The Vice-President, Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Isa Aremu, has warned that incessant impeachments and impeachment threats against some governors could be inimical to Nigeria’s democracy.
Aremu who spoke during an interview with journalists in Ilorin, Kwara State, on Sunday, urged politicians to thread with caution in impeaching governors as a contest or a show of political power.
He noted that there are some governors being threatened with impeachment by another party having majority members in the state Houses of Assembly and trying to use such as clout to remove the governors.
“I think this is not healthy for our democratic process. Now what it portrays is that increasingly, there is a feeling of desperation for office by different political actors.
“We must make the point that election and struggle for power should be based on contest of ideas and policies and not conquest of personalities.”
He stated that to sustain the nation’s democracy, the sanctity of tenure of elected political office holders should be ensured.
He noted that the nation’s Constitution stated clearly that an elected governor has the mandate to be in office for four years after which an election follows to either vote him out or re-elect him.
“It is important we work towards sanctity of mandate. It is also true that our Constitution makes provision for impeachment where there are gross misconducts, violation and so on but for goodness sake, we must make sure that the process of impeachment is seen to be transparent and to reflect the true spirit of the Constitution.
“The danger that we are having at hand is increasing; impeachment clause is being politicised, the perception is that it is becoming a tool for continuation of politics through the other means.”
According to him, the most worrisome of the impeachment saga is that of the Nasarawa State Governor, Umaru Al-Makura of the All Progressives Congress.
He stated that the impeachment threat became rife just at the time President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party visited the state.
He warned against giving an impression that Jonathan is using his office to torment a governor in an opposition state.
“I don’t think this is the intention of the President. What I am saying is, even the timing alone makes it to be suspicious. The President is the elected President.
“Currently he is our President, he has the right to relate with elected governors but he cannot relate with you when as he is arriving at the state, the governor’s job is being threatened.
“I want President Jonathan to use his office to re-direct our political discourse along the line of statesmanship. He has done it before and I think he can do it again. Several times, he was threatened with impeachment and Nigerians stood up to say ‘no.’”
He reasoned that there was no need to remove a governor as the elections are just around the corner, stressing that an unwanted or non-performing governor should be allowed to be voted out by the electorate.
“I am not a fan of any of these governors, some of them have anti-labour records, they don’t pay the wages as at when due; they pay miserable pay; they indulge in self-help; they even leave their job pursuing politics all over.
“However, we must be fair to them, that only the electorate that put them there have the right to remove them otherwise we distort the whole spirit and content of impeachments clauses.”