Still on 9th National Assembly
By Ayodele Fagbohun
Rather than to subside, it is utterly reprehensible and chagrined to the extreme the frantic race and inordinate ambition to grab leadership position in the forthcoming and yet to be inaugurated National Assembly (NA). is assuming despicable, dishonourable, mercenary subterranean frenetic pitch of activity.
It is as if National Assembly is a casino complex to make illicit and “cool” money without exacting any atom of efforts.
I consider it gross disservice, this time around for its bitting economic austerity, to regard National Assembly and in fact any public office for that matter as avenue for wanton acquisition of ill-gotten wealth and “business as usual”, reminiscent of the previous odious administration presided over by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Then the National Assembly was barefacedly run brazenly manipulated as a private estate of the neo-colonialists and their agents with impunity owing no allegiance to the people’s right that voted them into office. They did not care a hoot to either fear or respect people’s right and power to recall member that flouts and tramples upon the people’s right to good governance and democracy.
Under the cover of parliamentary immunity, all sorts of criminal and dishonest acts like budget padding, delays and other horrible epithets coined to describe how members and their allies lived in comfort and please; and wallowed in dissolute and dishonourable (sorry honourable) life. And in the process held the nation’s economy in the jugular and to stultify the course of good governance in the nooks and crannies of the country.
In spite of the assess that bray within the rank of the opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party to overawe, threaten and intimidate the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) that no Jupiter or force on earth can stop them, the former from vying and eventually become elected principal officers in the next 9th National Assembly, their inferior numbers in the house not withstanding.
Lacking in moral scruple and predilection for igniting crisis in any given situation, the PDP readily brandish copy of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended) to back up their contention that the constitution does not specifically recognise political parties whilst constituting National Assembly or any organ for that matter. Well said.
However, convention, practice and common sense dictate that one assumes membership of legislature first and foremost as a bonafide member of a registered political party and having been sponsored as candidate in the party so registered by INEC.
Whilst it is altruistic that national interest and patriotism towards community or constituency as the case may be should predominate and must of necessity be the hallmark of actions and deeds of any responsible and stable member in the country legislature; to serve as check and balance and ultimately and sedulously promote harmony, unity and prosperity of the polity, in tandem with the pragmatic policy and programmes of the executive to fastrack and accelerate developmental efforts across the country.
Can we say in all honesty that the outgoing National Assembly is a replica of these ethos kudos and virtues of national aspirations and public service? Far from it. Can we hesitate to say and affirm that the outgoing 8th National Assembly as a public organ gestated hatched and nurtured in conflict treachery and conspiracy to steal and gratify personal mundane pleasure of the duo, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and Speaker of House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara.
It is not understatement to say that the incoming National Assembly must not shy away from the recurring national question how to allay the agelong fears of minorities and other ethnic nationalities that are mutually suspicious of and now hostile to one another making the unity of Nigeria hanging precariously on a thread.
The scenario bears different names that catches the fancy of each of the National groups in accordance with sentiment so attached. But the bottom line is that the concept is generally called “restructuring.”
National Assembly as an organ popularly elected by various constituent across the Federation is strategically placed to surmount with relative ease the knotty national question; to build ethical and impregnable foundation in moving Nigeria forward, stand erect as a united, powerful and dynamic indissoluble sovereign nation like United States, People’s Republic of China, United Kingdom and other advanced economics.
Having lost the rare privilege and opportunity in government for upward of 16 years of misrule, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has no shame and moral rights to aspire and contend with the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) the so called juicy offices in the National Assembly.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) must take the bull by the horns leaving every Nigerian to support the political outfit to live positively to its name by providing the requisite leadership imbued with ideological beat; to ensure credible persons amongst APC members are elected into responsible position. In the similar vein to ensure the offices allotted to minority opposition seats are occupied by the elected members driven purely by national interests.
It should be reiterated that National Assembly is not a place for tea party affair, to flex unnecessary political muscles. It is not and showed never be converted to bedlam for osteperous unruly and vulgar behaviour of elected members given to frivolities, sadism, violent orgies and pecuniary considerations.
As far as South West is considered, we should cast our lots with Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila of Lagos Senatorial District as Speaker in the incoming House of Representatives and the candidature of Senator Ajayi Boroffice of Ondo North District should be also favourably okayed as Deputy Senate President based on merit and intimidating credentials and long term meritorious service in the National Assembly.
We, Yoruba wont play the role of second fiddle mentality in this political dispensation.
First and foremost, we should guide our loins and intensify our struggle, expand political fronties of party membership in the grassroots where the All Progressives Congress (APC) holds the mantle of political authority and make necessary amends to cover lost ground. The leadership of All Progressives Congress (APC) is duty bound to promote the material well being of the people especially the introduction and full implementation of free education at all levels, free health services for the youth and accessible quality health scheme for the work force for the aged.
This should be declared as a right throughout the South West. A pertinent digression, of course.
In the interim, the hallowed chambers of the National Assembly are crafted for serious minded and philosopher-kings who are above board and possess enigmatic quality of ascetic personal sacrifice; shrewd management of scare resources conduce for sponsoring progessive and people’s oriented bills for national development.
What is more, the National Assembly must guard jealously the integrity and independence of the nation from palpable encroachment in the hands of neo-colonialists, the quisling and their imperialist overloads.