The headline of this piece dropped in my very troubled head, after a no-holds-barred dialogue with octogenarian patriot, a still spritely Dr. Fredrick Fasheun, His wife and I luckily share September 9, as our birthday. And I reckoned it was this discovery that probably tuned up the candor in this political sage, as I could read a flare of pleasantness and curiosity too, immediately he found out his wife and I shared same birthday. What is more? Himself is also a September ‘ baby’ having been born on September 21, eighty-one years ago.
So he spoke with passion but an evident worry, on many burning national issues; but he was particularly pained about the recent assault of the hallowed estate of the judiciary, wondering if President Buhari has, indeed, not become a loose cannon? The rest are Dr. Fashuen’s thoughts on the state of the nation. Vintage Fasheun, as usual.
“In a democracy, the judiciary is the most stable arm of government for obvious reasons. While the two other arms of the government, the legislature and the executive, have a celling on their tenure, the judiciary is career-driven and enjoy tenure longevity. Those serving in the judiciary are apolitical and the judiciary is the last hope of the common man. This is why it is disheartening, heart-rending and troubling that the judiciary has been placed under this brazen assault and it forebodes danger for the nation’s democracy. Today, it is rather unfortunate that president Muhammadu Buhari represents the worst threat on our nation’s democracy.
“These current events have vindicated my stand when I expressed skepticism on the Buhari presidential candidacy in 2015. When, in the building to the elections, his spin doctors told the world that General Buhari was a born-again Democrat, we warned Nigerians that this leopard cannot change his spot. Buhari has the trappings of an unrepentant bigot and dictator. First he moved against PDP, then he moved against the Legislature, now it is the judiciary that been placed under siege and attack.
“And today, Buhari has turned his attack dogs loose on the judiciary. From time immemorial, General Buhari appears to nurse an intrinsic hatred and distrust for the Judiciary. Nigerians must recall that back in his first coming as Military Head of State in 1983,General Muhammadu Buhari suspended the courts and established tribunals headed by military officers to try cases involving politicians.
“This despotic creation led to the bastardisation of the process and dispensation of justice by these judicially-unlearned officers, and led to the handing down of tragically laughable verdicts. Lawyers boycotted the tribunals and refused to defend those arraigned under that draconian atmosphere. We urge the president not to take the country back to the madness of his first coming.”
For those cheering this desecration of the judiciary, let me also share this quote, which Dr. Fashuen concluded with:
“First they came for the socialists, and I didn’t speak out-Because I was not a socialist
“Then they for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
“Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-Because I said I was not a Jew.
“Then they came for me-and there was no one left to speak for me.”