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Ebonyi: Climbing the dangerous cliff

2015-03-04 13:03
Comments: 8 Article views: 371

Up until November 2014, political onlookers in Ebonyi State never fully appreciated the vicissitudes of the so-called Abuja politicians, in conjunction with their cronies in the Ebonyi State House of Assembly. It’s all crystal clear now though, thanks to a phenomenon that is as dangerous as it is laughable. Having subjugated the will of the people in a “palace coup” that saw a fine man and great achiever denied a clear mandate, Abuja politicians of Ebonyi extraction decided it was proper to break long-standing rules of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). By tradition, the party’s machinery at state level has always been in the hands of its state governor, except in states controlled by the opposition. In the case of Ebonyi, the state governor, Martin Elechi, was humiliated and the party’s machinery forcefully taken from him. Ebonyi is therefore the only PDP state whose governor is not in control of PDP’s structure at state level. Why?      

It is quite easy to fill in the blank spaces of Ebonyi crisis. The visibility of Abuja’s hand on the wall was evident during the PDP primaries in the state. Democracy was redefined from the choice of the majority to the whims of a few. Then, last week, Hon Linus Okorie put a face to it by pointing out to the House of Representatives, that there were political differences between Governor Elechi and the Ebonyi State House of Assembly.  Days later, the plans to impeach the governor became public. Suddenly, a two-term governor is accused of “acts of misconduct”, “misappropriation of funds” and “undermining of the House of Assembly’s authority”. All these, two months to the expiration of his tenure. It is a classic case of calling the dog a bad name to get its head on the platter.    

Understandably, “honourables” such as Odefa Odefa, Valentine Okike and Francis Nwifuru are enjoying the attention their acts of hooliganism and stupidity is presenting them. They also enjoy being in the company of Abuja politicians. But do they care to ponder on what this ugly situation portends? Do they even calculate the political risk involved in their inactions? Why has the national secretariat of the PDP turned its eyes the other way in this matter? It is easy to see why Ebonyi has been thrown into a state of confusion; in a state similar to that of somebody who swallowed a pestle, for who either to sit or stand happens to be an equally daunting task.

Also Read: Group issues warning against Ebonyi governor impeachment

Options are limited while consequences are grave in ignoring the yearnings of the people of the state. Like their governor, they are both underrated and taken for granted by the PDP they’ve stayed loyal to since 1999. Already, the Ebonyi Assembly does not have such numerical strength to impeach the governor without resorting to illegality.

Perhaps, we should ask the Ebonyi legislative actors how the House, currently lacking in numerical legitimacy, intends to institute an impeachment process on the governor without violating the provisions of Section 104 of the 1999 Constitution on the convocation of the House. Ebonyi Assembly requires not less than 24 and not more than 40 members to function as a proper law-making body. Except, of course, if these persons and their Abuja backers bypass the law and resort to the impunity that has come to define their political journeys, they make bare-faced lawlessness look like war scenes from the medieval Game of Thrones. This, they should be warned, is the 21century and we are in a democracy!

Because of the grave implication current events may bear on the PDP and President Jonathan’s presidency, it is in order to advise Mr President to intervene in this matter. Political hawks may not care if Jonathan loses the support of his loyal friends, insofar as they stay glued to the seats at the corridor of power. In fact, there is enough evidence to suggest that the real enemies of the president are not in such places as Abakaliki, but right there in Abuja, at Aso Rock. These are the people who, as soon as they fetch their share of clean water from the stream, unsettle the stream so to prevent others from fetching clean water.

The PDP should ask itself if it wants to return to the years when single-digit members of a House, sitting in a rented hotel room, would announce the impeachment of a governor. “Moving forwards” means that old inglorious habits by left behind. Ebonyi can rarely afford to boil at this point in time. Elections are coming; one way to keep them peaceful, free and fair is by preventing self-serving politicians from climbing the kind of dangerous cliff they are contemplating.    
- MyNews24
Read more on: ebonyi state  |  2015 elections  |  politics

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