Among the functions of the Nigerian senate is to scrutinize and pass bills into law, and also, an oversight of the conducts of government officials.
For the avoidance of doubts, Nigerian senators (I stand to be corrected) are the highest paid Senators in the whole wide world, in terms of salary, allowances and what have you. It’s also safe to say, they are the most nonfunctional set of senators in the whole world compared to their remunerations.
Nigerian senators spend more time out of the Lawmaking chamber than they actually do making laws in the chamber, They are also the most useless among the two chambers of the NASS (Senate and HoR) in Nigeria.
Their precedent has always been self serving and to always enact policies and pass bills that are anti-people while blocking bills and policies that are pro-people
They are also the most useless among the two chambers of the NASS (Senate and HoR) in Nigeria.
Their precedent has always been self serving and to always enact policies and pass bills that are anti-people while blocking bills and policies that are pro-people.
Senators ideally, are supposed to be in the house to represent their people, be the voices of their people and make sure they make laws that favour their people by enacting laws and passing bills that actually benefit the population as well as block policies that isn’t good for Nigeria as a country and the majority of its populace, but the reverse is always the case with our lawmakers, it’s almost as if they are there for themselves and their immediate families, they only go there to enrich themselves and their cronies, make it hard for serious government appointees and public servants to function properly, a double whammy given their own non-functional state.
The 2015 election ushered in a new era in the history of Nigerian politics, a new party with a different ideology than we have had in the past, new leadership. A party built around people with integrity, we were all ecstatic after the 2015 elections, in which for the first time since 1999, we were able to wrestle power from the party of vampires and yam eaters, a party that was built around thieves and killers.
To many of us, having someone like General Muhammad Buhari as the President and C-in-C of Nigeria was all a Nigerian could ask for from God, and having members of the ruling Party APC as the majority in the National Assembly was a plus for us, as we thought in our wildest imagination, the President wouldn’t have difficulties governing and bringing the necessary CHANGE APC as a party promised Nigerians.
Alas, we were all wrong, it was only a wild imagination, we were duped. For the record, most of these lawmakers rode on the back of the CHANGE APC promised Nigerians, they rode on the popularity of President Muhammadu Buhari to win their elections, only to go to the house and become the biggest stumbling block to his policies that are supposed to make life better for the Nigerian populace.
It all started when the 8th senate was convened, The current senate President who I supported by the way at first for the position of the number three citizen of Nigeria, until he connived with PDP, the party that has inflicted so much pain on Nigerians and went against his own party that brought him to power.
The All Progressive Congress by the way interfered in the leadership tussle of the National Assembly after people like Bukola Saraki persuaded them to do so to avoid a divided house among the APC lawmakers who were supposed to be the majority and take control of the house, only to go ahead and rebelled against the party by betraying them and aligning with PDP lawmakers in the National Assembly to criminally amend some of the constitution of the National Assembly to become the senate President.
I was one of those who were rooting for Senator Bukola Saraki to become the Senate President because of his vibrancy and public engagements, but after what he did to the party that gave him a lifeline; urging them to interfere only to go ahead and double cross them, I like million other Nigerians became enraged.
Such level of treachery shouldn’t be condoned in a party that promised Nigerians, a departure from the past, a dream I together with thousand other youths helped sold to Nigerians. We felt betrayed, to make matters worse, included in the deal the senate president signed with the opposition was making their man the deputy senate president, that was the beginning of complications for the APC in the upper chamber, it then mean, whenever the senate president is not around to preside over the house, then a member of the minority party will be presiding over lawmakers from the majority, a slap in the face to the President and the Party itself. Such is the level of ridicule Bukola Saraki exposed APC to.
Mr Saraki as it stands is a compromised individual, because he will have to impress the evil members of PDP to Remain Senate President and will equally have to make it hard for APC to achieve anything meaningful as long as he remains the Senate President, because helping APC in achieving its objectives means stepping on the toes of PDP as a Party and it’s lawmakers, who will do anything humanely and inhumanly possible to make APC fail and look bad, which means, As long as Bukola Saraki remains President, APC as a party and Nigeria as a country can kiss having any meaningful policy that needs legislation before getting executed goodbye.
Personally, I would’ve argued that there are Senators that are Pro Nigeria and are trying to make a difference in the National Assembly, but it’s hard to argue in support of that, it’s crystal clear all the senators are there for their own selfish reason and not to represent their people, it can be succinctly put that no Senator is there to improve the living condition of ordinary Nigerians, because none of them have been able to show they are different, non of these Senators have been able to even attempt going against the current leadership to show they are not happy with the way things are being done, instead, the few that tried, got compensated with juicy committees appointments and the rest as they say, has been history ever since, it then means, their actions have not always been about the populace but about themselves.
The ones that won election and went into the Senate by riding on APC and President Buhari’s popularity and by deceiving people that they are activists, happened to be worse than their PDP rogues they even met there, they have been the biggest supporter of the current leadership that have made sure no meaningful bill is passed in the house, their rewards can be seen in their constituency allocations, where they have the largest chunk in their respective states, pretty sure, if you go to their constituencies, you won’t see half what was allocated to them.
Even honourable Gudaji Kazaure that a lot of Nigerians admire because of his courage in always saying the truth as it is and being one of President Buhari’s biggest supporter in the House of Representatives, came out during the budget padding saga in which Abdulmumin Jibrin Exposed the fraud in the house and said they know the budget padding fraud is true but they are still behind the Speaker, It then means, even the most courageous Members of this 8th Assembly are protecting their own interest first and foremost, Nigeria’s interest comes after, even if we should believe Nigeria’s interest comes first for you, if you aren’t doing anything in the Nass to convince us, then you aren’t making any difference.
To make matters worse, The senators aren’t doing the work that took them to the Upper Chamber, they have refused to pass the bills that the President sent to them to make the fight against corruption a little bit easy, they have refused to also sponsor bills that will make life of an average Nigerian better, they are also bent on frustrating the appointees that are doing their job excellently.
One of those instances, is the confirmation of the Acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, the Senate who Nigerians have no atom of respect for nor confidence in by the way, believes the Acting EFCC Chairman has dirts on him, hence the reason they are rejecting his nomination.
This is the Second time President Buhari is sending Magu’s name to the Senate for confirmation, but in both instances, he was rejected because the senators whose leadership and some members are undergoing trials for corruption related allegations and offences and numerous others under the radar of EFCC feels Magu, who is been doing an excellent job so far is not fit for the job, who are they kidding.
To me personally, I don’t care about what Magu does or doesn’t, the fact that Majority of these Senators think Magu is not fit for the job means he is the man for the job, that alone is convincing to me, being rejected by the senate is the only credibility a nominee needs, even though, to some extent, the Presidency should share in the blame for not handling the issue properly, the DSS is answerable to President, even though, I am aware, the issue of the conflicting report the DSS sent separately to the Presidency and the Senate was addressed by the Presidency, as Ibrahim Magu wasn’t found wanting in the alleged report, and Senator Bukar Mustapha representing Katsina north senatorial district also asserted after the screening brouhaha that the decision of the senate to reject the acting EFCC Chairman wasn’t based on the DSS report, it then means, the senate acted on their own volition, it’s their own way of frustrating the fight against corruption which is the number one problem Nigerians have been facing and are still facing.
The second being the invitation of Col. Hamid Ali by the senate for his plan to impose import duty on vehicles purchased through the land border from 2015, agreed, its the senate’s duty to summon the Custom boss to appear before it to explain why such measure is being taken, even though it’s obvious the custom are doing their job, I can argue for the fact that the policy is too sudden and will make life difficult for a lot of Nigerians so the process of executing such policy should be made in such a way that there will be enough time frame for every Nigerian to meet up with the payment and provisions should be made for Nigerians to pay through banks and register online without hassle, but the truth is, every car owner is required to pay custom duty no doubt, we are so used to doing things illegally it’s now alien to us when we are asked to do the right thing.
Instead of the senators to focus on pressing issues and the main reason they are inviting Col. Hamid Ali, they are so bent on humiliating and frustrating the custom boss because he doesn’t wear the custom uniform, the move which is being spearheaded by Senator Dino Melaye who we all know always acts like a street tout thereby being an embarrassment to our upper chamber, is seen by many as having ulterior motive.
Who knows, Dino melaye with his penchant for Exotic cars might be doing that because unlike in the past where he can manoeuvre his way out of not paying custom duties on his toys, is now required to actually pay for them now, therefore, he most exert his pound of flesh.
The custom Boss has explained to them that it’s against the ethics of the military as a retired Army officer to wear another uniform, a Paramilitary one for that matter.
This man has been doing a tremendous job, generating revenue for the Federal Government of Nigeria, second only to the NNPC, restructuring the customs for better service delivery, we have seen the customs revenue generation shoot up like never before since he assumed office, but The Senate having a different agenda, using the uniform issue as cover to try to frustrate the Custom Boss into quitting his job, we must understand, Nigeria Customs needs Col. Hamid ali more than he needs the organization, and the Hamid ali We all know won’t mind quitting the job if this harassment continues, which will be highly unfortunate for Nigeria, but I hope not, because that will mean the Senators getting what they really want.
It’s obvious this 8th senate, the senators that are supposed to be the biggest supporters and enablers of the CHANGE APC promised Nigerians, are like their predecessors in the past, the biggest Enemies of Nigeria, these ones are even worse, because during GEJ, when David Mark was the SP, atleast GEJ was having his way, we could argue that he was clueless and his policies weren’t sound, but atleast the senate was on the same page with the executive.
These ones are bent on frustrating President Buhari, it’s been two years plus into this government and the senate haven’t helped the President achieve anything tangible. Such a shame.
Nigerians need to wake up before we Allow this golden opportunity go to waste, we have some one of the calibre of President Buhari whose personality is Strong enough to Propose sound and revolutionary policies and we know for a fact, he is going to enforce and execute them for the benefit of Nigerians, if we allow these set of lawmakers thwart his plans for us without achieving anything tangible, then we can be rest assured that we will regret it forever, because finding an incorruptible person with a strong personality and sense of patriotism that is acceptable by both the masses and a reasonable number of elites who the masses have confidence in like President Buhari will be an impossible task, this is the right moment for us to go against the status quo, the only person I know who is willing and capable of stopping the institutionalisation of corruption is President Buhari.
We as ordinary Nigerians equally have a part to play in this whole situation, it’s left for us to actually do something or seat back and do nothing and let the opportunity go to waste
Meanwhile, 2019 might seem far from now, but when the time comes, God’s willing, Nigerians will be able to fumigate the entire system to weed out these crop of politicians who are bent on dragging us back, SAK was a honest mistake on our part, by 2019, the Goats will be separated from the yam. No man or woman will ride on the popularity of any individual ever again. The electoral system is better than it used to be, there won’t be room for rigging, Hopefully, more progressive and competent people will come out to participate in the election.
Mu’awiyyah Yusuf Muye writes from Abuja.