Wednesday, November 26, 2008


“No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause, because his interest would
certainly bias his judgment, and not improbably, corrupt his integrity. With
equal, nay with greater reason, a body of men are unfit to be both judges and
parties at the same time.”
-James Madison
It is about time we asked this question: who is actually running Nigeria? Who is the president of this country? Who is making decisions affecting the lives of millions of Nigeria? Yes, we do have a president in law, ensconced in Aso rock, removed from the realities of daily grind. A president Nigerians rarely see. A president who rarely perform any public functions outside the insular enclaves of Aso rock. Perhaps the only time Nigeria gets to see him live, is when he is on his way to another exotic hospital location in Saudi Arabia or Germany.

The reason we ask this question is that Nigeria is tottering on the “precipe” of outright chaos. We have a “mad dog” attorney general out on the loose, giving press conference and arresting any Nigerian at a public event because they are not properly dressed. In a country governed by constitution! I know, he now claims he never asked anyone to forcibly remove the erstwhile EFCC chairman at a public event recently. His visage however betrayed his true intents. Whilst it is comforting to learn that the so-called presidency had had to back away from the stance of its attorney general. One is still at a loss whilst the same presidency will not caution or at least rein in the renegade attorney general. The attorney general of the federation has turned the prosecution (or should we call it persecution?) of Mr. Nuhu Ribadu a directive principles of this government. It is as if there are no corrupt governors to prosecute anymore? The entire Federal Ministry of Justice is seized in frenzy, an ad hominem attack of one man. And what was his crime? He successfully prosecuted the corrupt governors who bankrolled the present regime. The Attorney General is now the prosecutor and the judge in the many trials of Nuhu Ribadu. I asked again, who is running this country?

Some of my friends have argued that Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, probably deserved what he is getting, given his predilections to selectively prosecute the enemies of his masters whilst they hold sway over Nigerian, but is this the best and only way to make him account for his acts or inactions during his turbulent reign as EFCC chairman? Is the present government not indirectly turning Ribadu into a martyr? Why not take legal action against him if he broke the law? Why take all these extra-legal means? And how on earth can a member of the Nigerian bar Association and attorney general of the federation justify the self-help means the federal government has so far used to humiliate Mr. Ribadu? Who is running this country?

We have a president who looks very sickly in every attempt he had made in the last 2 months to pretend normalcy. Every attempt by the press to get information about his health is often met with arrest or closure of the journalist and the media organization respectively. Even an online blogger was recently arrested by the amorphous secret service at Murtala Mohammed Airport, only for the government in Abuja to denied knowledge of the arrest. Again I ask who is running Nigeria?

Francis Adewale
Spokane, WA