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Thursday, 17 December 2015

Let Us Not Be Deceived By The Frivolous Petitions Prohibition Bill


I decided adopted the 'siddon look' approach ‎to the proposal of a gag bill, or the Frivolous Petitions Prohibition Bill, as the Nigerian Senate would like it to be called but my itchy fingers could no longer resist the urge to put pen to paper ("fingers to keyboard" would be more appropriate).
If I remember correctly, it was on Sahara Reporters that I read about Nigeria's indolent upper house passing one bill for approximately every 1 billion Naira‎ spent on those 109 'senathieves'. Since their inauguration in 1999, they have concerned themselves with in-house politics (such as who gets what position on lucrative sub-committees) and obese allowances for themselves. The last thing on their mind is the Nigerian people, and in no way have they expressed their total disregard and disdain for Nigeria and Nigerians than with their intention to pass this Frivolous Petitions Prohibitions Bill.
If it was under my control, I would not have allowed any protests against the passage of this bill. I would have ensured that not one voice was raised in dissent to the passage of this ‎gag order and then wait to see the bill passed. Nigerians, like Okey Ndibe correctly noted, have a culture of low expectation. Our leaders, who like to give us the impression that we elected them (we now know better) know this, and they continue to set the bar even lower. For them, the bar has become so low that they have decided it is time they start treating us like animals being reared for food. Having now been adequately fattened with all the insults that they throw at us, it is time to take us to the slaughter house. This latest stunt by the Senate is just like a man who wants to know the the depth of a river by testing it with one leg. I do not believe they had any intention of passing that bill, nor that it is a 'trap' for president Buhari as has been implied by certain persons and groups. It was simply a test; a kind of litmus to gauge our readiness for something more sinister. All the uproar that has been generated by Nigerians both at home and abroad, and also by non-Nigerians, were exactly what the Senate was expecting. This collective protest will give them a feel of the amount of flak they will face if they get up to any mischief in the future.
I predict that this bill will be dropped, not because of all the noise that was made against it, but because it was never meant to fly in the first place. Let nobody or group see this as a victory because it will not be one. We should instead prepare for much worse from these dishonourable characters. This bill has already achieved it's aim - which is to measure the reaction to such a stunt, and they have received their response. We should be as vigilant as that very wise bird which obeserved that its hunters had learned to shoot without missing, and so it had to learn to fly without perching.