Immunity Beyond Limits!

by Rev. Uche Dr. Obodoechina

It was at Nnamdi Azikiwe Internatioanal Airport Abuja, at about 4.30pm on Tuesday the 16th day of June 2015 during a delayed Aero Contractors flight to Port-Harcourt that an intensive argument ensured on the theme namely, 'Immunity without Limits,' among two enraged passengers over the delay of the flight to Port-Harcourt without any form of apology from the management of Aero Contractors to the numerous stranded passengers.

It was my opinion at this emotion- packed discussion, that it was not just the question of immunity but impunity without limits in Nigeria. And this is not only with Aero Contractors and perhaps other Airways in Nigeria but 'Impunity without Limits' has become a common culture of life at all strata of our Nigerian society.

Especially among the rank and file of government in Nigeria, impunity among the mighty at the corridors of state power and other public offices admit no limits. Anybody who is anybody in government claims one form of immunity or the other. The law of the land exists for the poor and the marginalized at the fringe of the society.

Of course, the law does not bind its makers. They are made for the other. Is it any wonder that the Rule of Law does not function properly in Nigeria? People at the helm of affairs in higher and lower government circles seem to live above the law. In fact, the volume of impunity is unimaginable. Take for instance, the reckless abuse of the common rights of citizens among the Nigerian police.

This one alone is a topic of its own. It speaks volumes about the enormity of impunity in this country. It is not surprising to note that the abuse of the poor and the lowly would be the order of the day in a country where might is right. In Nigeria, might is right and the mightiest is the rightist. But how long will this situation go on unabated? How long shall we continue to live behind the time? Is it not enough time for us to get up from our slumber?

It is our expectation that the situation of gross impunity in Nigeria and anywhere else will not last forever. There must be a limit to the profligacy of our men and women at the corridors of power and of course among any other group of persons with one claim of immunity or the other. And so the situation of decadent abuse of rights and the impunity associated therewith cannot remain unabated.

The young Nigerians of this generation are certainly impatient with such oddities. And as such the situation cannot be allowed to go on unchecked. It is not just the responsibility of the Nigerian youths alone; it is especially the duty of every Nigerian, young and old, small and big, male and female to take part in this all important crusade against impunity and the abuse of power on the part of the mighty in our midst.

Even among the lowly, let the features and characteristics of impunity not be found among you. Experience shows that in a state of lawlessness, like Nigeria, it is possible to find all forms of abuse. And this is true. It is not only the men and women at the corridors of power who perpetrate this abuse. It has become a cankerworm among the people.

Even the small man at the street corner looks for an opportunity to lord it over to the next person. It is like a situation where man is wolf to man. Every available opportunity is thwarted to the advantage of the one who is more distinguished in evil. People do not pay attention to the well-being of their neighbours. And that makes our situation and society life a very selfish one.

But we know that no man is an island. We also know that we are not enough for ourselves. We need others. And therefore, to achieve the essence of the state and government, namely to provide for each citizen, that which singly, we are not able to provide for ourselves, (the principles of Subsidiarity) each person must be conscious of the fact that impunity and abuse of rights, privileges and opportunities in whatever shape or size and from whatever quarter are antithetical to genuine development and growth.

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