16th September, 2011
Â Hon. Hakeem Abiodun Munir, represents Oshodi-Isolo Federal Constituency of Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria. In this interview with Political Platform, he speaks on the suspension of the Appeal Court President, Justice Ayo Salami, and other issues.
What is the position of the House on the sack of Justice Ayo Salami?
The House is yet to take a common stand but I express a personal opinion here. It calls for serious concern for every well meaning Nigerians that probably the only hope of an average man on the street is now in tatters. The Judiciary which is the last hope of the common is in tatters and we should be very careful because if we lose the judiciary, we have lost democracy and the loss of democracy is an invitation to anarchy, invitation to rule by might and rule by wish and Nigerians will be disappointed.
An average Nigerian will be treated shabbily and there will nowhere to seek redress. It is just a pity and it shows that over time, the judiciary has been embedded in serious corruption, maladministration and malpractices.
For Salami to have come out and stand the test of time, and for him to have taken a stand, he must have his own conviction. He said the CJN wanted to influence the judgement in Sokoto State and tried to blacklist him because of what happened in Ekiti and Osun states.
I think it is just a PDP thing. They are getting back at him for upturning the results of most of the states they won fraudulently abinitio. I don’t think they have to politicise the judiciary. I don’t think they have to launder the system or create chaos all in the name of politics. It is an aberration that this is happening in the 21st Century Nigeria.
INEC recently de-register ed seven political parties. Do you think this is healthy for the development of our democracy?
We are looking at it from two angles here. Constitutionally, INEC has certain powers to make some recommendations and requirements concerning political parties. For instance, the proliferation of political parties is at what instance? Some of them are due to greed, selfishness or out of political expediency.
Some people just want to take money from INEC. Two or three party system is the best for Nigeria at this point. This will create an enabling environment for people to vie for elective positions in the country. Whether here or there, it is healthy for us as a nation and for our democracy.
But at the same time, it will prevent some people from coming out to express their fundamental right to have their political parties within their wards or local governments. INEC should have a rethink about that. But again, we are pushing that we should just have two or at most three strong political parties in Nigeria, which the people will have an alternative to choose from and not a case of where PDP as a party will sponsor other political parties to destroy the electoral chances of other political parties. That is my stand.
As the race for House Committees begins, what are your expectations?
The present House under the leadership of Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has been very fair to all political parties, geographical spheres and individuals.
It is natural for people to lobby, to scheme for good committees to be able to impact on or develop their societies, but again, in this seventh Assembly, the Speaker has made it compulsory that a round peg is going to be put in a round hole and not the other way round.
The inter-relationship is cordial and we are doing better. Naturally, there will be chairmen and there will be members. If you are lucky to be chairman, it is a call to duty to serve your country and if you are not, don’t take it as an opportunity to start another round of rancour within the House.
Why this gesture to your people?
It is in fulfilment of our electoral promises to the people and, that it is not only when we need them for election that we remember them. This programme has been on for three years now. It is not an electoral gimmick. We want everybody to go home and have a feel of their constituentss and to also show them that we appreciate their supports over the years.