Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka, human rights lawyer Femi Falana (SAN), and many other Nigerians at an event in Ogun State on Tuesday, branded President Muhammadu Buhari a failure and backed the move for his impeachment by some federal lawmakers.
Recall that National Assembly lawmakers elected on the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party had last week gave Buhari a six-week ultimatum to address the lingering insecurity in the country or face impeachment.
During an interactive session at the event on Tuesday organised to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Abeokuta Club, Soyinka, who was the session’s moderator, agreed that Buhari should be impeached for breaching the contract of democracy.
The session had Falana, the Registrar of the Joint Administration and Matriculation Board, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede; a lawyer, Gbenga Adeoye; a businessman, Ogo-Oluwa Bankole; and the spokesman of the Electricity Distribution Companies, Sunday Oduntan, as panellists.
It was themed “Good governance or mis-governance: The contract called democracy.”
Soyinka said, “Democracy indicates a contract, that is why the candidate puts on a manifesto. On the basis of that manifesto, the candidate is either accepted or rejected.
“Very often, the grounds for breach of contract, I think we all agree, is mis-governance and one of the ways of breaking this kind of contract we know even before the duration of a contract is known as impeachment.
“The reason we will go by some legislators to impeach the President who is the head of government. In fact, one cleric has gone even further. He believes that the impeachment should take place not in the legislative home but in the bush with the kidnappers and he appealed to the kidnappers to quicken the process by impeaching the President and take him away and some of his aides and one or two governors.”
He then threw a question to the gathering, asking whether the President should be impeached or not.
In their response, the majority of the people, comprising members of the club and other dignitaries raised their hands to support the move for Buhari’s impeachment.
Saying that Buhari has performed abysmally, Soyinka faulted a situation where the president will decide who succeeds him at the end of his tenure.
“In any democracy, any president, prime minister or whatever is entitled to one vote. We are not saying we should disenfranchise somebody because they are on top of governance.
“They had their right to campaign for any candidate they like but there is nothing in any constitution that I know of, in any democratic constitution, which says that the head of government should appoint his or her successor.
“I am not aware of it and this is a head of governance who is generally agreed, I believe, as having failed, having misgoverned to the point that impeachment is being considered.
“I hear the governors go to this individual, go to this failure and say to him ‘please give us your successor.’
“Many of us in this country, including governors, including chairmen of local governments, what comprehension they have of this process called democracy because what these governors are telling us is that after a failure has occupied a seat of government for eight years, that failure should give us another failure for another eight years,” Soyinka said.
The Nobel Laureate called on state governors to stop desecrating democracy by enthroning a dynasty of failure.
Speaking at the event, Falana agreed with Soyinka’s submission on the need to stop the abuse of democratic process, decrying imposition of leaders on Nigerians.
Meanwhile, Oloyede, in his remarks, asked Nigerians to concentrate on the state governments’ involvement in the failure, and not focus on the faults of the Federal Government alone.