which will take place in the six geographical zones of the country. Omo-Agege is also the chairman of the committee for the constitutional review.
The committee listed 17 items to be debated. This includes gender equity and increased participation of women and vulnerable groups in governance, the Federal Structure in governance and power devolution, Local government administration and autonomy, Public revenue, fiscal federalism, and and revenue allocation, constitutional provision for the establishment of state police, judicial reforms, and several other issues.
Ikoli, a former governorship aspirant in Bayelsa State however believed that public hearing may suffer the fate of other constitutional conferences before it. “Nothing but same old contrived opportunity for creation of an avenue for mandibular demonstrations and celebrations of our collective impotence as a people;
We have been invited yet again to join the pilgrimage to Abuja or wherever catches their fancy, to attend these paeans to our irrelevance; how many of these public hearings have been held and to what telling or useful purpose, beyond further compounding our woes? he asked.
He said further: “Respectfully, these advertised public hearings, are by the very spawns of the devil: cynically manipulating events, fiddling whilst the country unravels, obsessed with accumulating advantage and power to rule as sovereigns in a hellish Nigeria , than serve in a just, equitable, egalitarian Nigerian heaven;
These are acolytes of Dracula, intent on gorging themselves on the bloodfest and surplus carrion that are now everywhere. They give the impression that they are patriots committed to sundering the “Gordian knot “that Nigeria has morphed into; whilst , if truth be told, they are but votaries in the satanic shed of the diabolical alchemists purveying the corruption that have now overwhelmed us all. Only the gullible will spend valuable time on these inanities, now elevated to worthy issues. They are undeserving of even the wastage of useful time and cogitation by any serious person”.
He maintained that out of the 17 issues raised by the senate, only issue two, the Federal Structure in governance and power devolution, is germane . “All the others are just red herrings; confected and added by the enterprising but devilish National Coalition of Despoilers, carpetbaggers , currency manipulators , Oil and gas commission agents, compradors , spies, religious bigots, anarchists , pretenders, political prostitution practitioners, fifth columnists, local gbege practitioners, engaged in some grand obfuscation and obscurantist ploy to lull the uninformed to believing that some serious and genuine efforts at tackling our problems are being undertaken by the political class”.
He said that the current political operators lacked the required capacity to resolved the country’s present challenges. “The Nigerian conundrum and its intractable variants cannot and will not be resolved by the current political operators. Ever seen the culpable admitting and ensuring restitution or Honourable resolution of their own putrid?, he asked.
He said that the resolution of the federalism issue will automatically lead to a satisfactory resolution of all other issues. “It is my belief that the comprehensive resolution of issue two will enable the resultant products or constituent units of the now truly federalized structure satisfactorily address the other remaining 16 secondary and localized issues”.
George-Ikoli also took a swipe at Attorney General of the Federation( AGF) Abubakar Malami SAN over statement on the freedom of movement for the fulani herdsmen across Nigeria.
The Southern Governors had at a meeting in Asaba last week banned open grazing and asked the President Muhammadu Buhari, to address the nation over the increasing rate of insecurity in the country.
However, Malami who appeared as a guest on Channels Television on Wednesday faulted the ban, arguing that the governor had no right to do that.
According to the AGF, open grazing ban is the same thing as Northern governors banning spare parts trading in their own region considering the fact that Southerners comprise a majority of spare parts traders in the North. “It is about constitutionality. Within the context of the freedoms enshrined in our constitution, can you deny a right of a Nigerian? It is as good as saying may be the Northern governors coming together to say that they prohibit spare parts trading in the North. Does it hold water? Does it hold water for a Northern governor to come and state expressly that he now prohibits spare parts trading in the North?”, Malami said on television.
George-Ikoli however believed that despite the ignorance and foolishness displayed by the Minister, the statement should be taken seriously as it conveyed a message.
“The HAG’s ignorance self evident, manifest or otherwise, is not the gravamen of the contestation here, neither is his knowledge or appreciation of the law and its finer points, the reason for allusion to his reasoning. All those are conceded;
The worrisome development is the adoption of the magisterial style of delivery of his feigned superciliousness. Not only was a “kite being flown’, a message was trenchantly being put out. The foolishness therefore, assuming he was ever a worthy deserving of the office, is not realizing that, his remit does not permit him to do the job of the Minister of information / propaganda;
It is conceded that the executive cannot legislate laws orally; but in seeking to excoriate their Southern Excellencies, he committed the very same offence, and makes charges of sectionalism and partisanship appropriate ripostes to his unguarded mandibular peregrinations”.