Nyako’s Impeachment: Democracy in Action
At last Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa state has been booted out of office. Indeed this marks the end of an era. An era
characterized by a plethora of incessantly distracting political intrigues and showmanship that almost paralyzed the real business of governance in Adamawa state. Undoubtedly, there are Nigerians, especially those in the opposition political parties and their sympathizers, who understandably frown on this development in our polity and are thus inclined to believe that this is not only unhealthy for our growing democracy but equally exposes a part of the whole gamut of the changing versions of vicious political shenanigans being orchestrated by the Peoples Democratic Party and the President himself – Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan – which is aimed at undermining and debilitating the strength, the clout, the stronghold as well as the sphere of authorities of the states being controlled by the All Progressive Congress (APC). Similarly, there are others compatriots – consisting mainly of members of the Peoples Democratic Party and their apologists – whose perception of Governor Nyako’s political downfall borders on no other consideration than the belief that the latter has only reckoned with the reality of living out what of philosophers sometimes refer to as one’s “karmic accumulations”. Hence it is the belief of these folks that the fate which has just befallen Mr. Murtala Nyako is hardly severed from the handiwork of the transcend beings operating the phenomenon of poetic justice within the supernatural realm. Understandably, this and more are all issues that surround and speak volumes about the man now known as the immediate erstwhile Governor of Adamawa state.
Now, let us come to think of it. For the first set of Nigerians as mentioned above, there exists this seemingly indelible impression in their minds that no matter the seriousness or the credibility of the offences allegedly committed by Governor Murtala Nyako and on the grounds of which he has been booted out of office, nothing could be further from the truth vis-a-vis the time of the commission of these alleged offences. While some persons therefore query why members of the PDP who hitherto turned a blind eye to all the allegations levelled against Nyako while he was one of them and as such did not realise at the time that these charges constituted impeachable offences, others believe and argue that it was these same PDP folks who gave this hapless man (Mr. Murtala Nyako) the encouraging but misleading, bogus and elusive impression that the larger population of the people of Adamawa state and their state House of Assembly members were not only with him but in full support of his style of governance. Hence it smacks of little or no surprise that the politicking in the state got to a stage whereby even certain members of the state House of Assembly had to swim along with Admiral (Rtd) Murtala Nyako into the All Progressive Congress’ pool.
However, analysts believe that the most disturbing in all this game of gambling in Adamawa politics is the fact that the totality of the pre-defection actions and inactions of the Governor – some of which were even realised with the unalloyed/tacit support of members of the state House of Assembly – suddenly got compiled into a compendum of impeachable offences which invariably became a sort of send-off gift to Governor Murtala Nyako. This trend apparently explains why critics of this impeachment are seething with anger and consequently impelled to contend that Nyako’s only perceived sin for being “victimized” is not unconnected with his defection to the All Progressive Congress.
But could this assertion be true? Of course, supporters of Governor Nyako’s impeachment do not in any way subscribe to this line of thought or any such impression that tends to portray the impeached Governor as being punished or humiliated on account of his defection to the APC. According to the thinking here, in the first instance, the people’s mandate which confered authority on Nyako to govern the state was originally secured through platform created and offered to him by the Peoples Democratic Party and not by the All Progressive Congress. Therefore, the issue or argument about punishment or humiliation is viewed to be neither here nor there. More so, the question has been posed as to what else could justify the obvious need for the urgent removal of Governor Murtala Nyako from office than the “fact” of the diverse cases of maladministration established against him and which he implicitly aknowldged by his obdurate refusal to honour the invitation duly communicated to him in that regard by the Adamawa State House of Assembly. As the contention goes, if indeed Mr. Nyako was certain he is not guilty of the offences as charged and/or as established by the report of the panel set up by the acting chief Judge of the state to investigate him (and also by the contents of other relevant reports/documents as the case may be), it baffles and still boggles one’s mind why in his normal sense of reasoning he chose to waive his right to fair hearing as constitutionally guarranted and legitimately granted to him by the Adamawa State House of Assembly. Or, could it be the national or state leadership of the peoples Democratic Party that prevented Nyako from going to address those questions prepared and kept for his urgent attention in the State House of Assembly?
Arguably, one still wonders if it will be adjudged a “good politics” within our clime, or even else where, for either the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party or President Jonathan himself – whom Governor Murtala Nyako had continually and, in extreme cases, unpatriotically tongue-lashed, insulted, vilified and baselessly accused – to have seen a well-presented or providential opportunity to be astutely used in dealing with Mr.Nyako and only for him (Mr. President) or his party to fritter such rare opportunity away. And if one may ask, assuming the APC were to be the party in power at the Federal level or the party enjoying the privileged majority membership of the various State Houses of Assembly spread across the federation as the status qou favours the PDP, would the former in all snicerity cause less “harm” than what the latter is expediently doing to secure or, rather, to reclaim power in more states?
surely not a handful of Nigerians are bound to differ in our individual and/or group perceptions and responses to this seeming “plight” of the impeached Governor Nyako, his party (the APC) as well as the ongoing “travails” of his former colleague in Nasarawa state, yet the plain political truth as can be found in Robert Greene’s masterpiece – THE 48 LAWS OF POWER – is that those who seek ploitical power must learn to acknowledge the positive and negative operative effects of the laws of power. little wonder that Prof. B.C. Nwankwo in his book – Authority in Government – defines politics as “all actitivities geared towards acquisition or retention of power”. Incidentally, this putatively practical definition of politics cannot operate differently in the Nigerian polity. This is why Nigerian politicians should play more politics and do more good to our democracy. And here lies the beauty of democracy as evidenced in Governor Murtala Nyako’s impeachment.
Onyiorah Chiduluemije Paschal writes from Lagos