“The unauthorized takeover of the NASS complex today is a gross violation of the rule of law and all acceptable notions of law and order. Persons within the law enforcement apparatus who participated in this travesty will be identified and subjected to disciplinary action.” Yemi Osibajo. The Acting President Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Cowardice is a man behind a mask, armed with a weapon to compromise democracy, courage is a woman without a mask and a gun confronting the masked coward in defence of democracy…..it did happen in Nigeria on Tuesday the 7th of August, 2018.
Democracy is an invisible concept that requires changing human identities across political dispensations for its identity. In Nigeria, where the position the government of the day controls the economy and the state security systems, the identity of democracy is not the government, but the opposition!
“To attack the opposition is to attack democratic values and democracy as an institution. Both the PDP and APC have used their position at the centre as a threat to democracy.” Amaso Jack (RIPPLES FROM EKITI….THE OPPOSITION NOT THE POSITION AS THE FACE OF DEMOCRACY).
Honourable BOMA GOODHEAD
“I dare you to shoot me”!
I said shoot me”!!
Is this how President Jonathan left Democracy for President Buhari!?”
Her name became a prophetic statement of her action. With those words, the 47-year-old member of the Federal House of Representatives, representing Asalga/Akulga Federal constituency of Rivers State, elected on the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, shot herself into history, by reserving a space for herself, as the face of democracy.
Boma acted the script of Rosa Parks, the face of moral justice in Montgomery, Alabama, in the United States, on the 1st of December 1955, when she broke the racial protocol at the time that required a black person to give up their seat in the black only section, when the white section was full. James F. Blake, the “boss” driver would turn out to be the symbol of the white anti-climax of history, he had ordered her to relocate, but she refused in defiance, and the civil rights movement was officially born! That REFUSAL IN DEFIANCE is the connection between Boma Goodhead and Rosa Parks…..the courageous account of women of change. One standing up to an overt system of racial segregation, the other standing up to a covert but complex system of internal colonialism, hiding under two political parties that protect the same internal colonial interest!
REFUSAL IN DEFIANCE
The first attack on democracy:
On the fateful mornings of January 15, 1966, when Nigeria’s first democracy came to a bloody end there was no resistance.
The Prime Minister, (at the time) the respectable Gentleman, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, known as the golden voice of African, for his sweet diction and clear command of the English language in the link below:
He offered no resistance for he had nothing to hide, even the leader of the coup, Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu recognised the honesty of the man, by excluding him from his hit list. D. J. M Muffett on the 35th page of his account of the coup, titled: “Let Truth be Told The Coups d’Etat of 1966”.
Published by Hudahuda Publishing Company, Zaria, in 1982, Nzeogwu’s conversation with Sir Kashim Ibrahim, the governor of the North, was captured this way:
“From the Recce Sqn. lines, Nzeogwu went back to Brigade Headquarters, where Sir Kashim Ibrahim had been taken. ‘We were there some time under guard until Nzeogwu arrived. He came up to me and said ‘ I am sorry, Sir, this is a mistake; we do not want people like you! The only person we want to kill are Azikiwe, Ahmadu Bello, Akintola, Okpara, Okotie-Eboh and Orizu.”
Then on the 43rd page, Muffett added:
“First there is the statement that Nzeogwu made to the Governor, Sir Kashim Ibrahim. He listed Azikiwe, Okpara, Orizu. None of them were killed. He did not list Sir Abubakar. He was murdered, only very tardily. Sir Kashim started that ‘it puzzled him as to why Nzeogwu listed Azikiwe, but he did”.
On the 16th of January 1966, however, when Nwafor Orizu conceded power to Ironsi, the head of the army, Eric Teniola, in his account under the headline: “Was 1966 handover, or takeover?”, published on January 12, January 2016, in the Guardian, made reference to Chief Richard Akinjide, a junior minister, in Balewa’s cabinet who insisted it was a take over not a hand over this way:
“There is an ongoing debate whether the Military took over power or were handed over power by the President of the Senate, Dr Nwafor Orizu, who later became Acting President in place of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe…….In his own words, Chief Richard Akinjide said the Ministers did not hand over to Ironsi. In 2000, he said: “Under the law, that is, the Interpretation Act, as acting President, Nwazor Orizu had all the powers of the President. The GOC said he wanted to see all the cabinet ministers. And so we assembled at the cabinet office. Well, I have read in many books saying that we handed over to the military. We did not hand over. Ironsi told us that ‘you either hand over as gentlemen or you hand-over by force’. Those were his words. Is that voluntary hand-over? So we did not hand over. We wanted an Acting Prime Minister to be in place but Ironsi forced us, and I use the word advisedly, to hand over to him. He was controlling the soldiers. The acting President, Nwafor Orizu, who did not cooperate with us, cooperated with the GOC. Dr Orizu and the GOC prepared speeches which Nwafor Orizu broadcast handing over the government of the country to the army. I here state again categorically as a member of that cabinet that we did not hand over voluntarily. It was a coup.”
The second attack on democracy:
Brigadier Ibrahim Bako, the second in command to the GOC 1 Mechanised Division, Kaduna who doubled as the head of the Army’s faculty at the Command and Staff College Jaji in Kaduna, was the only casualty in the resistance to protect democracy from the second military coup. He paid the hard price for conspiracy against democracy with his life.
THE 2014 GATE OF DEMOCRACY
The gates of democracy are the symbolic gates of the National Assembly, the home of a pillar of democracy; the legislature. Under Jonathan, they were shut. When those gates were shut, shutting out legislators, they become the gates of fascism against democracy; “shot” in fascist defiance of their conversion to fascism.
Those legislators who jumped over them didn’t jump the gates of the National Assembly, they jumped over the gates of fascism to rescue democracy, by so doing, they put aside their personal dignity of gentlemanly conduct to protect democracy, by the democratic art and act of scaling the gates of fascism.
Festus Keyamo captured the 2014 incidence this way.
“Let us not forget too that there was a real plot (not unusual in our kind of democratic environment) to allow only a handful of PDP legislators into the chambers to “impeach” the Speaker and install the Deputy Speaker as “Speaker”.The other lawmakers had no option but to do all that was legal and necessary to stop that illegality which included scaling that fence,” Mr Keyamo stated.”https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/more-news/171861-reps-no-wrong-jumping-national-assembly-gate-keyamo.html
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and not of ALEDEH.