Social Media Bill And NASS Spectacle… By Halima Oji
As the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Nigeria continues to anchor on the tenets of democracy; socio economic rights, stamp out corruption and invest pubic funds in the development of critical sectors and infrastructure while demanding that Nigerians fall back to the moral ways of old and be responsible for their actions and inactions. The tide has risen to unmask those selfish characters in the National Assembly.
Politicians have been known for one unchanging attribute, Interest – very selfish interest. And with Nigerians a personal interest that has nothing to do with one’s community or nation at large. Many at times you wonder why our politicians are such parasitic lynch.
Nigeria democracy may be young but are our Politicians just growing teeth or plain ignorant of the time and changes require for the country’s prosperity. The legislature as the second tier of government remains an integral part of this nation but a very disappointing one for the past sixteen years I dare say. And it is with a heavy heart that I say this eighth National Assembly with its hundreds gallivanting as Senators and Honourable Members is even a bigger sham. No apology as I refuse to even consider that the Social Media Bill is an issue for discuss in the twenty-first century.
Seeing the charade in this arm of government, one can’t help but curse the “Sak” movement that brought the unimaginable into this monastery of sort. Seriously I miss the vigour the national assembly was once known for. To say the least, I miss the presence of Farouk Lawan in the political scene. (I anticipate an explosion or unbosom of sort from this once vibrant man with an overwhelming aura of sophistication and gallantry in his wee stride to make a comeback in the political and national scene.)
Though the popular Integrity Group in the House of Representatives may have died a natural death with the seventh assembly following the unsavory episode with its commander, the country is in dire need of some replica with teeth and claws ready to play the intense game of politics this level of government entails to get Nigerians the deserved good standard of living. Since the inauguration of the present Legislature, the National Assembly has been home to Nigeria’s famous Drama Series – The election of its Leaders, sharing of lucrative committees to favoured friends, the infused theatrical Ministerial screening, Budget Presentation by the President and motor-park “hailing” of the Speaker of the House of Representative, to the subsequent missing/not missing budget comic show, the tedious budget review and anticipated passage, the unnecessary Social Media Bill and the endless unwarranted comments during plenary and etc………..
Hope we are still alive when NASS finally gets to doing real work – strategic negotiation and maneuvering for the socio economic development of Nigeria (trade by batter).
A vibrant, active and engaging legislative like the fourth and fifth assemblies, however, not without blemishes still reminds us of intense deliberations and a strike force that pushed for some level of development in Nigeria despite dealing with the cocky President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The APC majority in the National Assembly; seem to have no in-depth knowledge of this administration’s agenda except for the “Changi” mantra to effectively tackle the executive and bring the right issues to the front burner nor do they have a better interest than the already established selfish personal interest. Good thing there wouldn’t be all that money for spree and show….. The lack of knowledge is very evident. And a glaring lack of radical(s) to keep the national assembly on its toes.
Constituency visits to consult with the people and engage in dialogue which has always been a facade is now a thing of the past. This crop of politicians have failed to gather the necessary knowledge required with time; the wisdom, expertise, experience, dexterity and contact with others while assimilating the desired skills of a leader.
Nasarawa state for instance is home of Solid Minerals not just in slogan. Keana has a large untapped salt deposit, Obi is known for farming – mainly Yam and Doma is known for Bane seeds. How many from these communities can be provided with government jobs? Our representatives need to strategise and negotiate inline to bring prosperity to the lot while still being personally selfish.
Nigeria’s political integration is a priority for all as counting days to the next election isn’t doing us any good. We must urgently change our concepts, policies and laws in order to adapt to present realities. Ignoring this fact and hoping the right politicians as against the mediocre miraculously make it to office can’t be achieved without a holistic overhaul of party politics. The legislative arm of government is beyond the enactment of tons of meaningless laws that doesn’t translate to development and a bribe gang on oversight functions. Interest – the selfish one must reflect Nigeria’s economic growth beginning with development in our communities, Local Government Areas, and Federal Constituency and Senatorial Zones….. It wouldn’t kill our Politicians to have a National Agenda; Vision. Lobbying proper may not be a popular concept in this part of the world except for the bribe taking part but it’s a necessary tool if any success is to be achieved in this country. We need to stop accepting this epic failure and misrepresentation at the upper and lower chambers.
Though, Politicians have been advised to watch the popular Kevin Stancy’s television series House of Cards and I very much doubt that they have, so I will suggest that the Clerk organizes a viewing for the various committees since they run a full-time legislature but do the work of a part-time one. Also to request that Senator Ben Murray Bruce host series of Book reading session for both chambers on the Common Sense revolution regardless of giving each Member and Senator a copy of his book.
Change and adapting to the quick dynamic reality is inevitable. History is not concerned with visions that are not implemented.
Halima Oji @Halimaoji on Twitter
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