FEATURE ARTICLE

Fr Pat Amobi ChukwumaFriday, June 19, 2015
amobipchuks@yahoo.com


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THE CRACKING BROOM GOVERNMENT

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certain old man in a certain town saw that the night is getting longer than the day in his life. He swore not to die without keeping his house in order. He summoned his wife and children to assemble in his sitting room. They came and paid obeisance and sat down. The old man entered his room and came out with a bundle of brooms. He held it high for his wife and children to see clearly. He said, "My dear children, I am about to join my ancestors. I want you to take control of my seat and live peacefully when I kick the bucket. Surprisingly, his last son whose name was Anatuanya stood up quickly and removed the three buckets in the sitting room, to avoid his father kicking them immediately. He told his old father, "Daddy, I removed the buckets so that you may not kick them and wound yourself." The old man laughed and said, "My son, you are not yet of age to understand idioms."

The old man continued his speech while raising the bundle of brooms up for everyone to see. He said, "My children, do you see this bundle of brooms? As a unit it can sweep the whole of Nigerian landmass. As a bundle, the brooms are very effective and powerful. But when the bundle begins to crack, things will fall apart and you will no longer feel at ease. A rope is used to tie the brooms as a bundle. Likewise, love should be the bond of unity among you. United you shall stand, but divided you shall fall. His children looked at one another and smiled. They promised their father that they would remain one. One of them added, "And we shall also die together." The old man frowned at him and said, "God forbid! Withdraw that statement! Stupid child, so you wish that my family be closed in one day? If a proverb is made and explained to you, then it means your mother's bride-price was futile." The wife who has been keeping mute shouted, "My husband, do not insult me. You have made your point. Go and kick the bucket!" At this, the male children stood up and defended their old father while the female ones stood for their mother.

What point am I making? Yes, All Progressives Congress (APC) campaigned for change from umbrella to broom. Luckily, they won the presidential election with Muhammadu Buhari at the helm of affairs. For the sake of peace, the former President Goodluck Jonathan conceded defeat and handed over peacefully to President Buhari on 29 May 2015. Umbrella gave the baton to broom to continue the race. I was there at Eagle Square Abuja that day. My last article titled "The Arrival of the Broom Government" said it all. The present political dispensation whose vehicle is All Progressives Congress (APC) is clamouring for change. The change in question is from umbrella to Broom. The change has begun with the cracking of the bundle of brooms on the day of the inauguration of the National Assembly. The brooms are now factionalized and can no longer sweep well.

On the day of the inauguration of the National Assembly, the unexpected happened in the Upper and Lower Chambers. One hundred and nine Senators were elected into the Senate. Fifty-seven were present while fifty-one were absent. On is dead. The Clerk of the Senate did his function and sitting started. President Buhari sent his inaugural address which was read. Then voting process began. The Nigerian Constitution stipulates that for a valid election, one third of the Senators must be present. Actually the one-third is 37.3 percent. But since a human being cannot be divided into a fraction, it becomes 38. Or have you seen ".3" human being? Come forward and present one and I will give you anything you ask me. Someone says that babies or dwarfs are not complete human beings. That is blatant falsehood. Every human being is a whole even if disabled or yet unborn. A primary one pupil was asked to give an example of a small boy. Because his father was very short like a bottle of small stout, the boy said, "My father is a small boy." When he came home after school, he greeted his father and added: "Daddy, you are a small boy. When will you grow?" The father in anger descended on his pupil-son and accused him of elderly blasphemy.

At the Senate Chambers on the destined Tuesday were 57 Senators, of which majority of them were from PDP and few from APC. 51 APC Senators allegedly went for a meeting with party leaders at the International Conference Centre in Abuja. President Buhari was expected to be in that APC meeting so as to anoint the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representative. Unfortunately, he was not there. As the APC Senators and party stalwarts were drawing a political map at the secluded venue, news filtered in that the Senate and House of Representatives have elected their respective principal officers. Dr. Bukola Saraki of APC was elected Senate President while Honourable Yakubu Dogara was elected the Speaker of the House of Representative. Both are APC card carriers. Senator Ike Ekweremadu from PDP was voted in for the third time as Deputy Senate President. It was the first political marriage between the ruling party and the opposition. This dramatic marriage keeps the APC sweating. The Senate President and Speaker have sworn in the members present respectively. The dramatic aspect was that each of them grabbed the gavel and hit on the table thrice probably saying, "Change! Change!! Change!!!" At that time I was in my room watching the events alive from the television. Similarly, I took the hammer in my room and hit it on my table thrice shouting, "Let's watch and see the change!" After all, the gavel and the hammer look alike.

Twisting of events followed the elections done in the Upper and Lower Chambers. The anointed Senate President of APC was Senator Ahmad Lawan. On the other hand, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila was APC's favourite for Speaker. The APC game plan crashed and their anointed men were disappointed. The worst of it was that the Senators of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and some APC Senators went into an alliance and hijacked the whole process. The absence of majority of APC Senators helped matters. This resulted in the cracking of the APC Broom Government. The aggrieved APC Senators and party Leaders have vowed to challenge the purported elections by all constitutional and legal means. The centre can no longer hold. The bundle of brooms is now cracking and falling apart. Is it part of the change? Later, through the intervention of President Buhari, the APC has decided to let the sleeping dog lie. Who knows how long the sleeping dog will be allowed to lie?

Yes, the change has begun. The Senators and Honourable members of the House of the 8th National Assembly have said that the era of imposition of leaders is over. That means the anointing of candidates by the ruling party is no more fashionable. The Constitutional Provisions must be adhered to. In marriage there is what we call impediments. They are those factors that render marriage invalid. One of the impediments is lack of Consent, in other words Force. If you coerce a woman to marry a certain man or vice versa, the marriage is bound to fail. There was the case of a wedding between the bride and the bridegroom somewhere. Before the exchange of consent, the minister asked the bride: "Do you freely accept Mr. Wisdom Nsogbu to be your husband?" The bride started crying like a professional mourner. On interrogation it was discovered that she was forced by her parents to marry Mr. Nsogbu. The wedding ended at this point. The two parties cannot agree because of lack of love. Likewise, the imposition of leaders on the led cannot produce good result. Nigerians should be left to choose their leaders freely. Some of the present governors, National and State Assembly members were imposed. The electorates voted accordingly, but the elections were rigged in favour of anointed candidates by the powers that be. In moral sphere a stolen good must be restituted before the sin can be forgiven. Therefore, all those political leaders who rigged themselves into power should confess immediately and give up their mandates to the actual winners. God is not asleep. The Word of God says, "Each and every one of us must render account of his life before God on the Judgment Day" (Rom. 14:12). All political, religious and moral rigging must be accounted for on that day. No sinner will escape the wrath of God. We have all sinned in various ways including this writer. We need to change before the hammer strikes.

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