The premeditated impunity and anarchy at the National Assembly of November 19, 2014 with the blockade of some members of the Nigeria House of Representatives, including the Speaker, in gaining entrance to the premises, which informed the Law makers to climb the fence like criminals, smacked indecency, very appalling, an unacceptable national disgrace, very dishonorable in the eyes of those who elected them, and the international community. That was another barefaced insolence of democracy.
With the incessant display of such deplorable behaviors, since the country returned to American style of democracy in 1999, it has been advised that some members of the National Assembly should go for some psychiatric tests to ensure that their emotions and behaviors in the conduct of their public services are stable. They always come up with some undesirable behaviors under the disguise of being legislators. Sometimes they get physical on the Chamber’s floor; an outright display of immaturity.
It would not be out of place to state that some of the National Assembly members definitely have some behavioral disorders. It is also known as disruptive behavioral disorders, which are common in both children and adults; hence the need for their mental health assessments and treatment for some of the members of Nigeria House of Representatives. The display of their disruptive behavioral, dissociative, and pervasive developmental disorders, demonstrated by some of the Legislators; while those with minor ones would jump to the direction of the sufferers, without applying their second thought, is worrisome.
This type of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as demonstrated by the fence jumpers impairs their ability to properly focus and control impulsive behaviors, or make them overactive, which resulted into fence climbing. They refused to follow rules. They resolved into arguing and throwing temper grumpiness, and having difficulty in handling frustration as part of some emotional disorders.
Their behaviors could be described as another set of Intellectual disability which occurs in approximately one to two percent of people. Psychiatric and behavior problems occur three to six times more in such individuals than in the general population, so the assessment of these fence jumpers is important in treating them.
Fence jumping by some members of the Nigeria House of Representatives was a betrayal of public trust and a sickening reflection of the despicable depth of politicking that reinforces Nigeria’s image as a highly dysfunctional society, where bizarre things happen. The untold embarrassment and national disgrace is against all known norms of political decorum, and a shame that further diminishes the Nigeria House of Representatives. It is nothing but a manifestation of the deepening culture of impunity and “do-or-die” politics, devoid of maturity and tolerance that has taken the country hostage. If these lawmaker hoodlums upon scaling the high gate fell and broke their necks or right hands, their minions would blame their fall on the government saying that government agents shook them down.
Some members of the House of Representatives displayed impulsive behavior, November 2014, acted quickly without thinking about the consequences of their actions. Imagine, the gate was locked, and their impulsive response was to start climbing the fence, disregarding the fact that they could be hurt in the process. Visualize, Femi Gbajabiamila, defended his gate climbing, as in defence of Nigeria democracy.
Unfortunately, he never witnessed fence climbing by the members of Georgia Lawmakers in Atlanta, where he obtained and practiced Law; He dropped some law ethics at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport when he returned to Nigeria. Legislators do not climb fence for the simple fact they were locked out. They jumped fence without thinking through the consequences.
Coincidentally the behavior of these Fence Jumpers could be linked to some or, most impulsive behaviors. Examples of that are like going on spending sprees with the public treasury; as Obasanjo has rightly called them the assembly of Rogues and Thieves; getting involved in some, promiscuous sex with their ‘daughters’ and ‘grand daughters’; being involved in binge eating observing their protruded five-month pregnancy stomach. In most cases we found the Legislators yelling, shouting, or screaming at others, even on the floor of the House; while threatening to harm others, as destroying property has been witnessed in the House Chamber, and getting physical.
How do you justify the arrogance and hooliganism of supposed lawmakers that evidently broke the law to the public awe by jumping fence? Jumping the fence by grown men is a great misbehavior. Definitely, some of them may be suffering from emotional and behavioral disorder.
Meanwhile some Police officers watched the gate-climbing exercise by the dishonorable members of the House of Representatives without any action to enforce law and order. In a civilized society, the fence climbers would be arrested immediately for breaking the law and causing public disorder.
We understood that some members who gained entrance into the National Assembly before they closed the gate against the next batch of the HOR members, including the Speaker; a school believed were the target. The gate locking was in reaction to the defection of the Speaker to APC, to contest for Presidential slot; but later settled for the Sokoto State Governorship slot. It is wrong for the government to have withdrawn his aides; and we condemn the Police use of tear gas on the purported Honorables, when they gained entrance through a small opening at the back of the premises. Whatever the intelligent report the actions of the Police are condemnable.
Unfortunately, the Speaker stood their watching the lawlessness of his members and could not use his leadership status to prevent that from happening
The Speaker has several options to address the situation if he has the mechanism of managing conflict. He could have called the Head of Security at the National Assembly; called Press Conference to see that the gate was locked against them; or go to Court to challenge the lock-out. There is no excuse that the Court does not work in Nigeria; as the Court has worked for Amaechi, Aregbesola, Oshiomole, and Fayemi, among others.
Speaker of the House of Reps, Aminu Tambuwal puts a handkerchief over his nose after the Police tear-gas.
Preventing any further escalation of the crisis, Senate President intervened; and he was rudely treated with some unacceptable statements, chatting Labor Union war songs of solidarity. The Senate President, by virtue of Section 53 (2) of the Nigerian Constitution, is the Chairman of the National Assembly and so is empowered to regulate the legislature which is bicameral. He has the right to walk into the HOR Chambers to normalise the tension. Consequently, he announced the closure of the legislative arm of government, till Tuesday, November 25, 2014.
Fence jumpers would come out to say that they were prevented from conducting their legitimate duties. What dishonorable members of the Nigeria House of Representatives. A centurion Lawmaker who is supposed to be baby-sitting his grand and great grand children, attempted to compose a jungle song with his frog voice, ‘how many shall they kill o! How many will they kill ooo’? He has outgrown the position he is occupying, as he failed to realize that good saying that ‘agba kiwa loja, ki ori omo tuntun wo’; where elders, are the young ones should not go astray if I interpret it well.
Unfortunately, the first act of the violent behavior of lower house is gathering signatures to impeach the President; a tool used against Obasanjo several times each time they were broke. The section of the HOR members involved in the fracas, allowed their emotions to overtake their good senses of judgment, as another display of their impulsive behavior. In a civilized society, with matured mind, signing impeachment petition is not the immediate solution to being locked out from the National Assembly venue; or reasoning for the use of tear gas to disperse the lawful legislators; or working on the modality of defections law. Impeachment clause was designed on logic, not emotions.
In all ramifications, we condemn the fence jumping of supposed grown adults to manage the emergency challenge they faced at that time. Their impulsive behaviors in the public services need s some serious adjustment through some Professionals.
Watch these videos as the despicable Nigeria Members of House of Representatives climbed the gate fence to get into the chambers:
The legislators still bear the title of “Honorable”, but like in most things Nigerian, honour has a different meaning. That is why so much of the reactions to that shameful occurrence seem to have been rather hypocritical. The point is that nobility imposes certain behavioral obligations. What happened on that sad day was a test, which the legislators certainly failed woefully.
Nigeria needs peace; there is enough catastrophe and wailings to which there has been no respite. May God prevail on Tambuwah to tread the path of honour by resigning to allow peace to reign in the House of Representatives?
Definitely, some members of the House of Representatives need some Psychiatric evaluation in the conduct of their law making process so as not to mislead the country.
Two wrongs never made a right. Nobility imposes certain behavioral obligations.