With Ayobrown Adetunji
The mirror is a miraculous invention; without it, you would commit enormous sins against beauty and modesty, it will not be out of place to say that many Nigerians want the 9th Senate to look itself in the mirror and see the effect of its ‘bow and go’ policy. The screening of ministerial nominees by the Nigerian Senate had indeed come and gone but the whole process raised many questions which are yet to be answered. Instead of proper screening of these ministerial nominees, most of them (if not all) were asked to just ‘bow and go’ leaving many to wonder if that was the appropriate thing to do by the senators. Though, the announcement was greeted with public excitement as all were eager about the composition of the new Federal Executive Council by President Muhammadu Buhari because alone, Mr President cannot carry the ‘burden of the cross’ of governance. It is a known fact that our nation is in its critical time and what it needed is not just some persons but men and women of competence. It’s the legislators that are suppose be the gatekeeper in choosing who becomes minister. But unfortunately, they (senators) let down their guards and allowed many to pass through without proper investigation and scrutiny. Many agreed that the legislature needs a big mirror for their actions.
You can only help people based on your strength, many are of the opinion that this set of nominees should tell us and explain to Nigerians their plans and reasons they should be given the chance. Knowing what the ministerial nominees have in their minds, how and what they are ready to do to lift the country out of the present predicament instead of just allowing them to bow and go just like that will not augur well for a bleeding nation like ours.
Ranging from insecurity to bad economy, many are worried that the Ahmad Lawan-led Senate is not thorough in clearance of these ministerial nominees by asking them to “take a bow and go” just because they were former legislators without minding whether these people are conversant with the magnitude and urgency of problems at hand.
No second change in making first impression, the senate had indeed given the impression that they are merely a rubber stamp body like many forewarned during selection of the leadership of the 9th Senate. Many believe the senate’s failure to use strategic insights in acceptance for screening is uncalled for. Why will Senator Remi Tinubu be asking Raji Fashola for jobs for her people; I don’t blame her anyway. But who will ask the same minister and others on my behalf that I, among many other Nigerians are in need of a better job. The likes of Mrs Tinubu should remember that soliciting for job like she did on the floor of the Red Chamber is really unthinkable, without saying more than necessary.
The Senate policy of bow and go many opined is making the system more like a sham without portfolios attached to allow for proper questioning and appropriate screening that will allow Nigerians know if they will adequately illed the position and perform. The country is likely going to be in much trouble than we actually think. Where the list was silent about portfolios for the nominees; what critical questions are suppose to have been asked to ascertain the capability of the nominees and what needed to be done in each ministry.
What would happen if all security agencies too would not bother to do their job but just say bow and go because they too know those passing? Many wondered how CCTVs along highways to monitor bushes using aero drones that are like toys when compared to other countries, will work if proper and necessary checks are omitted. Some of the nominees who enjoyed the bow and go include Godswill Akpabio from Akwa Ibom, George Akume from Benue, Emeka Nwajuaba from Imo, and Adeleke Mamora from Lagos, Rotimi Amaechi from Rivers, Tayo Alasoadura from Ondo. While others include Mustapha Shehuri from Borno, Timipre Sylva from Bayelsa, Abubakar Aliyu from Yobe, Sharon Ikeazor from Anambra as well as, Ramatu Aliyu from Kogi, Sadiya Umar Farouk from Zamfara, who were also excluded from being grilled. The privilege was also extended to Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo from Ekiti), Chris Ngige from Anambra and Muhammadu Musa Bello from Adamawa.
If the Senate that is currently applying the doctrine is not aware of the harm it is doing to the nation and take steps to reverse such with the urgency that it demands, the nation may be having a greater crisis on its hands. Nigerians have now tagged the 9th senate ‘lazy legislature’. This corruption fight Self, when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) advised the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to send names on its ministerial list to the EFCC before they get to the Nigeria Senate, many are of the opinion that ‘heaven will not fall’ if that happens. What do they mean? I can tell you that ‘nothing will happen or change, even if any or even all these men and women fail the critical EFCC tests. Now the critical analysis of this President Muhammadu Buhari’s corruption fight ‘noise’ as many tagged it; is really good for the analytical mind. Is Buhari really against corruption or pretending to be fighting corruption? These are some of the questions as Nigerians pour out their minds
OMG!, news had it that in the first six months of this year alone, about fifty Nigerians committed suicide, they killed themselves because of their economic situations, 11 of which are students. So also, it was reported that 80 Nigerians killed themselves in the last 13 months alone. Ogun, Lagos and Ebonyi were among seven states with the highest number of suicides. Poverty and terrible economy was responsible, according to the families of the victims, therefore a nation with rising trend of suicides needs more than just ‘bow and go’ ministers.
Over 27,000 civilians have been killed by Boko Haram in a decade, this is according to the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon. While lamenting, he said that the recent attacks in Nganzai some weeks ago, where more than five civilians were killed, was one of the deadliest in recent years. He said rising insecurity in recent months had pushed over 130,000 people into displacement with most of them arriving en masse to displaced camps. He stressed that the attack was a “stark reminder that the conflict is still actively raging in the states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe and the subsequent humanitarian crisis is far from over.” Defence minister designate must tell the whole world what new thing he or she is bringing on board to stem the Boko Haram tide.
Funny indeed, many Nigerians are now mocking the senate publicly and turning the red chamber into object of ridicule. One them was Frank Donga who told his unmentioned future employers to give him a job without grilling him. His tweet ‘dear future employer, I think you can see your mates, plz, tell me to take a bow at my next interview and give me a job. Nobody gets 2 head, I no pompous o!, Na beg I beg’.
Unlike the other chamber of the National Assembly, it is however not surprising that the Senate adjourns for two months without passing a single bill, the House of Representatives on its part had treated a few bills. The senate needs not be too obsequious.
*Ayobrown, Senior System Analyst, National Pilot Newspaper, writes via: firstname.lastname@example.org