Thursday, 26 June 2014

That Tambuwal Treatment.

It’s a faux pas; it signals a further descent to our ill-mannered, anachronistic past. It shows off this Federal Government as a maladroit administration in which dog is beginning to eat dog. We talk about the recent embarrassment of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal. Last Monday in Kaduna, the motorcade of the Speaker was flagged down for searching by soldiers as it drove into a hotel, the venue of an international conference on security where he was to be a keynote speaker. Not the Speaker’s official insignia on his car or the entreaties of his security aides would make the soldiers have a rethink about searching the vehicles in the Speaker’s convoy, including the one he rode in. Apparently infuriated, the Speaker reportedly stepped out of his car and walked the rest of the way (a short distance) to the venue. The situation was further exacerbated by the fact that some other dignitaries were reportedly allowed entry to the venue unchecked. It is a sad augury that this democracy seems to be most recklessly and ignorantly being placed at the command of the military in the guise of security operations. Military skirmishes with individuals and constituted authorities in recent times have gone one too many. When they are not muzzling the press, they are defying and countermanding elected governors. Now it is the Speaker, the number four personage in the national order of protocol who was being harried and treated with ignominy. To subject the number four man to public security ransack is in itself an admittance that the entire security apparatus may have gone awry. And one might want to ask if the security detail in the Speaker’s entourage are not part of the military establishment of the Federal Government? We do harm to ourselves, we harm our fledgling democracy and we do grave injury to our polity when governments elect to debase institutions. As the Speaker’s media aide noted: “In spite (of the fact) of recognising the Speaker, the soldiers insisted on searching his official car. This was an affront on the office of the Speaker, the number four citizen of this country and the institution of the legislature.” Again, we suffer from an illusion of security when we call out the troops on our streets dressed in full combat gear and flaunting rifles. Do we really need soldiers mounting security checks at the entrance of a hotel? Should not the police bomb disposal unit and the intelligence corps been better suited for this kind of operation? The current insurgency really ought to afford us an opportunity to overhaul our military and security corps in all their ramifications. But this has not been the case so far. In fact, we seem to more increasingly inveigle them into politics. This is dangerous and untenable in a democracy. That Tambuwal treatment is not a security measure; it is a clumsy and disgraceful assault on our democratic institution. It is a regrettable faux pas.

No comments:

Post a Comment