‘Sex Party venue’ demolition: The diminution of rule of law by Kaduna Govt
By Oludare Mayowa
The report of the demolition of a restaurant building by the Kaduna State government last week based on unproven allegations of an intention to host a sex rivery party is another blip on the rule of law and the nation’s nascent democracy.
From all indications, the speed with which the private building housing the restaurant was pulled down by the government demolition squad is an indication of disrespect for the rule of law, fairness, and justice by the state government and its agents and should be condemned by all.
From the story making the rounds, there was a poster on social media indicating that a ‘sex party’ is slated to hold at the demolished restaurant, Asher Kings and Queens Restaurant and before any meaningful engagement with the owners and the alleged planners of the party, the supposed venue was pulled down by the government.
One would have expected that the Governor of the state Nasir El-Rufai who is rumored to be interested in Nigeria’s top job in 2023 should have restraint his government agent from carrying out illegal operations that is riff of bad motive.
According to a statement by the owner of the restaurant, the demolition was without prior notice and seemingly unprovoked by action or inaction of the owner, which is subjected to various interpretations, including religious persecution of a kind.
One would have expected that the government and its agent conduct thorough investigations into the issue and follow up with the prosecution of those who are found culpable in the court of law if any violation of the law is established against them and allow the law to take it full course on the matter.
A state exists for the good of all irrespective of their tribe, religion, or creed and any perversion of the principle of fairness and justice is anathema to the principle of democracy and rule of law.
With the demolition, many workers employed by the business have lost their means of livelihood, while the owners of the business have also been rendered hopeless due to the huge losses incurred by the wanton acts of the government.
Without any prejudice to whatever the breach that may have been committed by the business owner or those who rented the place to host a supposed sex orgy, the onus is on the government to be seen to act in fairness and dish out justice to everyone concerns regardless of their status.
The governor can still redeem his image and that of his government as a result of the recklessness by engaging the business owner in a meaningful discussion on the way forward and ensure that a fair remedy is provided to ensure that they are not seen to be oppressed by the mighty.
The action in its entirety has created an impression that the state is not conducive for free enterprise and this could discourage many people who may have the intention to invest in the state now and in the future from doing so.
An issue like this requires tacts and respect on the part of the government to the right of the citizens to own and operate private businesses without the fear of being unnecessarily persecuted without recourse to the law.
The demolition of the restaurant violated all known civilised norms, it’s arbitrary and portrays the government as the accuser, the prosecutor and the judge in the same case, sacrificing the principle of fairness on the altar of egotism.
Governor El-Rufai, who was once a darling of many Nigerians due to his work as the minister of the federal capital territory has by this further diminished his status (no pun intended) with the action which smacked of intolerance and religious bigotry rather than efforts to preserve value.
His handling of the Southern Kaduna killings, his neglect of the people of other religions and failure to appreciate the diversity of the state in choosing his deputy from the same religion and many of his recent actions have continued to reduce his rating among fair-minded Nigerians.
The governor can still redeem his image by apologising to the owners of the restaurant and indemnify them for the losses incurred from the unjust demolition of the business.