Nigeria, in recent times, has become a good stage for various dramas. From the comedy of error to the theatre of the absurd, entertaining Nigerians daily. Interestingly however, this same entertainment is becoming very worrisome. It is ominous of a gloomy and bleak future for the nation. From unprincipled defection from one party to the other to the running away of the nation’s military personnel to Cameroon for refuge as well as the continued hostage of over 200 school girls by the Boko Haram; the country has indeed become a veritable source of unpalatable story. The latest of such is the Enugu State Deputy Governor impeachment saga over the keeping of poultry in his official residential quarters.
When the news first filtered out I found it amusing and petty. What is the relevance of this to good governance? I queried. But the news refused to go away. What I considered petty became a serious issue, attracting informed and uninformed opinions. Accusations and counter-accusations took the centre stage. ‘If I keep poultry, the governor is also into piggery. So, what is the fuss about?’ But while it is condonable to rear pigs in the government house, it is a taboo to rear chickens there. In fact, it is an abomination given the fact that chickens are lesser animals compared to pigs. So why will anybody bring ridicule to the government house by rearing chickens when big ruminants such as cattle, pigs, and so on are there? Without doubt, that ignoble act is impeachable and Sunday Onyebuchi must go! Welcome to the world of George Orwell’s Animal Farms where some animals are more equal than the others!
It was as if Orwell had Nigeria in mind when he penned his evergreen piece Animal Farms. What just played out in Enugu state has an unmistakable semblance with the events in the novel, particularly how big animals systematically edged out the small animals. Initially, they thought they were all equals, until greed for power and selfishness took over the reign of the farms. Like Animal Farms, like Enugu state as politics has put asunder the governor and his deputy, who I believe started out as two jolly friends. No one could have made his enemy his deputy. It takes ‘like minds’ to come together with the sole aim of achieving a common good for the people. Two equals are no longer equal. Onyebuchi has been taught a bitter lesson of politics: NEVER OUTSHINE YOUR MASTER! Why will Onyebuchi keep poultry when the governor is into piggery? Chickens grow faster than pigs and more people seem to like chickens than pigs.
Despite the pettiness of the issue at stake, it is imperative to draw out serious lessons from the saga. In fact, some questions must be asked?
- When are we going to start placing emphasis on developmental issues in governance?
- When will governors start seeing their deputies as partners in progress, not just appendages?
- When will the Houses of Assemblies and the National Assembly stop using impeachment as a tool of oppression, repression and self-enrichment?
I can go on and on. Impeachment tool has been used and misused in the land. In fact, since 1999, heads have rolled in the country’s political dramatic interplay. Impeachment is a good check of excesses of political office holders, but it can spell doom for our democracy if we continue to use it arbitrarily. Onyebuchi may have gone for rearing chickens in the government house, but the end of this drama has not been seen. It’s just the end of part one. I know other parts will soon unfold. After all, the animals are still alive and they will definitely reproduce. Like in human kingdom, proliferation is a hallmark of the animal kingdom.
The views expressed above are solely that of the author and not of Omojuwa.com or its associates.