By Oriaifoh Godwins
Illegality is every action that negates the dictates of the law.
Meaning, whatever that is done that negates the rules/norm, customs
and policy of a society, are illegal.
In view of the above, we need to call to recall that, on the 17th of
June, this infamous deviation from the norm and status quo
characterized the recent kangaroo inauguration of the Edo state House
of Assembly, EDHA, where five willing members, and four unwilling
members elect that were kidnapped, and forced to join in a night
inauguration of an Assembly, out of the total 24 members elect, which
eventually threw Edo state into legislative brouhaha, thereby making
the National Assembly to wade into the impasse.
As this was done, the social media was awash with photographs of
inaugurated nine, out of the twenty four members, some of who were
seen wearing short knickers, perm sandals and awkward dresses that
does not conform with the dressing code of the House, especially as it
relates to appearing in the supposedly hallow chamber when official
matters, as important as the inauguration of a new Assembly is to take
Again, the following day, 18th June, realizing that the way and manner
the charade inauguration was conducted, was widely condemned by well
meaning Nigerians, as well as by lovers of democracy and its processes
worldwide, coupled with the holding of press conference by majority
members that were alienated from taking part in the inauguration, the
Edo state executive again, arranged for a gang of thugs, numbering
almost one hundred, backed by the police, including the Chief Security
Officer, CSO at the government House, and instructed them to storm
Golden Tulips Hotel, Benin, where the members elect were holding the
press conference, to beat them up, vandalise their personal effects,
including the properties belonging to the hotel.
If this is not executive rascality, someone needs to explain what it is.
In spite the clarity of the Nigeria constitution on the fact that the
elected members shall be responsible for the election of the Speaker
of the House amongst themselves, the case of the current kangaroo Edo
Assembly, is not so, as a Speaker was appointed and imposed on the
members; and to the amazement of well meaning Edolites and the world
at large, some persons, including lawyers and even Media practitioners
celebrated the charade inauguration and tried to argue for the
legality of the inauguration, while some others, for their personal
reasons, claimed that such illegality, though not an inauguration, was
done in the past by an executive, and former governor of the state,
therefore this recent illegality must be celebrated.
The questions to ask therefore are: Should we continue to justify
illegalities simply because someone did it in the past, and got away
with it? Does justifying such illegality make it legal? Are we not by
our actions telling the whole world that Edo state is a state of
illegalities and lawlessness? What precedents are we banqueting for
our generation yet unborn? For how long shall this circle of
illegalities continue before they are corrected? These are the
pertinent questions we must sincerely ask ourselves.
I must at this point remind Edo people in particular, and Nigerians in
general, that one of the reasons why we are not moving forward as a
people is not farfetched from the fact that, we are so self centered
that, we look the other way when an illegality that favours us is
carried out, and we cry to high heavens when it does not favour our
If the recent illegality that is being celebrated by some people is
allowed to ‘fly’, and accepted, will another person not do worse thing
‘tomorrow’ and thereafter justify it by citing the example of what is
In view of the above, when we talk of purposeful leaders that has the
interest of the people they are leading at heart, we must understand
that such leaders must come from ‘bottom-up’; in other words, from the
leaders at the grass roots, such as the family leaders, traditional
leaders, religious leaders, youth leaders, women leaders, local and
state government leaders to the national leaders at the federal level.
Only then can we have peace and then stem the mass exodus of our
youths from the country to other countries where Nigerians are
molested, harassed and regarded as worthless people.
By celebrating illegalities, we by ourselves sow the seed of backwardness in our
system for the upcoming generations to water and nurture, thereby
making us uncivilized and crude people amongst the comity of nations.
The rich, the powerful and mighty ones as well as the downtrodden
amongst us all need peace to coexist and for peace to reign in any
given society, justice must reign supreme; as a forced peace, will
only be sitting on a keg of gunpowder which will surely explode
someday. We must jettison our selfish inordinate ambitions today, so
we can lay a foundation of a worthy future for our children.
It is in the backdrop of the above that all well meaning Edolites and
Nigerians at large are calling on the Edo state Governor, Mr. Godwin
Obaseki to jettison whatever personal interests he has in the interest
of our dear state, and do that which is needful to unite the hitherto
divided Edo House of Assembly members elect, as the celebration of
these illegalities will not stand the test of time. It will do our
governor a lot of good, and he will also make a good name for himself
if he heeds this voice of good reasoning as history records. For
example, what does our governor want to be remembered for? Because,
whether he likes it or not, power is transient, not permanent,
therefore, he will definitely leave the seat of power someday, just
like others before him. As such, he must be guided by the fact that,
whatever he does today, when he is in power, good, or bad, will be
recorded against his name ‘tomorrow’ when he is out of power. Nobody
will mention the name of his Deputy Philip Shuaibu, or his Chief of
Staff, Akerele, or those arrays of sycophants that are urging him on
and clapping for him to continue in errors.
Today, Governor Godwin Obaseki is writing his history, he should
therefore not allow anyone to hold the pen for him. He must be
reminded that, wrong styles spoils good virtues; therefore, whatever
good intentions he has for employing this wrong style of governance,
is fast eroding, if it has not completely eroded the good virtues he
had at the inception of his administration.
Governor Godwin Obaseki must understand that politics is infested by
sycophants, liars, greedy and selfish people, and if he knows not how
to use these characters to his advantage, they will surely sway him
off his balance, and he will have nobody but himself to blame at the
end of the day.
Finally, my advice is that, the Governor of Edo state should do all he can to stop these celebrations of illegalities, reverse these ugly
trend of event and make good name for himself.