Let’s be honest: unemployment has a lot of advantages, especially for the ruling class. The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has long realised this, and that’s why it is working so hard to keep it high and perpetually news-worthy.
But that’s not why we’re here.
We’re here because unemployment also has tremendous disadvantages—one of which is that many Nigerians somehow have enough time on their hands to be bothered about such petty things as court orders.
Court orders. Haha. Ain’t that fantastically hilarious? I suppose it is what happens when people overdose on Hollywood movies and read more news from CNN than local newspapers. They start comparing their beloved fatherland to countries like the United States of America.
First of all, it’s already established that, contrary to popular opinion, the judiciary is in fact not even up to one arm of government in Nigeria. As we have already seen, the president is capable of firing the Chief Justice of Nigeria with as much ease as making the EFCC drop a case against ministerial nominees or aspiring senate presidents.
The judiciary only exists as an elaborate, well-funded advisory body to the executives. Their job is to tell the president what they think the lawmakers are trying to say in the statutes, and also to give people the ridiculous impression that there’s a rule of law that supercedes executive powers.
Haven’t you noticed that all the time the military seized power in the past, they managed to suspend everything from the cabinet and the national assembly to the almighty, supposedly supreme constitution, but they always left the courts alone. Well, it’s not because the courts were too strong. It’s rather because they were (and still are) inconsequential, apologies to one-term—sorry, one-time—minister, Adebayo Shittu.
But, mind you, this is only true for Nigeria, unarguably a democratic role model to the rest of the world. Unfortunately, many other countries have yet to realise that the true role of the judiciary is as a loud-speaker and rubber-stamper, just as the true place of women is in you-know-where. Don’t go to Canada and start disobeying established authorities. You’re on your own.
So, tell me: Why obey a court order?
Why? When we have transitioned from the Let-Justice-Be-Done-Even-If-Heaven-Falls era to the era of Let-Justice-Be-Done-Unless-There’s-A-Technical-Reason-Not-To. Since we can’t distinguish easily between just and technical court orders, why not just subsume all of them under executive orders? Problem solved, right?
Hey, why obey a court order when there’s loads of money just sitting in the treasury and waiting to be spent? Don’t Nigerians know that one high-profile person in police custody is worth over 10,000 talakawas? A whopping N3.5 million is Nigeria’s monthly expense on feeding El-Zakzaky alone, according to Alhaji Lai. The amount will be nearing N10 million by the time we add Sambo Dasuki. If we release these fellows according to some court orders, what do Nigerians expect the government to do with all that money, eh? Improve the schools? Fix the roads? Haha. Certainly not.
Why obey a court order when you have hundreds of thousands of policemen and lots and lots of soldiers who are ever-ready to crush any form of protest against the Next Level agenda? If you obey the orders, there won’t be protests, and if there are no protests how do we justify having so many policemen on our payroll, eh? All the big men and politicians already have more than enough and we still have thousands left doing nothing of national importance.
Why obey a court order when you have millions of super-reasonable Nigerians, fondly and better known as Buharists? They have come to understand that it is enormously difficult to think for oneself, and so pledge full, aggressive, and witless loyalty to the leader, who of course has been adjudged capable of no wrongdoing whatsoever.
Why obey a court order when there’s Twitter? Even if lots of innocent, precious lives are lost during a protest over the continued detention of someone despite court orders, all you need is a thread that starts with you “most deeply commiserating with the families” of the victims, continues with a threat to the protesters, and ends with a prayer to God—you know, because Nigerians don’t just love prayers, they also love (authoritarian) leaders who pray.
Why obey a court order when you have the Code of Conduct Bureau: That sleeping bulldog that is ready to rip any bloke to pieces and ensure that not only does he hang his name, he also hangs his work attire and retires without protest.
Why obey a court order when you are a former military dictator? An entire war hero and General! You want people to start thinking you’re soft, eh?
Why obey a court order when you have more important things on your schedule? You know, like coming up with a list of 43 ministerial nominees, the highest in the country’s long history. People think it is easy, but they dunno what is going on. They don’t know that choosing a minister is like choosing a wife, with whom you’ll be in bed for four years. It is like choosing people to manage your well-earned riches. Those who do it in hours or days probably made use of Artificial Intelligence (which, by the way… just like that video of Ganduje receiving kickbacks in dollars, cannot be trusted).
… Important things to do like releasing press statements to wish important living people happy birthday, to wish important dead people a peaceful rest, and to congratulate important president-elects all over the world. Important things like taking care of the president’s health. We all know that health is wealth, don’t we?
Think about it: Why obey a court order when we can go to war? With Boko Haram technically defeated, Nnamdi Kanu hiding in the abroad, and kidnappers surrendering their weapons left and right, is it not high time Nigeria created a new war to distract us from the racketing going on in the government?
Besides, if we don’t have a major violent conflict to contend with, there’ll be no justification to keep giving the lion’s share in our annual budget to Defence. And you know what that means: Education, or even Health, might take centre stage in our fiscal policies, which is totally unacceptable. What are they going to do with all that money, uh? Never in our history has that happened and it definitely won’t start under the watch of this proactive administration.
PS. Even if the president were to disregard all these sensible reasons and decides to obey court orders, Nigerians should understand that obeying court orders aren’t as easy as activists make it seem. First, you have to think of when you are going to obey it. Second, you might need to set up a committee to decide to what extent you are going to obey it. Then, we may need to wait for another budgeting cycle so as to include the huge costs of, er, releasing people on bail and all that. C’mon. Life is hard. Governance in Nigeria, especially, is rocket science. Don’t make it look so simple.