– “Pride rides on vanity, sups on contempt”-Benjamin Franklin.
The highest judicial authority in the country, National Judicial Council (NJC), in a landmark move renege its earlier stance by reversing the suspension, calling for re-instatement of the President of the Court of Appeal (PCA), Justice Isa Ayo Salami.
In what many analysts especially noted legal luminaries described as “illegal and an injustice”, the strong-willed judge was on 19th August, 2011 ‘dethroned’ after a protracted battle over his insistence on remaining at the Court of Appeal rather than accept a kangaroo promotion to the Supreme Court.
It is unfortunate that what led to the unjust dismiss in the first place, was a much-publicized personality clash (which frequently transpire in public office) between Justice Salami and the erstwhile Chief Justice of Nigeria, Aloysius Kastina-Alu over a number of allegations and counter-allegations; the history I need not recount.
We can recall the rancor involving Orji Uzor Kalu/Theodore Orji, Bola Tinubu/Kofoworola Bucknor, Timipre Sylva/Peremobowei Ebebi, Isa Yuguda/Garba Mohammed Gadi, Peter Obi/Virgin Etiaba, just to cite a few. Even presidents are not left out; ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo/Atiku Abubakar on one hand, Gbenga Daniel on the other. The most recent of course was President Goodluck Jonathan versus Timipre Sylva. It appeared only late President Yar’adua did not clash with his state governor. Ministers, commissioners similarly clash with their respective permanent secretaries at will.
Truth be told, what is more worrisome is the fact that elected/appointed officials in the three arms of government who ought to value unity and embellish the garment of office with decorum and diplomacy, are always found culpable of witch-hunt and infighting. So how then will they deliver the bounty of the civil rule we clamored?
But my fear is the kind of the legacy these supposed role-models are passing on to the younger generation, particularly their protégés. A Yoruba adage says ‘esin iwaju ni t’eyin wo sare’ (meaning the horse behind copies the one in front). If the present crop of leaders occupying exalted seats finds it somewhat comfortable staying at loggerheads with one another, then future leaders will by then see it as conventional. That is trouble in caps. We will witness more mudslinging, assaults and probably a high number of homicides.
But then again, in all of this, the person I pity terribly is the President. He is in a fix – and quite understandably too. I can imagine questions running three hundred and sixty degrees in his mind. ‘Why did I accede to the suspension? Did I err in not consulting widely before giving my consent? How do I overturn an action I took almost a year ago? Wouldn’t Nigerians and my international friends think I am confused? Will PDP not brand me a disloyal party-man for reinstalling an enemy-judge who gave two states we once controlled to the opposition?
‘Ro ki o to se, ma se ki o to ro; ranti pe lojo kan iwo o de ipo giga, iwa rere si ni koko’. It is a song I learnt in my early school meaning; Think before you do, don’t do before you think; remember that someday you’ll get to a high position and such good quality is Key.
Going by the heat brought upon the judiciary and the nation as a consequence of this matter, the President definitely must be praying against a repeat of such. Nevertheless, as for now, he would have to deal with this one.
Shocking Demise of Great Nigerians
The last three weeks or so has not been a very good one for the country. Hardly does a week pass without news of loss of one giant or the other. These fallen heroes cut across the academic circles, labour and sports.
On 4th May, 2012: Nigeria lost two distinguished sons; ex-international football star, Rashidi Yekin and Governor Adams Oshiomole’s principal private secretary, Mr Olaitan Oyerinde. I did a tribute to the former but only mentioned the passing away of the latter in my ‘Adieu Yeking’ write-up.
Mr Oyerinde was one of the labour activists I admired for his active role in students’ movement. He was a great inspiration for some of us who partook in students’ unionism. Until his life was cut short, he remained upright in his struggle for the masses to get what they deserve from their leaders.
Within one week, the nation also lost, the vice-chancellor of the University of Lagos, Professor Adetokunbo Babatunde Sofoluwe, Sir Dele Ige, younger brother of murdered former attorney-general of the federation, Chief Bola Ige and the former president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Pascal Bafyau.
Indeed, these deaths are (more than) one too many; very painful. We are reminded that in whatever we do, we should bear in mind the six-feet below. The cock will give its last crow someday; a day we will hear a strange call we must answer.
My wholehearted condolence to the families and associates of the deceased, government of Edo State, management and students of University of Lagos, labour unions, soccer lovers and all Nigerians.
May the hands of death hovering round outstanding citizens cease forthwith in heavens name.
firstname.lastname@example.orgNo. of Views:148