By Malik Chidozie Awuzie
There was a time a divorcee called his children to inform them that he had invited their next door neighbor over for a family dinner. The first child objected and said “Daddy, that man is a bad man and we cannot sit on the same table with him to eat“. His second child and only girl said, “Daddy if you invite him over for dinner, I will pack my things and move in with mummy”. The man looking at the feedback decided to place a call to the man and told him that he had decided to cancel his invite for dinner with his family on grounds of the protest by his children whom he knows are the stakeholders in his family affairs.
Same is the case with the de-platforming of Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state by the Nigerian Bar Association .
The stakeholders in this case are the members of the body of benchers and they do not believe that Nasir El-Rufai is qualified to speak to them on issues bordering on Rule of Law citing many of his cases of repression and hounding of both members of the body of benchers and bonafide members of the NBA and other Nigerian citizens .
In a pained reprisal of the de-platforming, Governor Nasir El-Rufai who had earlier through his twitter handle @GovKaduna said that he was not pained by the action of the body but yet through a proxy organization that majority of Nigerians never heard of until some days ago under the acronym MULAN put out a statement demanding that the NBA also de-platforms Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike Esq , a life bencher and a bonafide member of the NBA who has never defaulted in his dues as a lawyer and member even as a politician.
That call by MULAN (an acronym this writer had earlier mistook for the animated movie MULAN) is at its best, described as puerile and infantile.
A swift comparison between the two governors would have been necessary but then that would make this a long read.
However, here are a few questions ;
Has Governor Wike of Rivers state ever been caught in any skirmish or scandal of disobeying court orders or repression of opponents ? No!
Has Governor Wike ever been seen or read antagonizing political opponents to the point of demolishing their properties ? No
Has Governor Wike ever been seen or heard hounding and planting false evidence against his political opponents and thereby forcing them to be remanded in prisons or police cells ? No
Has Governor Wike who has always hosted the Nigerian Bar Association conference in his state ever been found wanting or caught in the act of hounding lawyers or members of the body of benchers in Nigeria ? No
Has Governor Wike ever been found in the act of hounding and jailing critics ?
Now let’s take a score on the victims of Governor El-Rufai’s draconian nature and retributive justice .
Audu Maikori Esq
Steven Kefas . He was kidnapped on the orders of Governor El-Rufai and locked up in a detention center for months before he was transferred to prison in Kaduna for being a vocal critic against the mass killings of the people of #SouthernKaduna under Governor El-Rufai’s watch.
Onibiyo Segun – A radio presenter was hounded for expressing his opinion against Governor El-Rufai and was locked up in Kaduna prisons for months on the orders of the Governor El-Rufai. Upon release, Mr Onibiyo was relieved of his job by the radio station on the request of the governor and today he lives in Abuja trying to get a new job to sustain his family.
Prof Chidozie Odinkalu- A former Chairman of the NHRC ( Human Rights Commission) has been hounded by same Governor El-Rufai .
Dr John Dan Fulani – Hounded and arrested by state agents on the orders of Governor El-Rufai and after he was released was relieved of his job as a lecturer in the university in Kaduna state.
Senator Shehu Sani and others are not left out in his list of targeted people for opposing his draconian style of governance.
Yes ! The NBA did the right thing to de-platform Governor El-Rufai as a speaker on their conference.
If the MULAN feels it has valid evidence against Governor Nyesom Wike then they should petition the disciplinary committee of the NBA with evidences and then allow the law take its course first .
Nigeria is not a country where you walk in and believe that you can cite religious or ethnic differences as evidence to ask for the de-platforming of a member of the body benchers. It is a country that derives its powers from the RULE OF LAW and procedures.
The Governor of Kaduna state Nasir El-Rufai should not take this as chastisement from the NBA but rather see this as a call for retrospection and deep reflection of his handling of many issues beleaguering his state under his watch and make amends where necessary instead of looking for further ways to polarize institutions and people in Nigeria
(Malik writes from Abuja and can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org)