As the countdown to another handover begins and yet another civilian to civilian transition dawns for our country, we must insist that this time around, the anomalies which hamstrung the current administration in its first term are not allowed to continue into its second tenure.
In furtherance of this, we the ‘Coalition For Truth In Nigeria’, wholeheartedly align ourselves with the candidates of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, for leadership of the National Assembly in the persons of Senators Ahmed Lawan and Ovie Omo-Agege for the Senate and Honourables Femi Gbajabiamila and Ahmed Wase for the House of Representatives.
We find them to be altogether worthy, competent, fit and proper for leadership of the first arm of government in the next dispensation just as we find the hullabaloo about legislative independence and separation of powers to be entirely misdirected with respect to opposition to the ruling party’s choice, even as we consider attempts to deny President Muhammadu Buhari, his administration and the party a cooperative legislature to be quite without basis.
If we may ask, why do we like to pretend in this country? At any rate, in which state today did the Governor not determine the Speakership of that state’s legislature?
Indeed, the Governors go to the rather petty extent of determining which particular legislator would move the motion and whom will second it!
Yet some of these same Governors are the ones conspiring with disruptive elements to handcuff the number one citizen of the country and the ruling party by denying them the compliment of a cooperative legislature at federal level!
Even at the level of the third tier of government, the local government areas, it is the Council Chairman who determines who the Leader of the legislative arm shall be.
So if the Governors and even local government chairmen are hell-bent on determining the leadership of the respective legislative arms of their jurisdictions, surely it is the hight of hypocrisy to then insist that the President, the chief executive of the entire country, should be the one to be denied that privilege.
As for the talk about a Moslem/Moslem ticket for the leadership of the House of Representatives, surely those at the forefront of such banal sentiments must either be suffering from amnesia or are quite simply being shamelessly hypocritical and mischievous as well.
Indeed, if one may recall correctly, where were they when Senator David Mark was Senate President and Senator Ike Ekweremadu, another Christian, was his deputy?
What’s even more, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, yet another Christian, was Majority Leader. Not only that, Rt. Hon. Patricia Olubunmi Ette, also a Christian, was Speaker of the House of Representatives!
Cobbling together the leadership of the National Assembly has never been about religion but a question of competence, ability and vision.
When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers and such as been the lot of the Nigerian people in the current era with a National Assembly leadership that has been so focused on wrestling with the executive arm, that it was left with neither the time, resources or even inclination to deliver to the people.
All the grandstanding about separation of powers and legislative independence did not add any value whatsoever to the welfare of the Nigerian people even if a few fat cats grew even fatter from pretending to be on the side of the people.
Everywhere in the modern world where democracy is practiced, the ideal situation envisaged is for the party that produces the executive arm to also be in charge of the legislature. In fact in a parliamentary system, it is the majority party in the legislature that ideally sets up the government.
A situation in which the defacto opposition is actually made up of unruly, disruptive and rebellious elements of the ruling party who happened to have manipulated their way into leadership positions in the legislature is a complete anomaly in absolutely every known functioning democracy across the world.
Needless to say, such a bizarre state of affairs cannot remain our lot in this country going forward.
This democratically aberrant situation in which inordinately ambitious persons neither sponsored nor sanctioned by the majority party and whose vision and philosophy of governance is at utter variance with the program of action of their party insist on machinating their way into leadership positions in the legislature does not benefit anyone but themselves and we the Nigerian people are always the losers at the end of the day.
We have tried it for the past four years and it failed woefully to deliver the goods.
It would be utterly idiotic to try it once again and therefore it must stop or be stopped no matter what it takes.
Danladi Saliu Abubakar
For and on behalf of ‘The Coalition For Truth in Nigeria’.