By Ayodele Fagbohun
The much awaited presidential elections come 2019 may afterall be a mirage and passed as midnight summer dream if by default, the Buhari’s presidency is further hamstrung by the insistent overbearing demands of the National Assembly, and a complacent judicature are given the free reign to forestall the spirited efforts to lay sound and solid foundation for a corrupt-free and sane society.
Rather than be complementary factors to build and enthrone public morality in government finance, our National Assembly as presently constituted with the Senate is for its notoriety and meddlesomeness in purely executive matters. The top ranking judicial officers alongside members of the Bar to be specific some senior advocate of Nigeria (SANs) are in holy alliance to shield some patiently corrupt political elite implicated on allegation of barefaced corruption and roquery calculated to have brought the country and its economy to the nadir of distress in all its ramifications.
The National Assembly and the judiciary have indeed abused the hallowed privilege of separation of powers which is rightly vested on the legislature, judiciary and the executive to approach their onerous duties independently and dispassionately with a focus to consolidate the fledgling democracy and give the nation a new lease of life after a long period of rude and iron fisted military despostism.
It is morally reprehensible, distasteful and unthinkable just on filthy lucre that some highly esteemed, articulate and well read personalities could go under to embrace the corrupt, dirty and opportunistic political mis-aventurers to pillage and loot the nation dry. This is the sad and unedifying episode of Nigeria which every national and well meaning Nigerian citizen should reflect upon and take necessary and quick amends for the survival of the nation .
What is of paramountcy and very pertinent is the fact that the greatest number of our “elected” senators and theHouse of Representatives got to the National Assembly on the popularity of the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) Mohammadu Buhari due to his charisma and as anti corruption Czar.
It was the ardent wish and cherished desire of the vast majority of the electorate to ensure that the President had a smooth take-off by commanding a sole majority in the National Assembly. This would enable his administration to succeed in its drive to ride the country of aggravated corruption like a monstrous reptile threatening to swallow the country.
To people’s dismay, a motley crew of characters found unrestrained entry into the hallowed chambers. It is an assemblage that comprises some wolves in sheep skin all out for onslaught to boost their financial empire at the expense of the material well-being of the people to circumvent the existing laws of the land in protecting their ill-gotten wealth and loots through invocation of nebulous parliamentary immunity.
Perhaps, the electorate cannot do it alone. I make bold to call on the generality of Nigerians to move swiftly and act against the excesses of the National Assembly members and let them know their scope of operation. Lest they flout the constitution customs and traditions of the people with impunity that may carry dire consequences.
The primary role and function of the National Assembly is to make laws for the country and if need arises to exercise some kind of oversight duties. Basically, law making must be uppermost in the National Assembly. The innovation on embarking on dubious assignments tagged constituency project is euphemistically devised in committing sharp practices in the government coffers and to enrich themselves through the back door.
All this is extraneous to legislative work and whatever projects so called should be prerogatives and exclusive preserve of the executive arm of government, “shikena”.
In this wise, it should be vigorously canvassed that legislative assignment must be part-time as hitherto in the previous republic politics. No serious thinking and hardworking person should be content on law making alone as a means of livelihood.
An idle mind is the devils workshop more so, his unsavoury situation is fatal and not healthy for the economy in distress.
The huge salary expended on the lawmakers nation-wide is extremely scandalous and outrageous and must not be condoned in the National Budget. Our lawmakers must be prepared to render selfless and patriotic services on the floor of the house; be placed on meagre sitting allowances and to practise their chosen profession as politics is a call to serve our motherland.
Until the contrary is proved, the attitudinal change to live the country better than we met it, the National Assembly especially the senate remains a vulnerable point, Achilles heel and albatross which is the bane of the national economy and overall development.
If by default again the National Assembly persists in grand error and holds tenaciously in presiding over the imminent collapse of the economy through their profligacy and rodomontade, there may be groundswell of spontaneous protests and peaceful civil disobedience amongst the traumatized populace in asserting the inalienable rights to good government.
The people can no longer fold their arms in squalor, misery and grim poverty without any glimmer of light from the dark tunnel. People may fight and agitate for their rights and the time will throw up the right leadership to the limelight. And no force on earth or Jupiter can halt the inevitable cataclysm.
The only panacea is good government midwived by only responsible, honest and transparent leadership in charge of every sector of the economy; to drive the engine of progress in the nooks and crannies of the country.
This is the secret of restructuring the people are clamouring for; not the restructuring of the polity perse which may trigger the present level of corruption into crescendo. In the absence of this, 2019 presidential polls may not be. The time to act is now!
Adieu, Babajide Tinubu
This column mourns and commiserates deeply with the All Progressives Congress (APC) families at this moment of national grief with the sudden demize of the eldest and the first son of our leader and APC national stalwart, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
The former Lagos governor, Tinubu should take heart and note the immutability of God. No one can question God for whatever happens to man.
Some frontline political leaders in Yoruba like Chief Obafemi Awolowo (SAN; GCFR; Uncle Bola Ige (SAN) and Chief Reuben Famuyide Fasoranti (OFR) lost their promising eldest children and bore the most painful tragedies with equanimity .
May God forgive us our human foibles and grant “Jide’s soul a repose in the Lord.
Ayodele Fagbohun writes from Akure