One of the most enduring images from the past fortnight was the
court appearance, in Abuja, of the spokesman for the PDP Olisa Metuh,
handcuffed, and with a graying beard to match. Expectedly, it wasn’t
the fact that Metuh finally had his day before a competent court
that attracted the most comments in the print and electronic media.
What enthralled and angered many in unequal proportion was the fact
that he did so literally in chains!
In a country which is yet to overcome the nauseating polarization of
the polity as was experienced in the life of the last
administration, Metuh’s appearance, in irons, was bread and butter
for the critics of President Buhari. It provided them with another
opportunity to cast a slur on his much vaunted mien and image of
Why was the retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki from whom Metuh allegedly
collected the money he reportedly received not also brought to the
court premises in handcuffs? Some even went as far as uploading the
images of the court appearance of terror suspects Kabiru Sokoto on
several online platforms and questioned why the same treatment was
not meted out to them.
In the process, logic, and even commonsense, flew out of the window
in their hasty conclusions. And, as usual, the most common
accusation to prove the case of bias was hinged on the platform of
ethnicity, and, yes, religion!
As it is often said, when confronted with superior logic and facts,
those whose arguments are watery often chose the lazy and easily
predictable ways to achieve some modicum of relevance, or, at best,
enforce a stalemate. And integral part of that strategy is to
stigmatize the accuser by deifying the accused! We have seen it play
out in this country far too often for all reasonable Nigerians to be
To me, the appropriate questions for all those who disagreed with
the hand-cuffing of Metuh to ask are few and simple: what are the
existing protocols for such appearances? Who has the discretion in
determining who gets the treatment and on which grounds? Has the
individual conduct of the accused anything to do with the decision?
Lest we forgot, before his appearance in court the media was awash
with stories that Metuh not only tore his written statement but
actually attempted to chew same in custody. That is violent conduct
in my candid opinion, and, as it is often said, extraordinary
circumstances deserve extraordinary measures.
On the flip side, of course, Metuh’s appearance in irons sent
another defining message that the present administration is serious
in the fight against graft in the manner that should please millions
of Nigerians disheartened with our broken system. My personal
opinion is that the administration must not relent and should call
the bluff of its selfish critics.
Apart from Metuh, the security forces must do all they can to ensure
that all unrepentant outlaws like the so-called Government Tompolo
are swiftly apprehended and brought before the law by any means
necessary. And for daring our judicial system and our collective
resolve, he should be brought to court in handcuffs and manacles to
serve as a deterrent to others. No nation can prosper in the midst
of high criminality and insecurity?
By the way; has anyone heard of Asari Dokubo
lately? What is he up to now?
RE: DO WE REALLY NEED THE SENATE?
The piece I wrote penultimate week on the Senate attracted various
comments from readers. A few are reproduced below. Enjoy!
I can't tell you how excited I was when I read your piece the other
day regarding our docile and useless Senate.
It has inspired and renewed my conviction of advocacy for scrapping
I am glad to tell you that most of the people that responded to my
message on social media and face to face conversation were all for
This has indicated to me that majority of Nigerians have the same
opinion as you in regards to your article.
I intend to start a crusade of enlightening Nigerians on the need to
abrogate the Senate.
I would very much like to have your contributions on how we could
possibly go about this mission to its successful accomplishment. Some lawyers were telling me it is impossible as the constitution
to be changed and the Senate will have a much larger say in any
constitutional amendment and that they will never sign their death
warrant. But I am thinking if we have the backing of the Presidency
think we could get somewhere.
Kindly let me in on your plans for it and how the Senegalese did it.
Thank you and may God bless you.
An emphatic yes to the question. The institution of the Senate as
contained in the constitution of the United States (and it's
application in that country's governance) reflected the solution
adopted to obviate possible conflict between rural states and their
more urban counterparts. The former feared tyranny of the majority,
so the concurrence of both houses of Congress is required to
legislate for the country. And this is in a country with homogeneous
population, unlike Nigeria. The Senate affords equal weight to both
large and small states.
The shenanigans of our legislators is independent of the institution
of Senate. Nothing says members of the National Assembly or indeed
government should live off the people as is being witnessed in this
country. The solution is for civil society groups to lead people in
protest against their excesses. The conduct of members of the
National Assembly is nothing compared to that of those of the state
Houses Assembly where they have long been pocketed by the
The solution is for stringent work conditions and "terms of
employment" to be enacted for all legislators to subscribe to on
their swearing in.
M T Usman
Thank you sir for your bold and courageous article on the above
subject matter which has been agitating the minds of the silent
majority of Nigerians. You have spoken well and spoken our minds.
The question now is: how do we go about scrapping the Senate?
Need Senate? I've been a dedicated follower of your articles for
long. There are very few people like you in Nigeria. This article
should be publish in all Nigerian Newspapers so as to galvanise the
support of the very ignorant populace. Do not relent please.