I have watched closely how some Nigerians deify President Muhammadu Buhari. To them, the president is a special kind of saint, a perfect being who can really do no wrong. To some of these Nigerians, the president is the best thing that has ever happened to Nigeria after 'ewa agoin' and 'agege bread'. Whether the president violates the rule of law, or acts sometimes against the constitutional provisions that clearly spelt out the limit of his powers, the president's praise singers; spread across the media, most especially the social media, would give him a pat on the back.
The president have shown in various instances that he has no regard for the constitution and the rule of law, and many Nigerians applauded him for it. The recent truncation of due process in the case of Justice Walter Onnoghen, the Chief Justice of Nigeria is the latest on president's Buahri's disregard for the constitution, basically because of his own ulterior motives. But these things have actually been happening right under our noses before now, but we have chosen to ignore and tell the president to ride on.
The intimidation of the judiciary by Muhammadu Buhari did not just start today. In 2016, all in a bid to appear that he is fighting corruption, the houses of some judges were heavily raided by the DSS and those who hold the perception that Buhari can do no wrong, praised the president for it. At the end of the whole matter, only two out of about eleven judges whose houses were raided were charged to court. I know you will be wondering what happened to the rest? Definitely, there was nothing to charge them for. The action against the judges then was just to let the public know what would happen in the near future.
Sometimes last year, the president in a speech said "Our apex court has had cause to adopt a position on this issue in this regard and it is now a matter of judicial recognition that; where national security and public interest are threatened or there is a likelihood of their being threatened, the individual rights of those allegedly responsible must take second place, in favour of the greater good of society” That statement was made during a Nigerian Bar Association meeting where the president was invited to give a speech. After that, the lawyers all gave a resounding applause, to a supposed anomaly coming from the mouth of Mr. President.
Let us examine how president Buhari has deliberately gone against some court orders. In the matter between Sambo Dasuki and the Federal government, Justices Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Peter Affen and Hussein Baba Yusuf both of the Abuja High Court at various times granted the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki bail, but the government, led by Muhammadu Buihari offered some incredible reasons to flaunt the orders. The leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, El Zakyzak and his wife remain in custody against the judgment of Justice Gabriel Kolawole ordering the federal government to release and compensate them.
When we examine the various disappointments under the former president, Goodluck Jonathan, which eventually led to his failure to secure a second term ticket in the 2015 polls, Muhammadu Buhari has done more; and has even surpassed them. But the sad part is that many Nigerians who saw Jonathan as corrupt, incompetent, clueless, inept and a terrible leader, are the ones singing the praises of Buhari; over the same things former president Jonathan was crucified for.
The President must be reminded that Nigeria is a democratic nation governed by the rule of law. The idea that he can do as he pleases, by not obeying the constitution cannot hold water. Whether the intentions are good or not; the law is the law, and it must be obeyed at all cost.