Connect with us

Opinion

Judicracy And The Fairness In Being Unfair

Published

on

Fidson

Abraham Lincoln described democracy as “government of the people, by the people, for the people” during the American civil war in 1863. His notion later became the often quoted definition of democracy and a benchmark of rating its success globally.

More than a few nations have actualized Lincoln’s thought, but Nigeria is lagging behind. Her quasi-democratic arrangement is what the writer terms Judicracy: representative government via the verdict of law lords. J-u-d-i-c-r-a-c-y is a flawed democratic system in which the court repeatedly determines who rules, instead of the electorates.

2019 general election is the worst in Nigeria’s history as it produced the highest ever, about a thousand lawsuits. Virtually all the governorship election outcomes were challenged up to the Supreme Court. The judgments issued bagged no dispute, except that of Imo and Bayelsa States. In Imo, the lordships sacked Emeka Ihedioha of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the fourth winner. Despite the unprecedented controversy and protests this sparked, the Supreme Court courageously made another upset in Bayelsa by nullifying David Lyon’s mandate barely a day to his inauguration.

The Bayelsa Case

Two lawsuits emerged from the Bayelsa 2019 governorship election. The first is an intra-party candidacy tussle between Hieneken Lokpobiri and David Lyon, both of the APC. The Supreme Court ruled in the case that Lyon was validly nominated. The other lawsuit is an inter-party, deputy governorship candidate qualification case, instituted against the APC by the PDP. Lyon’s running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo was accused of forgery and perjury. The Supreme Court pronounced him guilty, and consequently sacked him and Lyon on the basis of their joint ticket. Lyon did no wrong, but was fired for the sins of Eremieoyo. The judgment is both fair and unfair.

Why the Judgment is Fair

It is fair to sack persons who aspire to rule or are ruling with false documents. Eremieoyo’s deputy-governorship nomination form shows he has answered five different names since he was born. In his first school leaving certificate dated 1976, Eremieoyo bore the name Degi Biobaragha. He bore the name Adegi Biobakumo in his o-level results dated 1984 and Degi Biobarakuma in his bachelor’s degree dated 1990. Also, he bore the name Degi Biobarakuma Wangagha in his master’s degree dated 2002 and he’s currently bearing Degi-Eremieoyo Biobarakuma. One person. Five names.

Eremieoyo’s trial judge proclaimed that only a woman who’s been married five times could have changed names the way Eremieoyo did. My take is Eremieoyo may have been a fraudster who kept changing names to conceal his identity and wrongdoings. Before the advent of fingerprint technology, fraudsters conceal their identity by changing names and appearance.

Eremieoyo’s counsel and apologists argument that his periodic change of name was as a result of the chieftaincy titles he bagged holds no water. Traditional honors rarely require name change; the titles are only placed before the recipient’s conventional name. Though not impossible, it is very rare to come across honors that would require a total change of name. Bola Tinubu’s name didn’t change when he was made the Jagaban of Borgu Kingdom. Also, Atiku Abubakar’s name didn’t change when he was turbaned the Waziri of Adamawa Emirate. Even kings don’t change names after coronation.

Nigerians are comparing President’s Muhammadu Buhari’s certificate and identity controversy case to Eremieoyo’s, but the facts are different. Buhari presented an affidavit and a re-issued copy of his disputed result to the court, while Eremieoyo only presented an unverifiable affidavit. Besides, in Buhari’s case, the spelling of ‘Muhammadu’ only changed to ‘Mohammed,’ on a single occasion and Islamic clerics clarified that both names are one and the same. On the other hand, Eremieoyo’s name changed significantly, sometimes completely, multiple times. God forbid a Nigeria where the court would free such a dubious personality to govern despite convincing evidence. Cry or smile, the Supreme Court judgment is fair.

The implication of allowing Eremieoyo rule Bayelsa is grievous. Every deputy governor is a governor-in-waiting. If Lyon had been sworn-in and (God forbid) dies in office, Eremieoyo will take over. By then, the same Eremieoyo the lordships fail to sack will be appointing judges to do his bidding and hounding those who fail to. The same Eremieoyo that has no clean record and certificate will be commanding professors who have many degrees and appointing vice chancellors. Haba! Nigerians should be grateful to the Supreme Court for saving Bayelsa State from such catastrophe.

APC’s failure to act right made her pay the hard price. Eremieoyo shouldn’t have been nominated, or better still, the party should’ve replaced him in the wake of the scandal. The court did no wrong to have enforced the law made by APC members for themselves and the national laws, made by the legislature in which APC is in the majority.

Also Read:  AFCON SHOCKER: Madagascar Trash Nigeria 2:0

APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole’s aspersion on the judiciary over the Bayelsa judgment is dishonorable. He should rather resign for failing in oversight. If the party he leads deliberately fail to obey legitimate laws and the court decides to punish accordingly, how dare him utter unfair!

It is indeed a great loss to APC members and chieftains, but protesting Eremieoyo’s sack in the face of overwhelming evidence is a display of sophisticated foolishness. Will any of them, as an employer, retain an employee that secures a job under them with false identity and fake certificate? In this case, Bayelsa people lack the power to sack Eremieoyo for his dishonesty, but the constitution empowers the court to, and that has been done. Instead of belittling the lordships, they should be praised for acting right. Eremieoyo’s sack is fair and should not end there. He should be prosecuted for bringing pain to APC and Lyon.

Why the Judgment is Unfair

The Supreme Court’s verdict is deserving on Eremieoyo, but unfair to Lyon. Recognizing two persons as one is an unfair custom that will always make the guiltless sink with the guilty. That is not justice. If a father cannot be imprisoned for the crime of his son despite their blood ties, it is absolutely unfair to punish Lyon for the crime of Eremieoyo, a nonrelative.

Moreover, Lyon has been a businessman all along, while Eremieoyo is a career politician. Based on the difference in their yesteryear engagements, the governorship election is probably the first relationship between Lyon and Eremieoyo. There is word on the street that Lyon never chose Eremieoyo as running mate. He was imposed on him by the minister of state for petroleum resources, Timipre Sylva and the APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole. With the lordships awareness of the rampancy of imposition in Nigerian politics, crucifying Lyon with Eremieoyo is not justice. It is, in my opinion, a miscarriage of it.

Lyon shouldn’t suffer for Eremieoyo’s misdeed, especially when he never partook in the crime. The judgment would have been fair on Lyon if he’s complicit, but he’s not. With the judges’ awareness of such fact, it is unfair to waste Lyon’s 352,552 votes because his deputy broke the law. Such verdict is an injustice to the electorates that voted Lyon and his party, the APC.

Duoye Diri, the PDP candidate who lost at the ballot shouldn’t have been foisted on Bayelsans by the court. Such action will lead to an increase in political apathy. Electorates will no longer troop out to vote because the court may upturn their will. With apathy, rigging will increase and democracy will die slowly. To my mind, it is undemocratic for the court to keep installing those who lost at the ballot. It happened in Zamfara, and now Bayelsa state. The law should be amended if necessary and politicians must endeavor to always play by the rules.

A number of Supreme Court judgments states that votes are for the parties and not the candidates. This is premised on the reason that the names of candidates don’t appear on the ballot; only the parties’ logo appear. In this respect, it is disappointing that the lordships annul 352,552 votes when some previous judgments can be referenced and applied to save APC’s mandate. The judges should have protected APC’s vote, but punish Eremieoyo. Ordering that he be replaced with another person would have been just. Although the Supreme Court has the power to judge as it pleases, the adverse implication of the judgments on lives and properties must be considered, especially in sensitive cases.

Kogi State’s 2015 governorship election tussle also establishes the inconsistency of the Supreme Court. When candidacy dispute arose after Abubakar Audu’s demise during the Kogi election, the Supreme Court denied his running mate, James Faleke the chance to inherit the votes of the Audu-Faleke ticket. The mandate was surprisingly given to Yahaya Bello, who was selected by the APC to replace Audu. If Faleke wasn’t allowed to inherit the mandate of Audu, then it’s a miscarriage of justice to drag Lyon into Eremieoyo’s conviction. The logic is simple. Since Faleke wasn’t allowed to profit (positively) from Audu, it is unfair to make Lyon profit (negatively) from Eremieoyo.

Also Read:  Changemakers: Segun Agbaje, Building A Great African Institution Through Digital Transformation

The people of Bayelsa felt PDP hasn’t served them well, so they voted the APC. Upturning their decision means the court is forcing them to remain under the rule of an unwanted government. Such action itself is a murder of the democracy and rule of law the court is trying to protect.

Since Eremieoyo’s qualification case is a pre-election matter, justice would have been appropriately served if the ruling was given before the election. Democracy would’ve still manifest even if APC was denied participation. Several parties fielded candidates and the people may decide to vote massively for any them if they don’t want the PDP. With that, the leadership production process remains democratic and the people’s right of choice remains protected. The law must be amended to effect this.

A more sad side of the unfairness of the Supreme Court’s verdict is the cost and emotional effects on Lyon’s families, followers and political associates. It would have been kind if the judgment was delivered a week earlier. Governorship inauguration is a big ceremony in Nigeria. Even if Lyon chose to celebrate low key, his nearest and dearest would blow the trumpet with their personal fund.

Think about the level of preparation that would have been in place before Lyon was sacked some few hours to his inauguration. Special attire for the occasion (aso-ebi) have been bought and sown; cows have been slaughtered and stewed; wines have been iced; guests have started landing from across Nigeria and abroad; and all hotels had been booked. Furthermore, Lyon had rehearsed how to inspect the guards of honor and people were already addressing him as ‘Your Excellency.’ Even the President was preparing to grace the inauguration. But, all of a sudden, the Supreme Court threw Lyon into confusion. He was disgraced few hours to his glory for a crime he never committed. That’s unfair!

The Supreme Court should have kindly reduced the emotional and cost effects by issuing the judgment earlier, at least a week or two before the inauguration. Perhaps the judgment was delivered late to teach APC a bitter lesson for failing to learn from the annulment of its candidacy in Zamfara and Rivers States.

End Note

It is unfortunate that the court that is expected to be the last hope of the common man is now taking away the wishes of the common man in Nigerian elections. Judicracy is not good for Nigeria. It is a recipe for crisis that may tear the nation apart. Election must start and end at the ballot. Shifting the contest to court is distracting the APC and PDP from concentrating on governance. Both are devoting their energy and resources on winning in court, rather than tackling the nation’s challenges.

Certificate may not be the perfect means of measuring intelligence, but it is the global standard of confirming that an individual have passed through the rigor of acquiring knowledge and proficiency. Eremieoyo’s ordeal is a lesson for everyone to get some education and always act right. Although Nigerian courts sometimes fail to command justice on apparently guilty influential persons, Eremieoyo’s conviction may be beginning of the long-expected turnaround. The three arms of government must collaborate to address the flaws and lacunas in the laws. They must also devote attention to strengthening the institutions and the electoral process.

Lyon’s misfortune shouldn’t be the end of his political career. President Buhari should appease him with a major appointment. The APC should also give him an automatic ticket in the next election. On the other hand, PDP should not over rejoice as it may suffer the same tragedy if it doesn’t learn from APC’s mistake. Nigerian politics is an intriguing, suspense-filled, unending movie. New issues keep evolving each time the population thinks they’ve seen it all. It won’t be a surprise, if for the first time, the Supreme Court reverse either the Imo or Bayelsa verdict. Even at that, politicians must always abide by the rules, else the court will keep determining who rules.

*This piece is an innocent analysis and not an aspersion on the integrity of the Supreme Court. The writer, Omoshola Deji has profound respect for the judges, their decisions and the institution they represent. Deji is a political and public affairs analyst. He wrote in via moshdeji@yahoo.com

Share
Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Opinion

FUNKE AKINDELE: WHO WILL ARREST THE JUDGE, OFFICERS AND THE PRESS FOR NOT OBSERVING SOCIAL DISTANCING?

Published

on

Legacy

By Dr. Ope Banwo

Funke Akindele is a friend and a former client and against the natural instinct to defend a friend, even I could understand why she needed to be arrested and made an example of to underscore the seriousness of Coronavirus for everyone else. Unfortunately.

She is a very big public figure, possibly one of the top three biggest Yoruba actor/actress in our country in terms of reach and influence, and should have known better

She is an ambassador for Dettol disinfectant, and even the government on different occasions, ironically including NCDC itself, and should know better that she is a role model that can help or hurt public policy with her actions, no matter how innocent. Its was an error of judgment, she has already regretted. So, let’s not pile on.

Funke herself posted evidence of herself violating the law on social with, she posted evidence, complete with pictures and videos. That action suggested a lack of appreciation of the seriousness of the need for social distancing that many are unfortunately guilty of. Including many of those now hypocritically condemning her all over social media.

Also Read:  The Catalyst For A New Order

Her initial lukewarm, self-justifying apology after the complaints broke also didn’t help matters. I put that one on her handlers. They should have guided her better. For instance, I would have insisted on a total unqualified apology for the error of judgement, with no excuse and a self offer of serious community service and aid for victims of coronavirus.

So, while I am sad this happened, this is not a defense of my friend. She has apologized and pleaded guilty for her mistake.

Hopefully, the judge will be merciful and Funke will just be sentenced to Community Service, instead of jail, since she has really been a good community person, always helping with major enlightenment projects. We all must agree that Funke does have a large heart and has earned some public credits that could be applied to this mistake.

Funke does not deserve jail for this in my opinion. The public humiliation and loss of endorsements this will bring is more than enough in my objective opinion…

Having said that, I also think the NCDC AND THE COURT AND THE PRESS needed to be called out for violating the same self-distancing law she has been arraigned for.

Also Read:  THE PRICE OF PEACE IN A HOT POLITICAL SCENE

Yes, as you can see in the pictures and videos of the chaotic court scene, that NCDC agents, police and the courts themselves were GUILTY OF THE SAME OFFENCE of not observing social distance!

Look at the video and pictures of that court hour. The officers claiming Funke violated social-distancing rules were themselves jostling into each other with no space. They crowded the doorway and crammed the court. They are packed like sardines in court and the photographers were basically spitting on each other in that court scene.

So who is going to arrest the Judge, the police officers, and the press for the same offense? SMH. It just shows we ALL need more education and sensitivity on this Corona thing.

Its not a joke. People are dying of this thing and everyone needs to be more vigilant. Let’s stop the finger-pointing. Most of us are no better. We are getting away with it because we have no celebrity status.

Dr. Ope Banwo writes from Omaha, United States of America.

Share
Continue Reading

Opinion

The Disturbing Success Of Coronavirus: Who Will Save The World? By Omoshola Deji

Published

on

Insurance Cover

 

These are very abnormal times. The earth we labored to build is shutting down before our eyes and we have no magic wand. Although we’ve faced several challenges in our lifetimes, overcoming them never made us thought something so disastrous could surface that would cause us to be still. Suddenly the novel Coronavirus, otherwise called Covid-19 struck. It rose to pandemic and the earth stood still. We are striving not to perish, but have only made a tiny progress after a tired race. Who will save us from Covid the viral virus?

 

China struggled to restrain Covid to its origin at Wuhan, but it escaped. The virus has managed to infiltrate 195 countries and territories through our innocent bodies. At the time of writing, Covid has afflicted 882,191 persons, out of which 185,094 has recovered, while 652,961 remains ill. Over 44,136 persons have passed away, with Italy recording more deaths ahead of Spain, United States, France, China and Iran respectively. The casualty keeps mounting as Covid rages wide and wild.

 

Covid is omnipresent. It is present in every continent (except Antarctica) and attacks people irrespective of religion, gender, class or race. Some Africans who boasted that the virus can neither survive their hot climate nor subdue their acclaimed ‘strong’ immune are now recanting their words. At the time of writing, Africa has over 5,780 cases in 49 nations out of 55.

 

Covid is one confident virus. It passes security checks unnoticed to afflict the powerful. The virus took photos with United States President Donald Trump through Fabio Wajngarten, the press aide of Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro. Wajngarten tested positive few days after he met with Trump. Covid also infiltrate US Vice President Mike Pence’s office, but never got him – his staff paid instead.

 

Leaders living with Covid across the world includes Prince Albert II of Monaco; Iran’s Vice President, Masoumeh Ebtekar; Cameroon national assembly speaker, Cavaye Djibril; and the archduke of Austria, Karl von Habsburg. United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, also tested positive. As if that were not enough, Prince Charles, the oldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and heir to the British throne is down with the virus. No one can trouble these leaders without paying dearly but Covid has.

 

In Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, the government’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, and son of ex-vice president Atiku Abubakar are both down with the deadly Coronavirus. The governors of Bauchi, Kaduna and Oyo States tested positive, while about 15 other governors are at risk, having come in contact with Kyari. President Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had to self-quarantine.

Also Read:  Glass Is Half Full,  Beautiful & Fabulous CEO  

 

Other nations’ leaders in self-isolation includes Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi; German Chancellor Angela Markel; and the Prime Ministers of Spain and Canada, after their wives, Begona Gomez and Sophie Trudeau tested positive for Covid. Apparently, more than a few nations’ first families are either undergoing tests, in self-isolation, or have tested positive for the virus.

 

Is the earth’s governance so flawed that Coronavirus seeks to wipe out a portion of the ruling class? If so, I pray it starts with my country, Nigeria. The reason is one: Nigeria works for the leaders only. Over seventy percent of the population are incredibly poor, living in slums, and lacking basic amenities, despite the nation’s enormous oil wealth. No thanks to the corrupt leaders, who now has no option than to use the collapsed healthcare system they failed to build for their Covid treatment.

 

Who will save the entertainment industry from Covid? Entertainment helps our brains restore to functioning capacity when we’re dull or tired. Sadly, some of those bringing us the cheers are down with the deadly Coronavirus. Celebs who have tested positive for the virus across Europe and America includes British actor Idris Elba; Norwegian actor Kristofer Hivju; famed opera singer, Plácido Domingo; Cascada singer, Natalie Horner; 19-year-old singer Charlotte Lawrence; keyboardist David Bryan; TV host Andy Cohen; and several others. Actress infected includes Rita Wilson, Rachel Matthews, Olga Kurylenko and Debi Mazar, among others.

 

Africa is not left out as Tanzanian rapper, Mwana FA and saxophone legend, Manu Dibango (now late) contracted the virus. Fearfully, disaster looms as top African celebrities who graced the recent Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) have been advised to self-isolate. This came after a number of persons at the event tested positive for Coronavirus. One can only imagine how many people the carriers have infected at the energetic, star studded event.

 

Worst still, the new carriers would have, after the event, mingled with friends, families and fans, passing the virus unknowingly, before the isolation announcement. Coronavirus started from one person, but we now have thousands of people spreading it.

 

Who will save the sporting world from Coronavirus? Sports makes us feel happy and relaxed, especially when we watch with friends. Aside helping us to maintain a healthy social life, some persons also earn from it via betting. We all thought nothing could stop sports until Covid-19 surfaced. Aside halting trainings and tournaments, Covid also afflicted the players.

Also Read:  SUNDAY ADELAJA: A CANKER WORM IN THE BREAD OF LIFE

 

For basketball, NBA players such as Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell of Utah Jazz; Kevin Durant of Brooklyn Nets; Christian Wood of Detroit Pistons; and Marcus Smart of Boston Celtics, among others are in Covid’s net. The virus also kicked both football managers and players into its net. Callum Hudson-Odoi of Chelsea; Blaise Matuidi of Juventus; Arsenal head coach, Mikel Arteta; and AC Milan technical director Paolo Maldini are all down with the virus. African football legend, Mohamed Farah; former Olympique de Marseille President, Pape Diouf; and former Real Madrid President, Lorenzo Sanz died from it.

 

Cycling is not spared as Colombian cyclist Fernando Gaviria and Russian ProTour cyclist Dmitry Strakhov are down too. Sadly, some of these sportsmen may no longer be fit to deliver the sterling performance they’re known for before now. Such may affect their carrier, even if they survive the virus.

 

While elites of nations are quarantining in luxury and could afford first class health care in their countries (if they have), a lot more needs to be done for the hoi polloi whose lives are hanging in the balance. Many live on daily earnings and the lockdown is making survival ever more difficult. Whether living in luxury or penury, no one is immune from the Coronavirus. Thus, we must follow the social distancing and hygiene precautions to remain aseptic.

 

Coronavirus has phenomenally crumbled our world and threatening to wreak more havoc. Sadly, ammunitions can’t exterminate it and prayer is no remedy. About 35 companies and academic institutions are racing round the clock for cure, but no luck yet. Fear grips my heart over the calamity that will befall the world, if the deadly virus lives on for months.

 

Who will save us from this deadly virus making human body its home? Who will save us from the virus sending our brethren to the final home? Who will save us from this virus keeping us at home? Who will save our world from Coronavirus?

 

*Omoshola Deji is a political and public affairs analyst. He wrote in via moshdeji@yahoo.com

 

Share
Continue Reading

Opinion

Those Whose Prayers God May Not Answer 

Published

on

Olusegun Fafore

 

 

Olusegun Fafore

 

 

With the public outrage following the flouting of government’s directives by some religious institutions last weekend over the number of worshippers that could attend mosques and churches for prayers in the face of the deadly pandemic ravaging the world, God may have nullified some supplications for putting His creations in danger.

 

The contribution of a South Korean Church to the Coronavirus spread, which represents about 60% of the country’s confirmed cases of over 4,000, motivated restrictions on the number of people who can congregate at places of worship at this time.

 

The restriction terms, which allowed 50 worshippers, was further revised to 20 people, with ample space between seats and individuals who must be at worship centres for their supplications to be heard by God or Allah.

 

As attendance at religious gatherings were monitored for compliance, social gatherings did not go off the sight of governments. This is because governors will be labelled as failures and ineffective if the ruthlessness of the virus overruns our communities.

 

At a speed matching the invasive tendencies of the deadly Coronavirus, governments across the globe made pronouncements and took decisions targeted at protecting their citizens, limiting the spread of the virus and managing the level of fatality.

 

In the city of Rome, the capital of Italy, a country that lost about 743 people to the Coronavirus outbreak in just one day, the lockdown forced churches to suspend Mass.

 

Meanwhile, before this outbreak, Rome was the downtown of Catholic worship. The Pope resides in the Vatican City, a sovereign City-State enclaved within Rome, which has been a center of Christian Pilgrimage for centuries.

 

With death in the air, excursion to the holy city stopped. Priests in the Vatican found other ways to reach their congregations since science has established that Coronavirus thrives amidst multitudes.

 

Perhaps this was why Saudi Arabia’s King Salman locked-down the country’s capital, Riyadh, and the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Beyond this action, the country, which hosts millions of pilgrims annually, suspended all educational and Qur’anic activities at all Mosques, closed malls, restaurants, cafes and parks, and banned Muslim pilgrims from coming for Umrah this year.

 

These decisions, are not only unusual, but are far-reaching, and genuinely reflective of the value placed on citizens lives by the government of the county.  And the impacts of these decisions are evident in the containment effort of the State, which has limited casualty of the dreaded virus to only 1, out of the 767 reported cases, since the country confirmed its first case on March 2, 2020.

 

Public safety sentiment echoes across the globe. It is a critical index for measuring purposeful leadership at this unnerving period in human existence. So that you know, the time has gotten direr in Israel and the country’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to implement a total lockdown.

 

The number of sick Israelis infected by novel Coronavirus has climbed to 2, 369. And it is the responsibility of the State to cater for them and prevent them from adding to the number of deaths attributed to the pandemic.

Also Read:  State Governors And Beggar Bowl Leadership Approach By Jerome-Mario Utomi

 

“These steps we have taken here in Israel are being taken all of the world; however, they are not enough because the number of patients is doubling every three days” said the Prime Minister who added that “in two weeks we are liable to find ourselves with thousands of patients many of whom will be in danger of death”.

 

If this statement does not provide hint of the despair in the Prime Minister’s voice, it is reflective of the fact that he is under enormous pressure to protect his people from the scourging death and save his land from the spate of Coronavirus.

 

Netanyahu’s predicament reflects what every leader all over the world is going through at this period. Even, his case should be different because Israelis have an unending covenant with God, and they can afford to ignore the roving signs of over the world.

 

Leadership is a huge responsibility. People occupying such positions are wearing thorny crowns at this moment.  Whether they are calm or spirited, their minds are in crisis. They are thinking about the safety of everyone, and the purity of their territories, which could be a sovereign or sub-national.

 

Forget the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s calm demeanor. Every additional case of Coronavirus in the State unsettles him. Since when the first case, which later turned negative was announced in Lagos State, the Governor’s determination to contain the pestilence has increased. Every update, he wished had included the announcement of a vaccine, or drugs that can permanently wiped-out the deadly Coronavirus from our World.

 

“There are about 22 million people in my care and everyone is only an arm’s length away from the other. This pandemic is highly transmissible and travels in the air from one person to the other. Aside from my domain being the most populous in the country, with an incredible density, it is also the major entry point into Nigeria. Daily, thousands of travelers come into Lagos from different parts of the world, even from Coronavirus worse-hit countries”, captures the minute-by-minute thoughts on Governor Sanwo-Olu’s mind.

 

So, his mind cannot idle away from the conjectures coming in gushes. Even, complicating the situation is the centrality of Lagos to managing the containment of the deadly virus in Nigeria. The level of the State’s preparedness and quality of facilities make it a destination for case management and patient treatment.

 

As the facilities get stretched by cases imported from outside Lagos, his mind skips; because of the ever-present imbalance between needs and available resources in life. If not for our recklessness, may be the number of cases in Nigeria would still have been as low as five, and Lagos will be zero with the index case turning negative. And this would have perhaps contributed to reduction in his anxieties.

 

But we are strange and very funny people, with immeasurable capacity for disobedience. It is ridiculous that government needed to enforce compliance with directives to stem the tide of a lethal microbe that has claimed 21,367 lives from the 475,879 cases in 198 countries.

Also Read:  The Catalyst For A New Order

 

We sneered at instructions as basic as restricting the number of congregations to 20 if there must worship in our Churches or Mosques and self-isolate for 14 days, if we just returned from overseas trip, to abate the spread of Coronavirus amongst us.

Even, the call to avoid public places and social gatherings at this perilous time is pointlessly ignored just as much as the need for personal hygiene is discounted.

 

Excuse me, why are the doctrines of “wash your hands regularly with soap” and “observe the principles of social distancing” to protect yourself from a deadly infection difficult to obey? Are we just being suicidal, or deliberately inclined to committing large scale murder?

 

Don’t we understand that our disobedience endangers other people’s lives and diminishes government efforts at protecting the land against pandemic? If we assemble somewhere in the name of prayer or worship, and enable coronavirus fly at a geometric progression through community spread, we have not only disobeyed civil authorities, but also committed evil in the sight of God. Good citizenship is one of the conditions precedent to Godliness. For Christians, Apostle Paul espoused this in his homily on civil obedience in Roman 13: 1-1.

 

The holy Quran does not defer on civil obedience and respect for constituted authority. In verse 59 of Surah An-Nisa in the Quran, which is known as Uli al-Amr verse, Believers are ordered to obey Allah, obey the prophet and those vested with authority (Uli al-Amr).

 

So, where did the disobedience come from? If your recalcitrance increases the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria and results in loss of several lives, you are a murderer! If you fail to self-isolate when you return from overseas or are exposed an infected person, you are killer because your indiscretion will infect people with the novel coronavirus.

 

We need to comply with the social distancing and personal hygiene precepts. No one should commit suicide by disregarding these principles. God holds human life sacred. That is why the 6th commandment, Exodus 20;13 “Thou shalt not kill” is a clear directive to preserve human life.

 

More importantly, suicide is a grave sin before our creator.  It is true that in times of pestilence, prayer is a means of privileged communication with the Almighty God. No one is in doubt about the power of prayer as a source of strength in moment of crisis, but like Peter cautioned Christians to conduct their lives properly;  so that their “prayers be not hindered” (1 Pet. 3:7).

 

If your actions or activities cause self-death or death of others, or endanger the society, God may not answer your prayers.

 

Stay safe. Wisdom is profitable to direct.

 

Fafore is Executive Assistant on Public Relations and New Media to Lagos State Governor

 

Share
Continue Reading

Facebook

Trending

Copyright © 2019, February13 Media