When I saw a news report with the caption: “Enugu constituency urges INEC to commence recall of member” on an online journal, Everyday News Nigeria, I curiously and most excitedly moved to read through the story. My curiosity heightened when I realized who was the subject, Hon. Dr. Patrick Asadu, a member of the National Assembly representing Nsukka/Igbo-Eze South in the Federal House of Representatives.
However, on reading through the said story, my expectations were defeated and excitement petered out in a hopeless anticlimax. I had expected strong, logical and unimpeachable arguments to support their position, but was grossly disappointed by the intangible, untenable and sentimental songs they had waxed to hook the heart and not the head of the reader. Of course they deliberately targeted the heart because while it can be in heavy tango with sentiment, common sense does not find habitability therein. And this is a matter of common sense.
Recall of an elected representative, be it a member of the Local Legislative Council, House of Assembly or Representative, or a Senator, and its demand by constituents, are legitimate parts and parcel of our democratic process. However, these are based on the principle which strongly presupposes that an infraction, to warrant such a response from the owners of the mandate, must have occurred on the part of the exerciser of the mandate, to justify same. And this must neither be blindly speculative nor recklessly conjectual as is currently playing out. It must neither be a whimsical invention by some people whose motives are clearly suspect for a less than noble end, nor must it be an act of sentimental blackmail, as once again Hon. Dr. Asadu’s case clearly is, in the lack of any shred of evidence of any wrong doing put forward by his traducers. Here, they did not mention any one single offence let alone one that is plausible, even as it would be subjected to further scrutiny as is wont in cases like this.
Besides, there is something almost mischievous in the casting of the headlines, in the way an act of three persons was deliberately misrepresented to create a wrong and misleading impression, that is, of a whole constituency standing up to speak against Dr. Asadu. While no one is querying their rights to speak, it is morally wrong to deliberately mislead the public to believe that a whole constituency was on its feet, on a gale force move, to withdrew their representative from the federal house. Of course, while three may be a number, it couldn’t have been the number that had repeatedly elected Dr. Asadu to represent them as he marvelously does.
Having said this, the three who were obviously speaking for some hidden sponsors had failed woefully when after much ramblings they could not put forward any alleged crime, no matter how minor, committed by Hon. Dr. Patrick Asadu. They also claimed to have passed a vote of no confidence on him, for no other reason than that he had expressed his desire to seek reelection. This is ridiculously preposterous.
So, Dr. Asadu must be stripped of his rights and run out of town even when he didn’t do anything wrong, and on the wheels of sentiment, just to pave way for their candidate they obviously knew would not stand a fair chance against his wealth of experience, sterling performance as a ranking legislator, and popularity, among the people who have not only followed with pride his inspired performances in the hallowed green chambers of the National Assembly, but have also benefited immensely from his numerous people oriented constituency projects and extra legislative charity works.
Asadu is just being blackmailed for seeking another stint in the Federal House. Simple. And one is forced to ask what is wrong with his aspiration? Is it against any known law of the land? Of course not any I know of. Rather, the constituency stand to gain everything in re-electing Dr. Patrick Asadu, who knows the intricate business and nitty gritty of law making and have mastered the ability, skill and art required to navigate the precarious and murky waters of the peculiar Nigerian representative democracy, at its major convergence at the federal level, where one must know and be known to have a voice. Dr. Asadu is an advantage on this as he knows and is well known. He can not be intimidated or be shunted into one oblivious and miserable corner to await his monthly allowances. His voice must be heard as always, on issues of importance to the nation and his constituency.
While people have the rights to aspire into any political office of their choices they are qualified for, including the seat Dr. Asadu occupies, there is no way experience traded for selfish sentiments, in favour of a neophyte, is better in the overall and long-term interest of the people.
It is not for nothing that employers ask for experienced hands of those they seek to engage. And like in Dr. Asadu’s case, his people know one cannot buy experience from any market beyond who has it and knows how to most productively deploy it as he does, as he will continue to give them their prominent and effective representation in that unique ways only an experienced player can. And on their laughable demands to be shown the bills he has initiated, and the constituency projects he has executed, one can only say that these trio, in their hurry to smear Dr. Asadu at all cost, forgot to count these, or conveniently looked the other way as these are all comminly on record and visible in the public space.
Finally, an individual’s denial does not affect the empirical existence of a self evident truth. That they had merely chosen to hide away from the effervasence of the moon neither removes it from the sky nor keeps it’s light from illuminating the world for the rest. Hon. Dr. Patrick Asadu has been illuminating his constituency with the light of the best of his knowledge and experience. And as a seasoned and ranking legislator, he would be no less telling than before.
Mr Nnabuike Eze writes from Nsukka.