June 12 is not just a day in Nigeria: it symbolizes the unity that we clamored for, especially at this critical period in the history of our nation. It reminds us of the resolve of Nigerians to return military men to barracks; the resolution to give HOPE a chance. Unfortunately, the hope never materializes!
Until last year, June 12 was just like any other day: especially in other regions outside the southwestern part of Nigeria. For twenty-one years, the direct beneficiaries of June 12 struggle could not recognize the essence of the day, for reasons best known to them. It was therefore a soothing relief, when the incumbent administration not only recognizes the day as Nigeria’s Democracy Day, but also awarded posthumously the highest award of the country to the presumed winner of the election, Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola. Now, the “ghost” of MKO can rest in peace.
The right to peaceful protest is not only recognized by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but also a universal right that is accepted in all democratic nation. It was therefore not surprising that the leader of “Revolution Now” protest, Omoyele Sowore, took June 12 as a day to protest against what he described as bad governance in the land, and also called for the removal of Muhammadu Buhari from office. For a fact, there is nothing wrong if anybody chooses to protest against whatever (s)he chooses to protest against, as long as it is not infringing on the right of others. However, a protest with the aim of removing Buhari seems to be illogical: the constitution, Section 143-144, is clear on modalities through which an elected president can be removed from office. Any other means aside those clearly stated by the constitution is a call to anarchy. It is on this basis, the motive for the June 12 protest, and the presence of Governor SeyiMakinde in the midst of the protesters should be scrutinized.
While majority in support of that cheap publicity stunt by “Comrade Makinde” have argued that his presence was to protect the protesters from being harassed by security personnel, it will stand logic on its head when one considersthat there are protests in other states of the federation too where protesters were not harassed! If the protest was against bad governance and insecurity in the land, is it not hypocritical on the part of the Governor to be seen on the protest ground? For the past one week or so, there have been breach of security in several parts of the state: from Iganganto Federal Boys in Oremeji, Kosodo boys VS Oja’gbo boys, among other security issues that needed the attention of the state Chief Security Officer. Has he deemed it fit to solidarize with the families affected by the unnecessary killings in the state? What is he doing to reduce the brigandage that we are witnessing, arising from his inability to tame thugs in the state? Will he still be docile, as the pacesetter state returns to the state of anomie that it was pre-2011? Comrade Makindeshould be concern about how he will fulfill the many promises he made during the electioneering process, that earned him victory rather than this cheap politicking that will not in any way contribute positively to the lives of an average resident of the state.
The “Buhari Must Go” protesters should channel all their energies to invoke the various sections of the constitution, if truly they are serious about the agitation, and not another means to “chop” grants from international donors. If Buhari refuses to go, why not wait till February 2023, when another election would be conducted and make a bold statement with your votes? Any other means aside the provisions of the constitution, the president would have been justified if he treats the agitators in the language they understand.