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Who checks the National Assembly? (Concluding Part)

 

Who checks the National Assembly

Not many paid attention when I wrote the first part of this article probably because it didn’t strike any sentimental cord.

If I had chosen outright bashing of the National Assembly or it principal officers, it would have received higher degree of acceptance from most supporters of Mr. President. 

If on the other hand I choose to support autonomy of the National Assembly, I would be an instant hero with those opposed to anything Buhari. 

Such is the our political climate in Nigeria. 

However, I chose to be as objective due to my believe that the National Assembly is the true symbol of our constitutional democracy. 

The only difference between military  and democratic government is people representation as symbolized by the National Assembly.

Due to its strategic importance to our constitutional democracy, it’s imperative that we take more than just a passing interest in what goes on in the National Assembly. 

The stability of the National Assembly will determine the stability of our democracy. 

It’s supposed to check the excesses of the Executive. 

In other words, if the National Assembly is discipline, the whole country is discipline. 

If it’s corruption free, then the anticorruption agencies will have less work to do. 

But in a situation where the National Assembly is a cesspool of corruption then the nation is in trouble.

The happenings in the 8th assembly left more to be desired. 

It’s not like the past assemblies have been collection of saints, but they were operating under a different atmosphere. 

Previous assemblies operated in an era when “stealing was not corruption”. An era that it’s a norm to pad budget. 

An era when collection of  gratification from MDAs to insert new budget line and inflate the already budgeted items normal practice. 

It was an era when anybody does whatever he/she likes and get away with it. 

An era when having an appellation of “Distinguish Senator of the Federal Republic” or “Honorable Member” can qualify you to access a huge loan from a bank without collateral. 

It was an era of anything goes. This was what Nigerians get tired of to vote for change in the last election. 

Probably our Distinguish Senators and Honorable did not understand change means doing things differently. 

Majority of them cashed on the slogan and rode the tide to the hallowed chamber. 

The old habit however surfaced before they settled down to law making business. 

Some of us shouted ourselves to hoarse but majority would rather give credence to illegality because they must take their pound of flesh from Nigerians for voting their hero out of government. 

The promise of making the purse of the National Assembly open was spurned with disdain despite pressure from different NGOs. 

Nigerians can make all the noise on social media, our Distinguish Senators and Honorable don’t give a damn. 

After all, they are doing us a favor by legislating for us. 

When it was brought to lime light that the rule book used for principal officers election at the upper chamber was forged, our Distinguish Senators hide under autonomy and internal mechanism in an attempt to sweep such monumental criminal offence under the carpet. 

When they were taking before law court, our Distinguish Senators weep up ethnic sentiment.

They know how gullible we are as people. Trust us to kind; many latch on to the bait and took the President to the slaughter. 

These same people will ask the next day: Where is the change we voted for?

After much delayed in preparing the 2016 budget occasioned by the civil servants that are also averse to change, Mr. President finally presented the budget to the national assembly at an elaborate ceremony as stipulated by the constitution towards the end of 2015. 

The President’s budget presentation speech lifted many hitherto discouraged hearts. 

Before the occasion completely sank in, our Distinguish Senators and Honourable informed us the budget presented by Mr. President was missing. 

Few of us queried that assertion because it defiles logic that such a huge document submitted to the national assembly in full glare of the world will vanish into thin air from its custody. 

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