Nigeria: Democracy or medieval Laws?

 Nigeria: Democracy or medieval Laws?

Emmanuel Onwubiko

Madeline Bridge wrote thus: “There are loyal heads, there are sprits brave, there are souls that are pure and true; they give the world the best you have, and the best will come back for you.”

The above is a guide to this brief reflection on how political office-holders in Nigeria actively undermine and sabotage the Nigerian Constitution through their words, actions and public policies while they are in elected offices. These negative actions impact negatively on Nigeria and these are the fundamental causes of the state of dysfunction and instability that Nigeria has found itself; and are also the reasons for the growing agitation for self-determination and restructuring of Nigeria, given that these Saboteurs in political offices have collectively wounded Nigeria to such an extent that most people are now asking questions; why certain persons commit treasonable offences against the Nigerian Constitution but are generally overlooked and treated as sacred cows because of their ethno-religious affiliations. Does Nigeria truly operate a constitutional democracy?

Interestingly, Clarence Day wrote: “The word of book is the most remarkable creation of man; nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall; nations perish; civilisation grows old and dies out. After an era of darkness, new races build others; but in the world of books are volumes that live on, still as young and fresh as the day they were written, still telling men’s hearts of the hearts of men centuries dead.”

Then William Ellery Channing stated: “It is chiefly through books that we enjoy intercourse with superior minds. In the best books, great men talk to us, give us their most precious thoughts and pour their souls into ours. God be thanked for books. They are the voices of the distant and the dead, and make us heirs of the spiritual life of past ages. Books are true levellers. They give to all who will faithfully use them, the society, and the spiritual presence, of the best and greatest of our race.”

The duo through their quick quotes have told us the real import of the written constitution in book form that Nigeria has had since evolving into a Republic and Constitutional democracy in the 60s.

However, some political office-holders have chosen to elevate their personal religious persuasions as key state policies. They defecate on top of the Nigerian constitution.

Kano State exemplifies how not to claim to have a functional constitutional democracy; because in Kano, the state governor operates in gross breach of section 10 of the Nigerian Constitution by declaring one religion as the officially sanctioned religion.

Just as the criminal code of the Shariah law are in application.

Kano operates as if it is in Afghanistan whereby certain medieval times’ practices, such as stoning and amputation, which violates chapter four of the Nigeria Constitution and the relevant international laws against the enforcement of cruel and dehumanising punishments are prohibited.

Specifically, the Nigerian Constitution which is Nigeria’s supreme law book in Section 10 says: “The government of the federation or of a state shall not adopt any religion as a state religion.

Section 38 (1) states; “Every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom (either alone or in community with others, and in public or in private) to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.”

Section 39(1) says: “Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without inference. Section 34(1) says: “Every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of his person, and accordingly; (a.) no person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment; (b.)  no person shall be held in slavery or serv

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