Our Compromised Legislature
ElevateNews takes a look at the legislative arm of our government and its compromise with the executive to run the country.
There is no doubt that the ninth national assembly will be doing the bidding of the executive arm without necessarily doing any sort of check and balance.
This is what the late Afro singer, Fela Anikukapo Kuti described as “Arrangee”, Paddy Paddy”, rub my back, I rub your palm” government.
It would have been a nice idea if this arrangement is truly for national interest but it is an idea created by the ruling All Progressives Congress to control the National Assembly and nothing more.
The party has tried not to leave any chance to the opposition, Peoples Democratic Party to sneak into the leadership of the National Assembly as it happened in 2015.
Four years ago, some members of the party betrayed it for personal agenda, which eventually breached the relationship between the executive and the legislative arm.
Almost all those who allegedly betrayed the party had since been shown the way out, including the former President of the Senate Bukola Saraki and his closest ally, Senator Dino Melaye.
But these aggrieved APC members who later decamped to PDP had always argued that they disagreed with the executive for national interest and nothing more.
The present arrangement, according to APC, is also for national interest in which the legislature and the executive must work together without any noise about “Budget Padding” and rejection of presidential nominees at the red and green chambers.
This new arrangement, which looks more like a rubber stamp legislative arm is expected to speed up the passage of executive bills and speedy Senate approval of all appointments made by the president.
The president of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan said he would always do the will of President Muhammadu Buhari just as the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila said that he was not elected to fight the executive.
For now, the country’s number one to four, the president, vice president, president of the Senate, speaker, house of representatives are all on the same page while the judiciary, the third arm of the government has since lost its autonomy.
The fourth estate of the realm, the media is being careful about the limits of freedom of expression by the government campaign against “Hate Speech” and the planned clampdown on social media.
This era could be more dangerous than what we witnessed in the country in the last four years.
The players of the old and the new arrangements have claimed to be working for the interest of the nation, yet nothing has changed to reflect this.
As it was in the past, so it is now that the NASS is seeking N39 billion to refurbish the assembly complex while education, health and other sectors of the economy suffer.
If this is not budget padding, what is it? This arrangement could be dangerous in that it would give the cabals the latitude to operate with the leadership of the NASS with nobody to question them.
The three arms of government are now one single-arm indirectly and it seems the country has returned to a military regime in which the Head of States dictates and runs the show.
The country and the leadership will need prayers as we prepare for the new fiscal year 2020.