Exposes: Lawmakers Fighting For Their Interests Not Nigerians
Are lawmakers fighting for Nigerians or for their interests? Here we go again! For the 10th National Assembly, the All Progressives Congress, APC, in what it described as a template developed by the president-elect, Bola Tinubu and adopted by its National Working Committee, NWC, during the week, announced the zoning arrangement for principal positions in the National Assembly. Lawmakers Fighting
As it stands, we have Southwest as president, Northeast as vice president, South-South as Senate president, the Speaker of the House goes to Northwest, the Deputy Senate president goes to Northwest and Deputy Speaker will be Southeast.
From the arrangement, North Central is missing out and the people think that’s unfair as they believe they gave the APC enough votes during the February 25 elections and so, should have been more represented. The Southeast which many thought would have been given the position of the Senate president has also lost out.
For starters, is it right for each ruling party coming on board to decide on lawmakers that’ll occupy each key position in the National Assembly? Isn’t this the reason we have what we call the rubber stamp Senate? For the fact that they were selected by an incoming executive arm of government for such principal positions, there is the possibility that the saying, he who pays the piper, calls the tune must come into play.
Analysing issues regarding the zoning arrangement, renowned journalist and politician, Dr Reuben Abati made it categorically clear that it is not proper for the executive to decide legislators who should occupy principal positions in the National Assembly. Lawmakers Fighting
According to him leadership of the National Assembly has always been a time of conflict between legislative independence and party supremacy. He pointed out that Section 50 of the 1999 constitution says that lawmakers in Nigeria shall choose from among themselves but the party usually resists that.
Dr Abati who commented on the issue during Arise TV programme, faulted the zoning arrangement citing examples of successive governments that attempted the same style. He would rather, that the incoming government focuses on issues of national development.
“Nigeria is at a crossroads and cannot afford a rubber stamp National Assembly. We cannot afford to have in Aso Villa, a president who is at the same time, the leader of the National Assembly. We have seen the effect of rubber stamp National Assembly; anything the president wants is what they’ll do. Lawmakers Fighting
There are very serious issues to be considered and people who are in the National Assembly must be placed in a position where they can use their brains otherwise, we have more people sleeping in that place. We don’t want people who go to the National Assembly to dose off because they know that whatever the Executive brings they’ll rubber stamp it; having put them there.”
Abati stated further that instead of focusing on key issues of the high rates of inflation, unemployment, insecurity etc, what we see is the individual ambition of people who think that certain powerful positions must be given to them.
He then said that there does not seem to be a consideration for the welfare of the common man, stressing that the time has come for the followers to begin to speak up and make demands from these politicians; they should be made to understand that they are there for the people and not for their selfish ambition.