By Denrele Animashaun
“It is not the rich man you should properly call happy, but him who knows how to use with wisdom and the blessings of the gods, to endure hard poverty, and who fears dishonour worse than death, and is not afraid to die for cherished friends or fatherland”- Horace
I do not find pleasure in the way our honourable men and women conduct their affairs in the House and they would have done well if they had conducted themselves in a manner that is befitting their exalted status and a very handsome pay packet. It is distasteful to see grown men and a few women behave in such atrocious way.
Last year, the same disgraceful display of thuggery I wrote about in: THIS HOUSE OF DISREPUTE, NOVEMBER 23, 2014:”those that seek evidence that our highest hallow House in the land have badly behaved, must have seen on TV and read in the newspapers how uncouth and disgraceful they are. Those that still are not convinced, I have nothing more to say to them as they have obviously lost their moral compass.
What we saw were grown men behaving like rent a mob and scaling the fence to force their way into the inner sanctum of the House”. And again JULY 21, 2013 IN DIRTY, ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS, similarly there was rancor in the River state assembly. I wrote: “They should hang their heads in shame and accept that what happened on the floor of the assembly was truly despicable, period.
If grown men, and I mean, grown men behaved in such thuggish manner, waving the mace and using it as a weapon, what example are they displaying to the young ones. No wonder Nigeria is going to the dogs! On July 9th, Bipi led his rent a mob then attempted to take over the assembly chambers. Where he proceeded to make himself the speaker of the House in River State, with no assailable majority, they refused to abide by the rules when faced with dissent it was a free for all and fists and blow all round as they engage in battle to beat up some principal officers of the house”.
And now this. I watched in horror the video clip as our dishonourable men and women, jostle and roughen each other up. Some raised chairs and others use their fist as means of communication while some tried but failed to remonstrate with the unruly lot to desist from their behaviour. We have been here before, nothing new unfortunately and with a new government you would have hoped it would.
Only it seems that same old wine has been decanted in new bottles, so no change there then. We have men and women of very over inflated sense of self-importance and fragile ego, which were not thought good manners, and they would rather use their fist than have a discourse. For those few lawmakers who abstained from the fight, they have a lot to teach the unruly lot. It was commendable how they kept cool while the place was descending into chaos, but they did.
Whoever started the fracas, there was no justification for what appended in the House of Representatives. So when the APC Congress member in the House of Representatives, Nasiru Sani Zangon Daura, issued a press statement explaining the battle Royale that ensued in the Green Chamber during plenary, I found it lame but nonetheless amusing. Permit me to share it.
The statement read: “We are here on behalf of our colleagues of the APC House Caucus to explain to you the unfortunate occurrence during today’s plenary session. The action that occurred inside the chamber of the House of Representatives was in reaction to the illegal and unconstitutional action taken by Speaker Yakubu Dogara of the House of Representatives, an action in his usual tradition of total disregard to the wishes of the majority members of the APC Caucus, the Party itself and the spirit of the Party.
We are aware of a letter sent by our Party, APC, dated 23rd June 2015, conveying the approval of the party’s principal officers vis a vis the APC House Leader, the APC Chief Whip, the APC Deputy House Leader and the APC Deputy Chief Whip for the House of Representatives. This letter by the Party is in compliance with the expressed wish and mandate of the Majority Members of the APC Caucus in the House of Representatives”.
And it went it went on and on to justify the unjustifiable; “This action by Speaker Yakubu Dogara cannot and will not be allowed to stand as it will set a dangerous precedent in our parliamentary practice as it will give the Speaker the right and authority to appoint, choose, select, dictate or even provide guidance on how Principal Officers emerge or are elected or selected by the Majority and Minority Parties in the House of Representatives.
This action is capable of truncating our democracy. As for the claim being made that a particular zone should not be allowed to produce more than one Principal Officer, we say this with all sense of decorum, that this claim is absolute rubbish. Precedence was set in the 6th & 7th Assemblies where a single zone, the North-West, produced two and three Principal Officers, respectively”.
And then it got really amusing; “We, the loyal and disciplined majority APC Caucus in the House of Representatives are fully committed in ensuring that our party’s and President Muhammadu Buhari’s manifesto, agenda and positions prevail despite the efforts and shenanigans of the opposition party(s) and the few disloyal and undisciplined APC party members in the House of Representatives. We are determined in our efforts to utilize all legislative strategies available to us, so as to ensure the compliance with due process and democratic norms and values.”
So there you are, the fight was justified then! So the fisticuffs, in his mind were justified? No. I think it is about time to have a mandatory psychological assessment for each and every potential lawmaker in the land then they should all have a month long induction on the etiquette on how the behave as the holder of the high office. And for any errant lawmaker who contravenes the expected decorum of the house, there should be consequences such sending them for anger management and if they relapse they should be sanctioned and any reaped offence they should be booted out.