Amaechi warns against impunity
Rivers State Governor Chibuike Amaechi has urged Nigerians to wake up and resist tyranny in any form saying dictatorship is creeping into the polity.
Amaechi said although a people deserve the leaders they get, he urged Nigerians to insist on getting better service and governance from their leaders than what is currently obtainable.
The Governor spoke yesterday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, at the third annual lecture of the Ogun State Correspondents’ Chapel, themed: Nigeria and the Leadership Question.
At the event held at the Secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ogun State Council, Oke – Ilewo, Abeokuta, Amaechi who was the guest speaker reckoned that unless the citizens rose against bad leadership and enthroned one that is passionate about quality governance, the country would neither make a headway nor witness respite.
Amaechi who was represented by Rivers State Information Commissioner Mrs Ibim Semenitari, deplored the absurd situation playing out in the country where a Commissioner of Police would wake on a morning and make unconstitutional pronouncement, banning citizens from holding a peaceful assembly.
Amaechi said: “Nigerians must say no to tyranny. Nigerians must say no to dictatorship. The people get the kind of leadership they deserve.
“It appears that Nigerians have been docile. Nigerians should insist that they deserve more than they are getting.
”Leadership is an extremely important factor, if we are going to build a nation. Unless and until we have leaders with ability, integrity, commitment and vision, we cannot succeed as a country. We cannot succeed by leadership that is not functional.
“It is in your hands to choose and to change the leadership. Nigerians must begin to insist that they deserve better than they are getting. We believe that Nigeria of our dream is Nigeria with leaders who are not only consistent, transparent but also passionate about our country.”
He also pricked the nation’s conscience by raising some posers on leadership, asking:
“Can we say that the crop of leadership at various levels is passionate about us as a country? Can we say that the current crop of leadership at the federal level is transparent in their dealings?
“Can we say that the present crop of leadership at the federal is consistent with policies that will build the nation. I think that the answers to that is the reason why some of us left the Peoples Democratic Party for the All Progressives Congress.”
The Governor lamented that he had continued to bear of tyranny in his Rivers state by having a Chief Judge foisted on him by the National Judicial Council(NJC).
He noted that there are about two other states in the country having similar experience like Rivers State but said the NJC did not impose Chief Judges on those states, adding that because of the “political interest of some people,” a Chief Judge not appointed by the Governor was foisted on Rivers people.
He said: “It is in the Constitution that the governor should be the one to appoint the chief judge, but this was not the case in Rivers. It was the National Judicial Council that appointed the chief judge. This is unconstitutional.”
He challenged the form of federalism being practiced in Nigeria, saying a situation whereby the federal government apportions what allocation should accrue to the federating units must be looked into.
“We are a proper Republic of Nigeria, therefore the federal government lacks the power to sit as a Prefect. What kind of country that claims to be federalism yet money are deducted from the source in Abuja without recourse to state governors?
“Somebody would sit in Abuja and deduct money at will, spend it at will and chooses to be a Prefect over the states. It is actually a relationship of the equals. Equals come together and chose to be parts of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We are not a confederal system, we are not a military government. We are a federal system. With all these observations, ask yourself, how can we be dealing with the leadership question if those who ought to be leaders do not have a clue of what the constitution says of what they can do and what they cannot do?”
Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun who was represented by Commissioner for Information and strategy, Yusuph Olaniyonu, urged Nigerians to elect only credible, honest, transparent and corruption – free persons into elective offices in future elections.
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