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Thursday, 3 November 2016

Lawmakers want to go on strike, no one will miss them

The Nigerian Senate deemed it necessary to issue a strike warning during plenary on Wednesday.

Here’s where the gist begins from:
Two States--Rivers and Anambra--have no representation in the National Assembly.
In the case of Rivers, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is scared of returning to conduct an election in a State where guns and bullets often drop like manna before and during elections.
The courts had nullified the 2015 National Assembly and State Assembly elections in Rivers State, citing a range of irregularities.
Rerun polls conducted on March 19 in Rivers to elect legislators, ended in violence.
INEC wasted no time in taking to its heels soon after. 
The electoral commission, through its spokesperson, Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, said it wouldn’t return to Rivers until the safety of its staff was guaranteed.
“While the Commission is committed to conducting free, fair, and credible elections, it hereby reiterates its resolve not to return to Rivers State (or anywhere else where there was a breakdown of law and order in the course of conducting elections) until there is a conducive atmosphere for the conduct of credible elections,” INEC declared.
Anambra’s case was just as dramatic.
The Anambra Central Senatorial district rerun election was indefinitely postponed following a court ruling.
So, there we have it.
While all of Nigeria’s 36 States have representatives in the Senate, Anambra and Rivers are on the outside looking in.
It’s a travesty which shouldn’t have happened.
Our judiciary hasn’t helped matters as well.
Courts of coordinate jurisdictions issue conflicting judgments on election matters, leaving INEC and voters in a state of perpetual confusion.
The Senate was right to have brought this issue up during plenary this week, but then it lost sympathy by declaring it will boycott sittings if parliamentary elections aren’t conducted in the two affected States.
Lawmakers think too highly of themselves when they threaten the citizenry with a boycott of plenary.
This class of Nigerian lawmakers is just as wasteful and rudderless as those before it. They have proven themselves to be self-serving and directionless.
They are opaque and corrupt; padding budgets left, right and center
We run an expensive bicameral legislature at the center—one which feeds and clothes 109 Senators and 360 House of Representative members.
We fuel their cars and pay for their expensive lifestyles whether they are on recess or chasing after prostitutes in the United States.
If these guys want our applause, they should follow through with this boycott threat for all it’s worth—boycott their jumbo pay and allowances while INEC sorts out legislative representation in Anambra and Rivers.
We’ll wait. As patiently as possible.
If we don’t pay the ridiculous salaries of these lawmakers for a few months, nobody will complain. Chances are, we’ll get out of this recession in double quick time if we don’t have to worry about feeding some 469 chaps who really don't care about us.
And if the Executive needs a bill considered, we can summon these guys from their various States and pay them for the hours they sit.
Trust me, we won’t miss these guys.
Do this for world peace, Senate President Bukola Saraki.

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