Is Ini Ememobong, Akwa Ibom State Publicity Secretary of PDP Really A Lawyer?
By Solomon Johnny
This piece is triggered by the Press Release issued by Mr Ini Ememobong, the Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Akwa Ibom State chapter on Wednesday, wherein he posited that it is not the duty of the State Governor, His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel to provide security of life and property to citizens and residents of the state alike.
Ini Ememobong was reacting to a press statement issued by Akwa Ibom State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress on the killing of Ukanafun Council Secretary during the week and the rising wave of insecurity in the State and calling on Governor Udom Emmanuel to rise to the occasion and nib the rising monster in the bud.
Ini Ememobong in his release tagged "Kidnapping /Killing : APC'S Usual Masquerade", raised questions and the answers he gave, make me doubt his knowledge of the law while wondering whether he actually passed his Constitutional Law tests and examination at the Faculty of Law, University of Uyo where he graduated from about two years ago.
Here is a lawyer's question and the answer he gave embellished in infantile arrogance but all to his hurt, the party and government he works for. He asked: "WHO HAS THE DUTY TO PROVIDE SECURITY FOR THE CITIZENS"
Hear his answer which l think must have embarrassed lawyers known to be learned. He answered thus: "l am amazed that the APC through her ‘Publicity Secretary’ can attempt(though unsuccessfully)
"This callous misplacement is very mischievous and disingenuous, emanating either from very ignorant minds or terribly manipulative brains, determined to annoy the citizenry more by attempting to distract them from the current economic misadventure which the APC led federal government has undertaken since May 29, 2015.
"Very disturbing is the fact that there is a presumption that the man who in whose name the release is made is a lawyer, therefore he ought to know. Just in case he and his party may have forgotten, please may I respectfully refer them to Part 1 of the second schedule(exclus
"The effect of the above legislation is that the provision of security is the sole duty of the Federal Government and nothing more pretentious. May we further remind that, the constitution having placed the duty on the Federal Government, any other tier of Government cannot be held responsible for the failure of such a duty, but if they make noticeable contributions, they can be applauded. Take an example with roads- the roads that are designated as federal roads (e.g calabar-Itu road) when there are impassable or bad, is the headache of the Federal Government, but if a state government (like Akwa Ibom State did) decides to repair the road, that government will be commended.
"Back to security, the title Chief Security Officer is a ceremonial appellation, as all the heads of the Security agencies domiciled in a state report to the Federal Government, only briefing the state...."
This answer is faulty in law and l'm worried especially as Ini Ememobong inscribed that his contemptuous press release was for "the purpose of education and discuss". I cannot wait than to refer him, his employer, the PDP and the State government to the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy contained in Chapter 2 section 13-14 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999as amended. The sections makes Ini Ememobong's piece very misleading and injurious to scholarship and should be corrected immediately.
For purpose of learning, Fundamental Objectives Principles of State Policy is a unique feature of the 1979 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria still retained in the 1999 operational constitution of the country. It spells out and in very clear terms, the definite duties of the state towards her citizens while it also defines and bestows various powers upon the distinctive arms of government at all levels. Fundamental Objectives Principles of State Policy are designed targets which drafters of the constitution intended should guide every government, some of which from the face of it, are clueless and opportunistic. It defines goals of every government setting the standards high each government can be measured in performance and delivery of service to the state.
With the above in view, what is the express duty of the governor with regards to security and how has Mr Ememobong, a suppose learned man, ran foul of the law misleading the public at the same time?
FODPOSP briefly explained above is provided for in Section 13 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and provides thus: "It shall be the duty and responsibility of all organs of government, and of all authorities and persons, exercising legislative, executive or judicial powers, to conform to, observe and apply the provisions of this chapter of this Constitution "
Section 14, on same matter, states thus:
"1. The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a state based on the principles of democracy and social justice.
" 2. it is hereby, accordingly, declared that -
a. Sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria from whom government through this constitution derives all its powers and authority,
b. THE SECURITY AND WELFARE OF THE PEOPLE SHALL BE THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT,
c. The participation by the people in their government shall be ensured in accordance with the provisions of this constitution"(e
So if "it shall be the duty and responsibility of all organs of government and ALL authorities and person exercising legislative, EXECUTIVE or judicial powers, to conform to, observe and apply" the provisions quoted above with particular emphasis on Security and Welfare, how then is Governor Udom Emmanuel, the Chief Executive officer of the state, not the Chief security officer of the people and not responsible for security as Ememobong, a lawyer, posited?
I submit with due respect that by the combine effect of section 13-14 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of 1999 as amended, that Governor Udom Emmanuel is responsible for making sure that the state is safe for both the citizens and residents alike. All the security agencies, the Police, Army, DSS and recently, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corp are established to work with the governor at the state level to achieve this goal. I submit that Ini Ememobong is wrong to claim otherwise and the sections he quoted only relates to the establishment of these forces, custody and usage of arms and never can it operate or interpreted to mean that Mr Governor is not the Chief Security officer of the state. Mr President is the Chief Security officer of the country and the governor functions as such at the state level representing the President in the manner a local Government Chairman is in charge of security and represents the governor in the Local Government. The legal principle of covering the field where a lesser law or authority bows to the higher when in conflict or representative capacity, cannot make any organic office exonerated when it fails to discharge it functions. I would have called on Governor Udom Emmanuel to immediately resign if the press release under view where to come from his office or under his authority. It would have clearly shown that he doesn't know his duties therefore very unfit to remain in the office.
Woe unto the city whose King is but a Child, the Bible has said. Ini Ememobong is a child and a mistake as Publicity Secretary. All I see him doing is bringing additional baggage to the distressed PDP. He started off by calling those with opposing views "Pigs" he was not willing to wrestle with. Like his boss and governor who at various times had refered to his subjects as "illiterates, fool and idiots", this "lawyer" lacks both the basic elements of descent communication expected of an image maker and as seen in his recent goof, he lacks the rudimentary knowledge of law and its elementary operation. He could have been excused as a young lawyer but how do you explain this considering that the man in question, last month, opened a law chamber where he is the lead Attorney? What that presupposes is that he knows the law and can stand independent of any forces coaching him the law. But as it is, it doesn't look like he knows how to file matters or make appearance in court. So I ask whether he is really a lawyer to have made such claims and what legal service and advise will he give his client when he cannot understand the simple provision of the constitution which is available in all the shelves?
Very sad at the lack of manners exhibited by Ememobong who threw decorum to the wind while addressing his very senior colleague, Bar Bassey Akpan who issued the statement he was reacting to. Lawyers are taught to respect their seniors and in court, Senior lawyers take the floor first so that people like Ememobong who left law school like yesterday can learn from the knowledge of law they garnered over the years. The respect is not united to the court RM but even to social events where junior lawyers greet their seniors with bowed heads. I understand that Bar Bassey Akpan who became the centre of Ememobong uncouth diatribe is a very senior lawyer quoted severally in Nigerian Law Reports and that puts him at a level that Ememobong, for now, should respect if he is to address him. So I am asking whether politics is all about insult and whether Mr Ememobong was not taught simple manners of respecting Elders?
If Ememobong is PDP's best for the job, then truly, the party is working with the dregs and no wonder Gov Udom Emmanuel is failing at all angles and the party crumbling by the day. I now understand the kind of advise Gov Udom is getting such as the one that tells him to relax on insecurity because that is not his responsibility.
I had thought that by becoming the Publicity Secretary of the PDP, that Ememobong should reduce the youthful exuberance he exhibited three years ago as a student knowing that the public will be expecting to see maturity and dexterity at its best in his approach to issues he is addressing. From what l read emanating from his office, he has failed to deal with issues but prefers engaging in a slanging March that opens up the PDP for attack even, as a party in intensive care unit having list it's verve, ought to be nurtured rather than picking up quarrel her strength cannot sustain. Well, I'm careless about that because I'm not a PDP member. If I were, I would have ask Ememobong to resign because he is counter productive to the party. But the party is doomed and believes there is nothing she can do to redeem itself.
I shall love to advise Ememobong not to worry about APC next time he issuing his tantrums of a statement. There is no cause for alarm even if we disagree as a party, the APC is still the party to beat. We can decide by noon to bury our hatchets and dislodge the PDP if elections were to take place tomorrow. What is happening in the APC is not unusual to attract the attention of the publicity Secretary of a party in government except he is idle and a dull brain. He should have known that leaders of APC at both the state and the Federal are working round the clock and have almost gotten solutions to the APC crises in Akwa Ibom State.
Rather, Ememobong should be worried about why members of a ruling party are running away from the party to an opposition party. That is a bold handwriting on the wall which should worry any serious or intelligent party until relationship person. I will advise that that is worth his attention than taking panadol over another man's headache.
For his own good, Ini Ememobong should play safe with his new office. I pity him most time when I read his struggle to polish a stinking behemoth whose sole concern in the last sixteen years of power, was looting the government dry. Unfortunately, Ememobong then was only a youth student leaders used by the elders for thuggery and causing problems at meetings while the elders loot. In effect, Ememobong did not join the agbada men to steal but is giving a role to dress the party in fine robes when Nigerians are venting their spleen over PDP treacherous exploit against the nation. If a young man who has a future is intelligent, he should have run away from the men who imposed such baggage on him because it can hunt him in the future perhaps when there is no trace of the party again.
But if he had accepted the offer and knowing that we have been asking the Elders to give us a chance in government, he should not prove the point of the corrupt leaders that we cannot perform by committing blunders at every point. Ememobong must calm down, take time to study and understand that he is talking to a mixed intelligent audience who knows the issues and cannot be swayed by blank abuses to people. I wish him well however
Solomon Johnny is the editor of a popular weekend Newspaper 📰 and public commentator
(POSTED ON SOCIALMEDIA BY Essien Inyang)