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The Hypocrisy of the Nigerian Government

President Muhammadu Buhari at the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly reiterated his government’s respect for the rule of law. He said to the general assembly, “In Nigeria, we have made significant strides to put our own house in order. We will work tirelessly to uphold due process. The rule of law remains the permanent, unchanging foundation of the world order

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The government of Muhammadu Buhari is not known to have put its house in ordrer nor uphold due process. Neither is it known to follow the rule of law. The number of court rulings that it has disobeyed attest to its lack of respect for the rule of law. Many that have been granted bail by competent courts of law are still being held in custody.

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More recently, Omoyele Sowore who has been in custody for calling for a nationwide protest tagged #RevolutionNow was granted bail and having met all the bail conditions is yet to be released. He has instead been arraigned before another judge. What a travesty! Is this the putting in order our house the President proclaimed at the United Nations General Assembly or is this the rule of law or due process he talked about respecting? Worrying is the report that the judge who granted Sowore bail is to be reported to the National Judicial Council. Judges who stand firm on the path of justice are now to become targets of tyranny? Are we as a Nation going to be silent while this anomaly goes on? Would we as a Nation watch as the incorruptible judges in our judiciary get punished for simply standing on the path of justice? How do we encourage people to do the right thing in their respective places of work if we do not stand with them when they are being punished for doing just that?

Where then is the rule of law? Is it that the President reads whatever he is handed without understanding the impact? Is it that the President does not care about import of the words he says? Or is it that the President has no value for integrity and can say something and do the exact opposite without any care for the implication?

How then can one describe this travesty that we witness in our country today?  How can one explain standing before the whole world to declare one’s respect for the rule of law and then back home showing zero respect for the rule of law? What is the government of Muhammadu Buhari afraid of? Why is it agitated? Why the clamp down on voices all around the country? Why is DSS now used more for political cases rather than for  intelligence gathering that can lead to a more secured Nation.

We wait to see whether the judiciary which is the last refuge of the common man would allow itself to be stripped of its power as an independentarm of government and allow itself to be intimidated and become yet another victim of the high handedness of the Executive.

 All over the Nation,citizens are being locked up. Different charges are being brought against them. Common factor amongst all those being locked up is that they are holding this government accountable. They are refusing to be cowered and oppressed. They are fighting back a government that is exhibiting signs of being dictatorial and oppressive. For a government that is plagued by its inability to curb the incessant insecurity in the country it is perplexing how its focus is on unarmed citizens demanding that the government do better rather than the armed terrorists thatcontinue to threaten the lives and properties of the citizens the government was voted toprotect. Why is this level of energy not expended on the terrorists that have kept the Nation insecure? Why this energy on citizens who dare to have a voice against an incompetent, inept and clueless government that has failed the Nation woefully most especially in securing the lives and properties of the citizens?

We cannot pray our way out of the mess we currently are in. We can only get out by not just praying alone but also taking action towards emancipation. We must believe we deserve better and fight for freedom.

Steve Biko summed it up aptly when he said “The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed” and we must ensure we do not give our oppressors that weapon.

The government of today has turned into oppressor and doing everything it can to break the will of the people and shut down voices of dissent. We must all categorically take a stand and ensure that we never get back to the dark days that Nigeria once experienced.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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