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When a sleeping Senate begins to snore

By Emmanuel Aziken
Senator David Mark should today have been receiving the esteemed title of Olorogun of The Source from His   Majesty, Oba Sijuwade, the Ooni of Ife.
But the President of the Senate according to some of his close associates has in deference to the ill health of President Umaru Musa Yar‘Adua requested the Ooni to suspend the coronation until a later date.

The gesture from Senator Mark is no doubt a further demonstration of his empathy with the ailing President. Some alleged mischief makers who see the Senate President as a serious threat to their  ambition in a probable post-Yar‘Adua era, however, see such gestures from him as pretentious.

Such critics of the Senate President were rumoured to be    the unseen hands fanning fears that any attempt by President Yar‘Adua to temporarily hand over power to Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan could lure Mark to takeover government.

Such talks give the impression that Senator Mark has a battalion of troops at his command to overthrow a government.
It is perhaps in an effort to defray such insinuations that Senator Mark has on his part organised prayers, indeed all manner of prayers including the novena to appease the  Heavens on behalf of President Yar‘Adua.

How far   the prayers of Senator Mark and the numerous political office holders have been answered  is largely unknown. With the President incommunicado no one can really verify the efficacy of the ongoing prayer rituals.

What is clearly evident is that Nigerian public office holders who should ordinarily be working to better the livelihood of Nigerians have abandoned their duty posts to mark their presence in political prayer meetings continuously being organized for the President’s recovery.

While Senator Mark and the PDP machinery were quick to resort to prayers for the health of the President, they have surprisingly failed to solicit the intervention of Heavens in the other serious issues affecting the majority of Nigerians for which President Yar‘Adua was supposedly elected to handle.

The administration’s failure to concretely deliver at least one element of its orchestrated seven point agenda is a serious bother that should ordinarily have necessitated prayers. Why have we not been told to cast out the demons that stopped the President from declaring the emergency on power? Or why have we not declared a novena to achieve the 6,000 MWs of electricity?

Has a prayer meeting been organized to stop the state of insecurity that forced most Southeast Senators not to move freely in their constituencies during the Christmas holidays?

These are the issues in the seven point agenda that should have of necessity been of concern to the Senate, but rather the body has largely been mum.

Section 4 (2) of the constitution spelling out the duty of the National Assembly states thus: The National Assembly shall have power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Federation or any part thereof with respect to any matter included in the Exclusive Legislative List set out in Part I of the Second Schedule to this Constitution.

Indeed, few Nigerians will today agree that there is peace, order or good government in the land.
In the comity of nations the absence of leadership has pushed Nigeria into irrelevance. The Nigerian President is hardly available to raise the nation’s position on issues whether on climate change or to even clap for the national football team during its home matches.

The Senate has, however, kept quiet sleeping over the issues of discord and disenchantment pervading all over the land.

This sleep is bothersome. Taking action where it is needed will not show the Senate or Senator Mark to be a power monger and it is really unimaginable that Senator Mark can transform himself into a President as his critics allege under the context of the present constitutional framework.

It is a blackmail Senator Mark is surprisingly falling for and it is unbecoming of the heritage of boldness, forthrightness and unpretentiousness he had demonstrated in the past.

So when Senator Mark or some other Senator request Nigerians to sustain their prayers for President Yar‘Adua and allow the nation to run on auto pilot it is unnerving.

When the Senate keeps mum on issues it ordinarily should take action on it is said to be sleeping. But when it makes discordant tunes with the constitution then the body has turned to snoring!


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