Anti-Progress Stance Of The Nigerian National Assembly
Seeing the way things are moving in this country, the lawlessness, no rule of law has resulted in some people describing Nigeria as a ‘jungle where the right and privileges of citizens are trampled upon with outright disregard with no repercussion of any sort’, however, some people still believe in the practice of fundamental human rights despite the realities of human right abuses we face daily in the country.
From the successive governments, both military and civilian have denied Nigerian good governance, protection of their rights and visionary leadership, the citizens on their own ends, have always agitated and stood against the government to provide these benefits.
The brutality and inhumanity of military governments did not stop Nigerians from demanding their rights and they have continued to demand them in this democratic dispensation.
Anyone that has studied the political progression and history of Nigeria will agree with me that the major challenge confronting the country is bad leadership because those in government do not have the interest of the common citizens at heart.
It is more disappointing that the politicians that represent the people in the state and federal legislative arms of government in the country, who are expected to deliver the dividend of democracy and good governance to the grassroot are only promoting their individual selfish interests.
Instead of making life easy for the common man, the National Assembly which constitutes the Senate and House of Representatives, is known for engaging in idle talk, unnecessary arguments, pushing self-serving legislation, engage in physical combat and creating a national nuisance by dancing and singing on national television.
The only panacea or remedy to good governance is to entrust the country into the hands of responsible, honest and transparent leaders, putting people of high integrity in charge of every sector of the economy to drive the engine of progress across the country.
Over the years since Nigeria gained her independence, the National Assemble saddled with the responsibility of making laws for the betterment of human lives and conditions have always done little or nothing to justify their office, instead, they only advance their selfish interests.
The disturbing question now is, can’t the leopards of the Nigerian National Assembly change its spot? Very recently, the newly inaugurated 9th assembly headed by the Senate president, Ahmed Lawan declared to the greatest amazement and bewilderment of the nation that no member of the Nigerian National Assembly received jumbo pays. He further admitted in a hurry that his monthly take-home is 750,000 naira only, yet it is obvious to the blind that what these lawmakers didn’t take in monthly salaries were been carted away in allowances and bonuses that run into several million.
This is a far cry from the expectations and yearnings of the great people of this country who thought the 9th assembly comprises of more men and women of integrity who are committed to building potent national institutions and ensure proper management of the nation’s resources, assets as well as public morality in government’s finance.
But then, amidst controversies, a presidential Advisory Committee Chairman, Professor Itse Sagay debunked Lawan’s false claim of 750,000 naira monthly salary. Sagay revealed that each senator goes home with about 15 million naira monthly as personal emolument and other perks attached as previously confirmed by a former senator, Sen. Shehu Sani from Kaduna central who was a part of the 8th Assembly. Why then has the 9th assembly decided to feed the public with lies, fibs and to dash the rising hopes of the people in the new political dawn promising sanity financial appropriateness in government business?
Simply put, the Nigerian 9th National Assembly was in business like it was a usual business, committing sharp practices against the nation’s treasury. Some actions and inactions on the floor of the two chambers i.e. the Senate and the House of Representative were a source of considerable disquiet, capable of aggravating the socio-political equilibrium of the nation, allowing to make inroads into the nation’s growing democracy and economy.
The general populace of the nation waited patiently with suspicion and watched the activities of the National Assembly studying in silence to know the next line of action till its iniquity wanted to run over the brim. Emphasizes should be made on how the 8th National Assembly embarked on some hypocritical resolutions to wanting to kill the process of the most laudable program or agenda of the anti-corruption crusade of President Muhammad Buhari.
The entire nation however was and still unconscious of the fact that corruption is not only the reproach and shame of the nation, and even the bane of the economy. It makes all efforts in planning and implementation of the national budget sand and fury, signifying nothing at the end of the day. It is then crystal clear that Nigerian National Assembly harbors and celebrates corruption in disguise. Total pretense and cheap political blackmailing were seen in such that many legislators of the lower chamber did not support the programs of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) led administration even though those members won elections on the platform of the party.
Many illustrations could be made or cited in respect to Nigerian National Assembly processes of the last 8th assembly’s constitutional disengagements and unconstitutional functions including being hostile towards frightening the executive government, incapacitating government machinery by rendering nugatory some federal appointments already in the offering for approval. All these radiated to the 9th assembly revealing the alarming hollowness, weakness of characters, sickening depth of lust for money and obsession with transient political powers that the National Assembly had perilously sunk since the inception of the present democratic dispensation.
As a result to this connection, the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), saddled with fixing the remuneration of political office holders, monitoring the revenues occurring to federation account and blocking revenue leakages amongst its laudable mandate, must be up to the task and half the enormous greed of National Assembly for excessive funds in the course of any assignment or oversights.
The commission (RMAFC) is however called upon and encouraged to achieve its mandate which is very wide and extensively important to the country’s economy, and all hands must be on deck to ensure that the true nature of the National Assembly is revealed as noted for overbearing inclination and should be totally abjured and jettisoned in favor of highly responsible, dynamic, resourceful and patriotic lawmaking for peace and prosperity of Nigeria as a bright country.