Many paper pundits in many mass media outlets: print, electronic, radio and TV have written or asked the question such as "Today Waziri Who is Next?" This question needs to be rephrased as follows: Two days ago Ribadu, yesterday Ugwuonye, Today Waziri; who is next?
This has been the reason behind what I have been writing and advocating for about a month now. At the time I focused almost exclusively on Mr. Ugwuonye's incarceration and maltreatment and abuse. Several times I used the worn out expression that injustice to anyone is injustice to everyone. But before I go on I want to state that as much as I felt and wrote that Ms. Farida Waziri was an out of control train and should be made to leave EFCC, I still did not like the manner of her removal. I have the same feeling I had after I had called for the head of Justice Salami and his head was cut off.
There are right ways and wrong ways to do things. A president should not have the powers to create and kill. That makes him God. I believe that one God is enough for mankind.
By saying this I want also to make it clear that, not being an attorney (much less a constitutional lawyer), I do not know if he can or cannot remove the head of EFCC. But if he can I posit that he should not. If he can, then we have arrived again at the discarded "Divine Right of Kings"; a condition under which kings were answerable only to God.
It ruined Europe and would ruin Nigeria if allowed here.
There ought to be mechanisms by which officers that abused their positions like Waziri clearly was doing with Mr. Ugwuonye and others could be removed but that should not be just by the president acting alone but by a combination of the presidency, the legislators and the judiciary. I agree that it would be cumbersome and would make people like Ms. Waziri who are so inclined to continue in their nefarious ways for too long. It could be possible for the president to suspend such officers until the three branches could come to agreement to relieve or to reinstate.
I will now come back to my rephrased question Ribadu two days ago, Ugwuonye yesterday, Waziri today who is next? We do not know exactly who but there is bound to be a next victim if we do nothing. There were many people who chanted and danced on the street when Mr. Ribadu was axed by Mr. Yar' A'dua, there were people who exchanged high fives when Ms. Waziri conducted a mid night trial of Mr. Ugwuonye and his cell mates and urged her on as she kept him in jail for over 100 days and bragged that by the time she was done with him that he would run out of resources to engage lawyers to fight for him. There are now others who have been popping champagnes since Ms. Waziri's ouster. I have not participated in any of these temporary satisfactory behaviors. I have not because I am afraid that my time in the slammer may come soon. It might be my turn next.
I am fighting now to make sure nobody could do it to me or to you.
We can do the following to ensure that people in power positions could never be a judge and jury over us.
Here are some simple and immediate things that we can as individuals do to defang powerful people:
Cry foul whenever we see evil going on no matter who is the victim of the evil. Messrs Odumakin, Aluko, Afis, Ige's, et al celebratory parade as Mr. Ugwuonye is being abused is a case in point. The celebration going on now by some of my Igbo friends on the sinking of Ms. Waziri's boat is another case in point. Waziri today; Aduba tomorrow? It was the same temporary satisfaction some people had when Biafra was defeated and a handful of Igbo (about 3-5% of the population that owned bank accounts) were handed twenty pounds as full compensation for their entire wealth (and nothing at all for all others) and the houses of those who owned houses outside the Igbo land were confiscated.
Oppose, oppose and oppose any appointments made to people that you know are not worthy of the honor to hold power over their fellow Nigerians even when the beneficiary happens to be your father, your son or mother or daughter or a friend.
Support those who want to hold our officers accountable. If Mr. Valentine Ojo calls for people to wade into the war of words between EFCC and the auditor general about lack of auditor's report by EFCC join him in the fight. Mr. Ojo could be the worst of God's creations, but if he is right for once help him in the fight. He may be fighting our fight. To allow him to fail is to create the background for our collective failure. One can always go back and fight him in those areas where he is not so right.
Ensure that only men and women of integrity are appointed to high offices and that these are men/womenare accepting the positions to do some good and would be willing to offer their resignation when they are not accomplishing the objectives they set out to accomplish either because of the difficulty of doing so or because somebody is standing on the way. I mean people who would not breach their integrity for any reason.
There are the more difficult things we all have to do
We need laws that would prevent our government from being our masters instead of being our servants. There should be balance of power such that an OBJ could not impose a Yar' Adua on us and could not even aspire to a three term stewardship. We need laws that would not allow a GEJ to fire a justice Salami even when he is determined to be crooked judge, no not Salami, not the evil inclined Waziri. No. We also want him to be subject to those laws enforced by those same crooked law enforcers. If those laws are nor enforced over the president, we would have created a God over us.
We need noble and courageous legislators who have the backbone to stand up to the president and demand that even he be law abiding and not the legislators who would consume 25% of the nations collection plate for their personal servicing. We need a judiciary that would actually convict the guilty because they are guilty not to please an attorney general or keep the innocent in a gulag to please a friend. These things would only happen if we the people exercise the courage we are demanding of others. If our rulers know that there could be a Nigerian Spring, they might be a little more careful.
Our watchword ought to be accountability which is ingrained like it is among the Chinese who when they have done evil to the society commit hari-kari of their own volition. Or like Chinua Achebe's Okonkwo who went on exile on demand for carrying out the god's command. These are high moral behaviors by responsible citizens. These types of accountabilities could, or could not be legislated, but enshrined. We all have to live at that level of responsibility.
And when we have people who are living below that level, we all have a responsibility to force them to change, by isolating them, not by conferring the Ogbuefi title on them, or attending their Owambe party at the hallowed Tafewa Balewa Square where the green-white-green replaced the Union Jack. We ought to show that certain things in Nigeria are not for sale.
When we fail to do these things each one of us should have our bags packed and ready to go whenever the "big man" knocks and those of us abroad, might as well accept that we are persona no grata in the land of our birth