Monday Column by Emmanuel Yawe
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The impeachment gale, unleashed by PDP dominated state Houses of Assembly, started its journey from Yola through Lafia, and reached Enugu last week. In a comical display of just how unserious our lawmakers are in attending to their duties, the members of Enugu state House of Assembly impeached Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi for operating a poultry farm in his official residence. This was classified as “gross misconduct” by the House. They accordingly set in motion a process which led to his removal from office.
In a spontaneous reaction to this development, the Forum of former Deputy Governors of Nigeria issued a statement on the bizarre act. I have never heard of this group which is led by Abdulmalik Mahmood, a former deputy governor of Bauch state before, but I agree entirely with their pronouncements. They said: …“ We are irked by this act of impunity and wanton abuse of constitutional process as seen in this ‘chicken impeachment’ saga at Enugu state. We are unanimous in condemning this constitutional breach as totally unacceptable. Treating the office of the deputy governor with such contempt and condescension, the way the Enugu House of Assembly have handled their chicken business is in bad taste. The operation of a poultry in the official quarters of the deputy governor cannot be interpreted as gross misconduct.”
I cannot agree with this group more. If it were an offence, Obasanjo who came into the Villa with his chicken from Ota would have been impeached long before he completed his eight year tenure. Equally, Goodluck Jonathan, the Ijaw man who in line with the tradition of his people operates a fish pond in the villa would have qualified for a sack. Governance is a serious thing and should not be reduced to a joke as has been done in Enugu.