PRECEDENCE – STILL THAT WORD!
When I speak about precedence in our political discourse, I feel some frustration that my fellow citizens don’t seem to have grasped the fuller implication of that word in the progression of events in our polity.
Look at APC today…I listened to Adams Oshiomhole lamenting about Saraki and talking about the Senate President honourably relinquishing the ‘crown’ which belonged to his family since he has decamped bla bla bla.
And then I decided to dig into the archives to see what APC said about Tambuwal’s defection in 2014 and recalled the loud jeering elation which they used to receive the decamped Speaker at that time. They not only praised the Speaker’s steps, they abused Nigerians who called for his resignation saying we lack history, mentioning how NPN/NPP alliance collapsed in 1980-something and Edwin Umezeoke and Wash Pam retained their seats as Speaker and Deputy Senate President respectively.
As I read more news reports from that era concerning Tambuwal’s defection in 2014, I saw how APC kept firing Jonathan using the type extremely incendiary language they vehemently protest against today, I found more meaning to the words ‘hypocrisy’ and ‘precedence’. Hypocrisy because the same folks have changed the tune of their cries today that they’re at the receiving end and precedence because their rapturous reception and fervent defence of Tambuwal at that time has come to haunt them today.
Yes, ordinarily one would expect a man of honour to give up leadership of an assembly to which he was elected as a result of his membership of the majority in the house when he decamps but PRECEDENCE has been set in a negative way give him ‘reason’ to hang on to such a position and damn your definitions of honour, a concept he can rightly say you lack yourself.
Precedence is usually foundation for similar action in future, whether negative or positive. It is the justification charlatans deploy to defend their perfidy, it is the rationale good men use to validate their deed, it is the tonic needed by supporters to explain their devotion, good or evil. It is an all-important concept in political behavior.
The evil we support today will come around to haunt us tomorrow. Precedent is like the spoken word – if we have to swallow it tomorrow, let it be something pleasant-tasting today. If we have to follow a precedent tomorrow, may it be a positive one lest we consign ourselves to the dustbin of charlatanism forever.