Government is not a trade which any man or body of men have right to set up and exercise for his own emolument, but is altogether a trust, in the right of those by whom that trust is delegated and by it is always resumable. It has of itself no rights; they are altogether duties.–Thomas Paine.
The decision to keep releasing hundreds of terrorists arrested and detained by the military in the ten year-old counter terror war remains existentially unhelpful to the aims and objectives of running a constitutional democracy in which the people of Nigeria are the owners of the sovereignty. The policy turns logic on its head and has set tongues wagging on the commitments of the current government to defeat these armed Islamists.
The beginning assertions find logical reasoning in the universal fact that the people and their general wellbeing should have dictated to the politicians who exercise democratic authority derived from the legitimacy donated by the people that it is futile and evil to focus government’s counter terror war around the meaningless idea of servicing the interests of the terrorists who have for ten years taken up arms to wage war against the state and the people of Nigeria. These atrocious acts of terrorism have made Nigeria to become the third most dangerous place on the globe at the moment going by the statistical computation done by a conflicts observatory platform.
Reading through the whole gamut of the policies captured in section 14 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is all about promoting the security and welfare of the citizens of Nigeria. Without security and welfare of the greatest number of Nigerians, then the central place of government is lost in transit, so to say. Thomas Paine made this point clear in the beginning quotation I included in this piece.
The idea of investing substantially in the meaningless project of the so-called rehabilitation and reintegration of terrorists into the society even when millions of the civilian victims of terrorism are languishing in unwarranted existential pains and in very intolerable excruciating conditions is a total negation of the provisions enshrined in section 14 of the 1999 constitution.
Specifically, section 14 of the grund norm states as follows:” (1) The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a State based on the principles of democracy and social justice. (2) It is hereby, accordingly, declared that: (a) sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom government through this Constitution derives all its powers and authority; (b) the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government: and (c) the participation by the people in their government shall be ensured in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution. (3) The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few State or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies. (4) The composition of the Government of a State, a local government council, or any of the agencies of such Government or council, and the conduct of the affairs of the Government or council or such agencies shall be carried out in such manner as to recognize the diversity of the people within its area of authority and the need to promote a sense of belonging and loyalty among all the people of the Federation.”
To therefore continue to witness the bad policy of neglecting victims of terrorism whilst investing in the resettlement of terrorists is nothing more than a constitutional aberration which seems to have drawn the motivation from the absolutely unlawful and totally weird way of viewing or explaining the exercise of sovereign power as promoted by the philosopher Jean Bodin (1529-1596).
In his ridiculous work titled: “Sovereignty is the absolute and perpetual power of a commonwealth,” this philosopher made it appear like the ruler can simply exercise power in breach of the normative and legal provisions that centralized the interests of the people as the aim and objective of government in the twenty first century World.
“In his treatise Six Books of Republic, Bodin argued that sovereignty had to be absolute and perpetual to be effective. Absolute sovereignty would create a stronger central authority over its territory. To avoid conflict, the sovereign should not be bound by laws, obligations, or conditions, either from outside factions or from his own subjects.
– Onwubiko is human rights activist