8th NASS and Profligate Spending By Adedayo Osho
World over, the most corrupt institutions are; political party, police and the judiciary. Within the Nigerian context, the legislature, an arm of government saddled with law making is gradually overtaking the latter. Little wonder why contemporary political analysts dubbed it ‘LegisLooters’ a collegiate body of self-serving individuals drawn from different political affiliation and united with common lietmotif of enriching their pockets. The above proposition is emblematic of any nascent democracy, especially heterogeneous African countries. While the masses are bickering over voting along ethnic line during election, the political blueblood are organised in looting the commonwealth.
Many decades ago when the military were in power, when the Armed Forces Ruling Council and Supreme Military Council; both bodies with varying regimes composed of service chiefs, top ranking military officers, Inspector General of Police, Attorney-General and president as chairman all purely performed legislative functions in Nigeria, their pay was not bogus neither did they received jumbo packages in form of ‘Wardrobe Allowance’ except in cases of accusation on overall regime corrupt practice. Why should such remorseless act persist even in a democratic government since 1999?
With the dire state of our economy, gory decline in infrastructure, high rate of citizens living in abject poverty, skyrocket rate of unemployment and the urgent need to cater and reintegrate Internally Displaced Persons IDP chased away from home by marauding sect, Boko Haram back to the Nigerian society, it is absurd, inhumane and the height of self aggrandizement for these legislators to be dashed 8.64 billion naira as Wardrobe Allowance. This earmarked sum, if not slashed before disbursement to recipient law-makers of 109 Senators and 360 House of Representative members totalling 469 individuals in the current 8th National Assembly is tantamount to presenting a Caucasian with a gift of bleach-cream.
It remains an incontrovertible position that few of these already affluent legislators at the upper chamber, the Senate had already enthrone their stooge as governors and with monthly remittance of a portion of their respective state allocation upon receipt by their surrogate. An average proportion of 8th NASS are returning members who’d been used to noble lifestyle accrued to law-makers while the newly elected ones are familiar faces in the political landscape with few of them being serial beneficiaries of ‘National Cake.’
Since Nigerians are finally waking up to the reality that the political class is only interested in making provision for its own needs, the more reason why they ousted the previous government via the ballot by voting for Change. The clamoured Change ball ought to roll top-down. If truly elected representatives have the plight of masses in mind, pay cut should by now not be an issue for public debate neither could it degenerate into headache for any legislator genuinely willing to serve h/er people.
Adedayo Osho is a Lagos, Nigeria based Political Analyst. The views expressed here are his alone. Follow @JahPolitical