The Politics of Recall
The seemingly political journey to a superficial and nebulous destination has began in Nigeria all in the name of recalling an elected lawmaker.
Since the beginning of the present democratic experiment in 1999, this is one major endeavour directly aimed at actualising the dreams of the writers of the 1999 Constitution towards recalling elected lawmakers.
Sections 69 and 110 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) make provisions for the recall process.
According to Section 69, “A member of the Senate or of the House of representatives may be recalled as such a member if: there is a presentation to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, a petition in their behalf, signed by more than one -half of the persons registered to vote in that member’s constituency alleging their loss of confidence in that member; and which signatures are duly verified by the Independent National Electoral Commission; the petition is thereafter, in a referendum conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission within ninety days of the date of receipt of the petition, approved by a simple majority of the votes of the persons registered to vote in that member’s constituency.”
New Biddable Frontiers in Our Democracy...?
Yes, there is nothing wrong with the provisions of the recall process in our constitution. The use of these constitutional provisions as a political weapon to deal with one's perceived enemies or estranged political associates or critics is apparently opening up a new pliant frontier in our democracy.
The story had been said over and over that the glaringly political differences between Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and Senator Dino Melaye of Kogi West Senatorial District had led us to this unfolding political drama. This is not to give excuses to alleged excesses of the Senator.
With the submission of the 188,588 signatures (representing 52.3% of the registered voters in Kogi West Senatorial District) to the Independent National Electoral Commission in Abuja, is it a done-deal that we are recording the first casualty in Nigeria?
Would Kogi State set the pace for others to follow?
Who would win the battle?
Trust the media - in the end - common headlines will read:
*Kogi West Recall: The Winners; The Losers
*Bello Floors Dino
*Shut up, Dino Tells Bello
Who blinks first, the Governor or the Senator? Definitely, time will tell.