I have become flaccid to the unending drag drama at the national assembly. And I have lost erection for the routine executive-legislature dominatrix. The reason is that I am in a “fair weather” relationship with both parties.
In July, I raised my feeble voice against the police blockade of Senate President Bukola Saraki’s convoy. I did that principally because of his office. Saraki is only a tenant in that office; Nigerians are the landlord.
We must protect our institutions regardless of the tenants who happen to find themselves there now. They will remain long after the present occupants have left the scene.
Undoubtedly, the DSS siege of the national assembly today is condemnable. The action makes true the fear that Nigeria has come under the cumulus of tyranny.
The Buhari administration has broken all human rights violation records. From the harassment of judges, murder of innocent Nigerians and illegal detention of citizens to the attack on the media, President Buhari has shown himself to be a “congenital dictator”. It is said in Igbo, “it is difficult to learn new dance tricks in old age”. Buhari cannot change.
However, I will not be sympathetic with the national assembly because it is not sympathetic to the pains of Nigerians. The legislature will only amplify the refrain “our democracy is under threat” whenever the executive does it dirty. But whenever citizens cry under the brutality of SARs, the national assembly will not comfort them.
Nigerians continue to suffer DSS and police harassment, extortion and intimidation, but the legislature has done nothing to bring them respite, besides politicising the issue? For example, Jones Abiri, a journalist, has been in DSS detention for more than two years extra-judicially, what has the national assembly done to get him out of captivity? Of course, he does not matter because he is not a senator.
The national assembly must understand that our democracy is under threat whenever a citizen is harassed, arrested and detained without charge by agents of the state. I believe Nigerians will join the fight of the legislature when it starts fighting their battles too.
In fact, sometimes, when the legislature takes the side of the people on a policy or government decision, it quickly re-aligns itself with the executive for political ends. It is this reason that Nigerians have stopped taking the institution seriously.
Our democracy is under threat when any citizen is a victim of state assault, not just senators.
Fredrick Nwabufo is a media personality.