9th National Assembly : Nigerians Hope for a Legislature that Shall Not Massage the Executive’s Back-Prof. Olagoke
Both chambers of the 9th National Assembly shall be inaugurated next week and Nigerians are hopeful that the elected representatives of the people shall make laws that shall impact positively on impoverished Nigerians who have not seized to contend with insecurity.
Nigerians are also hopeful that the lawmakers shall not in any way or circumstance become rubber stamps for decisions from the Executive that are anti-people and dictatorial in content.
In this interview, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke says that the expectations of Nigerians revolve on a people driven Legislature that would not massage the back of the Executive, but enact enabling laws that will not only regulate and control the excesses of the Executive, but emancipate the masses from the vicious cycle of poverty and insecurity. Excerpts :
What do you think the lawmakers of the 9th National Assembly should embark upon, considering the performance of the lawmakers of the 8th National Assembly ?
The 8th National Assembly’s performance was hostile and antagonistic considering its relationship with the Executive, this later affected the people negatively and harshly.
When bills are passed into law, there must be corresponding enabling empowerment programmes and projects on it, for the law to have impact on the society.
To an average Nigerian, the last four years of the National Assembly, has been more of orchestrated ceremony of wealth, rather than that of enabling the people that gave them the mandate to serve.
It had been more of celebrating trivialities, that have ever failed to articulate development.
It is unfortunate that Nigeria is yet to address several issues. For example, we failed to learn from the experience of secession by placing emphasis on the problem of the fall in the international price of oil as it affected the budget, rather than looking inward on the country’s style of management and the structure of the payment of salaries and allowances which tilts favorably more to the side of the political class, while the civil and public servants continue to groan and grumble with the given token because of the corresponding low purchasing power of the Naira.
Despite the heavy weight of the salaries and allowances of the political class, corruption and institutional indiscipline continued unabated, rendering the efforts of the Federal Government in this direction ineffective, specifically for Nigerians to turn a new leaf.
The aspect of plea bargaining for the big wigs and no deterrence record for the offenders had made the exercise to become a laughing stock, to the favor of the opposition that eventually rose from their ‘’dead’’ state to compete and win in a number of states and to pose a major threat to the’ almighty’ Federal Government during elections.
If all these issues are not addressed, Nigerians would not yet be happy, in celebrating the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly.
Characteristically, on record of history there had always been downward profile of performances on goodness and rising profile of moral decadence from one session to the other as the players exchange batons from one dispensation to the other.
From the look of things, although the mistake of the past whereby the All Progressives Congress(APC) government was not cohesive enough for the leadership of the National Assembly, to favor the Executive is still lingering.
Now that they are struggling to have their way, the fear must be on the effectiveness in serving the people, rather than rubbing the back of the Executive.
The expectations of the people generally, at home and abroad is that objectivity should be the axis of operation, based on global best practices that is incorruptible Judiciary, people driven legislature on the issue of their welfare through enacting enabling laws that will not only regulate and control the excesses of the Executive, but directed purposely to emancipate the cause of the masses on the issues of their welfare and well being.
The Executive, on their harnessing power for resources, is expected to serve the people sincerely through transparency and accountability to promote inclusive governance through the principle of equity.
If the APC government is to be sincere then, no member is expected to run foul of these goals because change of government is expected to address areas of heresies, weaknesses and failures of the outgoing dispensation, which visibly was responsible for the failure to effectively and completely achieve anything reasonable on the subject matter of zero tolerance to corruption and institutional discipline.
Irrespective of still controlling power, the arms and tiers of government which the ruling members of the ruling party are the occupants, now need to unite to achieve these fundamental aspects of heresies which happen to be the bane of our democratic disposition for worthwhile development.