Nigeria: Our Legislators: Represent Us Well Or Else
By Abiola Akintunde
Most Nigerians are now more than before used to elected officers not being grateful for the immeasurable honour they’ve done them by electing them as their representatives either at executive or legislative capacity to serve Nigeria; as a people and lifting the nation high, and also being accountable to us on how well they are making decisions that will mend, shape and affect our lives on our behalf. This sense of irresponsibility and incivility is a
national political culture owed to election malpractices, supremacy of public office holders and increasing citizens indifference towards government. I will not be talking about citizens in this piece but about our legislators (State and Federal) while ignoring the foolish child’s play of the presidency in “Aso Rock” which has furtherly condemned us into our survival game of life for necessities only. Especially when I don’t want the whole presidential media train behind me crying “don’t mislead Nigerians, President GEJ didn’t condemn his people to poverty it’s just that he refused to lift them out of poverty while they drown the more in it and no one will blame him for that except the ever-intellectual social media weasels”. If I am to consider the past fourteen years of legislation in this country (nation), I won’t be hoping that the honour Nigerians have done them will not stain and ruin their garment of integrity but improve the art of selfless service to their fellow men which they embodied for their garment of integrity is very stained and apparently ruined.
To be an elected representative in any legislative arm is the greatest honour which Nigerians can confer on one of us especially when the constitution itself, both in words and spirit, confers on the holder of such status the voice of the people he/she represents. As a legislator, you are elected not to watch the misdeeds and unpatriotic actions or inactions of the government officials with digustful eyes that will be visited with graceful forgiveness or pardon on your path as that will be tantamount to treason, but must be visited with investigations that will shed light on the issue and penalize the offender as such. I, as well as Nigerians know that we are not there yet as the case of Hon. Crook (sorry, Farouk) Lawan and the oil subsidy scandal is a living testimony while I doubt oledola (meant otedola) might still have something to say as regards that. With the ongoing amendment on Nigeria Constitution by the National Assembly (NASS) and their strangulating amendments that have refused to lessen the burden of Nigerians but stiffen it the more through the unpopular life pension that will not only be paid to President, Vice President, Governors’, Deputy Governors’ but unto Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Federal House Speaker, Federal House Deputy Speaker, State House Speakers’ and State House Deputy Speakers’ as well if it scale through harmonization while it is difficult for them to pay unemployed graduates #20,000 for monthly upkeep since Nigeria is broke. Nigeria is the only country I know that when it is about financing the welfare of it’s political class that it’s financially and economically buoyant but when it is that of the welfare of it’s citizen, the country then become suddenly broke (cash are found wanting in our treasury, oil theft is on the increase and debt is more than before, piling up). Seems I have to remind our legislators that their duty as legislators is to scrutinise bills and conduct of government officials, though I knew they know their duties which they happily disregard.
I don’t understand what our legislators take us for anyway because there isn’t one partcular thing they’ve done in favour of the majority of the people of Nigeria. Once again they fall our hand after they back fuel subsidy removal, they refused to held President GEJ to his word as an honorable man on the issue of palliative measures to reduce the burden of fuel subsidy on the people (and I hear jonathanians saying is partial fuel subsidy removal now). These our legislators also found it difficult to protect the dignity and right of the female child in Nigeria in terms of marriage, I know #ChildNotBride is coming to mind as Senator Ahmed Yerima comes to mind also. Our NASS has also refused to accept they are draining our treasury side by side with the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and has reiterated that how can they drain our treasury and be a source of waste to our economy when they collect 3% of budget allocation which amounts to over one trillion naira in eight years (of course, NASS is not a source of waste but termites and rats in our treasury). We also know you do collects allowances meant to develop your respective contituencies and senatorial districts which you rarely spend for that purpose as you personalised it and bribe those that will influence electoral process in your favour during the next election. I will stop here because if I continue to show you (our legislators) your shortcomings, I won’t be able to pass across the warning; which is my purpose.
Since these are the kind of stories that rhyme with the national anthem in our ears and our legislators are yet to understood their function; which is for them to properly make laws, check and balances the executive arm and fearlessly speak the mind of Nigerians, I am compelled to bring to the understanding of our legislators (Federal and State) that they must represent us well to avoid our anger fuelled by their incompetence and insincerity in their duty towards Nigerians. Our legislators have to know that to shoulder the obligations and responsibilities of this office in making sure that normalcy return to Nigeria; when we will all be proud to call ourselves Nigerians without shame and our happiness will know no bound for being called Nigerians, that they must not just sit down in Apo to satisfy the elite and themselves alone but the interest of every citizen of our country especially when we are ready to turn it into a game of retribution. It is therefore in your (our legislators) personal interest to represent us well if you are not so willing before, because we the hungry sons and daughters of the lion (social media) clan will not only devour you in our den (social media site) but will prey on you in the wild (on the streets of Nigeria), in the open (at your comfort zone), in pathways (on our roads) to satisfy our unsatiable hunger caused by your policy of famine with your flesh and our unquenchable thirst caused by your policy of thirstiness with your blood. We will seek succour in the ounces of your flesh and litres of your blood that we will continue to take until our rights, priviledges and necessities are ascertained and the future of our children is guaranteed. I need not to stress how much we meant business to you (our legislators) anymore, yeah, we do mean business for if you refuse to represent us well by making laws that will enhance and promote not only true democracy nor security of our lives and properties but those that will promote prosperity and happiness amidst us and will redeem our mortgaged future, we will not take out those flesh from your bones and drain the blood from your blood vessels while you are dead but alive; with your sight intact so you can see how strong our bite is and you won’t be deaf so as to hear us roar. Hell yes, this will be fun for us and this is the more reason I won’t plead with you to lesgilate well or represent us well for I want to see Nigerians taking it all out on you for a true freedom.
Our legislators, to avoid this horrible and humane (considering our present humane standards) acts of retribution, I will say, represent us well and legislate us well. I do promise you that Nigerians will not be offended if you also consider resigning as a result of incompetence, lack of confidence and failure to familiarise with the duties and responsibilities of the ‘peoples legislator’ since you can not properly represent our core interests. Failure to do this will attract dire consequences; the type you have never seen in the Nigeria history. This might be the last warning…. An unfinished statement they say is enough for a man of virtue.