NIGERIA is languishing at the bottom of best practices in most areas of human endeavours. These are grave indications that this country is being poorly run, and this has nothing to do with particular political parties or regimes. This country is sitting precariously on wrong foundations and truly needs restructuring and redirection.
The ongoing spat between the Nigeria Police and the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Dino Melaye, is a show of shame and an insult to our 19-year-old renascent democracy. The way the Nigeria Police has handled itself is a vivid justification of its 2016 rating as “the worst” police force in the world by the World Internal Security and Police Index International, WISPI.
The laying of siege to the Senator’s Abuja residence; the manner of arrest, escape from detention and re-arrest of hoodlums alleged to be armed by Senator Melaye; the untidy removal and reinstatement of the Kogi State Police Commissioner, Ali Janga; the dehumanisation and oppressive handling of the senator in court and hospitals and the refusal of IGP Idris to personally answer the various Senate summonses, have not projected the Police and the nation in positive light.
The senator is equally to blame for his unwholesome role in the saga. Instead of submitting himself to the law when invited in connection with allegations of gun-running and arming of bandits, he played hide and seek with the Police and enacted elaborate dramas to titillate his followers in the social media.
All these diversionary dramatics cleverly concealed the core of the matter: the two-track political differences between Melaye and the Presidency whom he is vocally critical of, and the local political turf war in Kogi between him and Governor Yahaya Bello. The Police and Senator Melaye are seen as the pawns in the proxy war between the Senate and the Presidency, which had been at daggers-drawn since the All Progressives Congress, APC, came to power in 2015. The feud heightened when the National Assembly altered the order of the 2019 elections prepared by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which displeased the Presidency.
We are relieved that President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the National Assembly at last saw fit to meet and iron out their differences over the 2018 budget for easy passage. They should use the method to mend fences and stop the needless proxy wars.
We want to see IGP Idris appear in person to answer the Senate’s summonses. We also want the Legislative and Executive branches to amicably agree on the order of the 2019 elections or refer the matter to the Judiciary for resolution. We also want Senator Melaye to answer to the charges preferred against him without further drama.