Imagine a nation where the legislature, executive and judiciary conforms to the provisions of the constitution; a Federal Republic in which the hallowed principles of democracy and social justice is practised; where sovereignty indeed belongs to the people; where democracy as it should be is practised, religious tolerance, discipline at all levels, national integration, zero tolerance for corruption, and a balanced economy where resources are pigeonholed to apposite bodies through positive governmental policies is made effective. A nation founded on the ideals of freedom, equality and justice. A nation where citizens can hold the government accountable to them. A nation where the national ethics are observed. A nation where her vision 2020/20 mandate will be chalked up. This nation is not farfetched as true to the words of Henry Thoreau that “in the next 20 years to come, you will be more disappointed for the things you did not achieve than the ones you achieved. So catch the wind! Set sail! Dream! Explore! Discover!”
These beautiful epithets that makes a nation has taken a long walk into the desert. Is this possible? Or are these spains built in the air? Baffling questions are many, convincing answers are pending.
In the 18thcentury, a little girl, Joan of Arc filliped nationalistic feelings in France. That alone galvanised the French citizens from the giant pincer of the Englishmen. A choice made by one person caused a positive vicissitude in that country. There are many keys that hold Nigeria into a bunch, but just one key will swing Nigeria on the hinges of this Ivory tower. Yes this nation is possible. “For impossibility is found only in the dictionary of fools” a la Napoleon Hill.
A careful and detailed perusal of Chapter IIof the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which entails the Fundamental Principles of State Policy has found barren soil in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Section 13 of the said Chapter II provides that: “It shall be the duty and responsibility of all organs of government, and of all authorities and persons, exercising legislative, executive or judicial powers, to conform to, observe and apply the provisions of this chapter of the constitution.” However, by virtue of Section 6(6)(c), “The judicial powers vested in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this section, shall not, except as otherwise provided by this constitution, extend to any issue or question as to whether any act or omission by any authority or person or as to whether any law or any judicial decision is in conformity with the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy set out in chapter II of this constitution.” This provision is ridiculously opprobrious and far-fetched as a result of the fact that Item 60(a) of the Exclusive List of the same constitution provides that “The establishment and regulation of authorities for the Federation or any part thereof- to promote and enforce the observance of the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles contained in this constitution.” The combined reading of Section 6(6)(c) and Item 60(a) impedes the effective actualization of Section 13. Is it not contradictory for the court by virtue of Section 6(6)(c) to refuse to entertain any matter specified in Chapter II, and at the same time be compelled to promote and enforce the observance of the matters contained in this same chapter II by virtue of Item 60(a) of the Exclusive List? This then means that the courts are placing imprimatur on the Exclusive List which is a Federal instrument over and above the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy. This burnt offering has become a reiterated incantation and also an abused immunity which has rendered political firmament superior to the rigours of the law. For any breach of Chapter II, they chant their ‘Political Anthem’- Section 6(6)(c) . This brings about a barrage of questions…