In what could be likened to a carryover of the crisis that characterized the election of leaders of the National Assembly, Members of the House of Representative started another round of controversy over allocation of chairmen and deputies of committees. The show of shame continued Tuesday when supporters of the speaker, Yakubu Dogara and those of the House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila threw caution, decorum and common sense into the wind, as they engaged in physical combat over the constitution of the 96 standing committees of the House. Mr. Gbajabiamila and some of his supporters had boycotted the inauguration of the headships of the committees during the special plenary. Unfortunately, a similar scenario is playing out in the senate where some senators on the platform of the APC are protesting what they termed inequalities in the allocation of “juicy” committees.
The current spate of protests and crisis over allocation of the so-called “juicy” committees goes on to show that the lawmakers who are supposed to be the voice of the voiceless and the defender of the weak Nigerians have turned themselves into nuisance, miscreants and greedy sets of individuals whose ultimate aim and motive in the national assembly is to enrich their pockets at the expense of the Nigerians masses. These renewed tension in the two hallowed chambers of the National Assembly has exposed the greed, selfishness and the insensitivity to the pitiful plight of Nigerians of our elected lawmakers.
One would have expected that having wasted valuable time in the tussle and scramble for the leadership of the red and green chambers, the lawmakers will hastily settle down for the business of lawmaking towards the realization of the "change” which the APC promised Nigerians, and not to begin another round of ripples and exchange of punches like little kids over who gets one committee or the other. If the major function and job of the legislative committees are really to meticulously carryout oversight on the programs and policies of the executive arm of government in making sure that Nigerians reap the full benefit and dividends of democracy and every part of the country to feel the impact of government then what is the tension and fight over the headships of committees all about? The function of the legislature in a democracy is to make laws to enhance good governance and serve as watchdog to the executive, through committees oversight, anything short of these would be tantamount to taking Nigerians for a ride.
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Nigerians have had enough of these legislative irresponsibility, recklessness and unnecessary rascality that has been openly and shamelessly displayed by the so-called Honorable members of the representative and senators of the federal republic of Nigeria who have turned themselves into bodyguards of the senate president, always shutting the doors of the senate to accompany him for his CCT trial thereby tampering with the independence of the judiciary. It’s time for the legislature to get its acts together and settle down for the job they were elected to do.
They should be thinking of how to make laws that will drastically reduce the alarming rate of unemployment, reduce poverty, reduce insecurity to the bearest minimum, improve the quality of our educational system, stamp out corruption from our society, ensure improved health care delivery system and speedy industrialization of every part of this country, instead of putting the national assembly under siege for selfish and greedy reasons. The action and inactions of these senators and members of the House of Representative have left Nigerians no other choice but to begin to wonder whether these legislators are actually there to represent the interest of the Nigerian people or that of their individual pocket?
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