A former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has taken a swipe at the President Muhammadu Buhari regarding the comments he made about the rule of law, saying it’s a threat to national security.
Buhari had delivered a keynote address at the beginning of the 58th annual conference of the Nigerian Bar Association on Sunday where he spoke on various issues, most prominently, the rule of law on issues of national interest.
“Rule of Law must be subject to the supremacy of the nation’s security and national interest.
“Our apex court has had cause to adopt a position on this issue in this regard and it is now a matter of judicial recognition that; where national security and public interest are threatened or there is a likelihood of their being threatened, the individual rights of those allegedly responsible must take second place, in favour of the greater good of society,” Mr Buhari said.
Like many other critics of the Buhari’s administration, Fani-Kayode said Nigerians will not accept a nation where free speech and rule of law have no place.
He said The greatest threat to national security and the national interest is a President that cannot appreciate the sanctity of the rule of law and the sacrosanct nature of the constitution.
If this rhetoric of national interest and national security being more important than the rule of law continues it will have grave, disastrous and cataclysmic consequences for our country. It will lead to strong resistance, subversion of the state, conflict, war and the disintegration of Nigeria.
This is because we are not prepared to live in or accept the imposition of a totalitarian police state where dissent, opposition, free speech, human rights and civil liberties have no place.
This is Nigeria where freedom flourishes and where democracy thrives and not Saudi Arabia or North Korea where it is dead.
Martin Luther King said “if you are not prepared to die for something then you are not fit to live for anything”.
He said “If we are wrong, justice is a lie and love has no meaning”.
Every Nigerian was born free: we will not allow anyone, including a lifeless President, to turn us into slaves.
The only things that we have asked for and are insisting on are the preservation of our liberty and cherished values, the right to an unhindered and unencumbered life and the establishment of an equitable, multi-cultural, multi-racial and multi-religious modern and plural nation-state in which there are no masters and servants and in which every man, woman and child is regarded as being equal and having equal opportunities regardless of his or her faith, ethnic nationality and circumstance of birth.
We insist on the establishment of a nation in which we are free to make our own choices and in which our respect, pride, sense of self-worth and dignity are guaranteed and preserved. Anything less than that is unacceptable.
We hear the threats and boastful words of those that are in authority today, that control the levers of power and that man the organs of state.
We see and acknowledge their awesome power to crush, kill, maim, jail and destroy those of us that they hate and that they consider to be their enemies and adversaries yet we are not intimidated and we harbour no fear.
We refuse to bow and tremble before them or to bend the knee. We refuse to be cowered or to be silenced.
Instead, we challenge them to do their very worse because we serve an awesome God whose name is the Ancient of Days and the Lord of Hosts and who is mighty in battle.
We defy them and laugh them to scorn because the things that we have asked for are worth fighting and, if necessary, worth dying for.
We would rather live as free men for a single day than live as slaves for one thousand years. And make no mistake about it: we are not alone.
We are the voices of the voiceless and the servants of truth: when we speak, we speak for millions.
When we are killed, locked away or declared missing in action, in the name of the Living God, others will rise and continue the noble struggle and glorious fight.
We cannot be deterred, we cannot be defeated, we cannot be subdued and we cannot be overwhelmed.
Ultimately, in the name of God the Great and He who holds the universe together by the power of His word, you will fall and we shall prevail.