Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Legislature: the Abuse or Ignorance —by Victor Adaha


15 May 2018 

Once the primary essence of a thing is unknown (wittingly or unwittingly) the subsequent abuse remains and becomes inevitable. I borrow the words of a great man, who said "education can only go as far as tradition permits it to".
Among the several known types of poverty, the poverty of the mind remains the most atrocious of them all.

Governance in Nigeria, grossly began to fail the moment they ascribed 'constituency projects' to legislators. In my candid and professional opinion. Even though originally it was a welcome idea, but as years pass by, what was supposed to be tertiary became primarily the yardstick at which legislators were adjudged. Which has in return, seen a fast swipe of legislators absconding from their primary statutory responsibilities, to doing the well considered least which is now so well over rated (constituency projects). In as much as once again, I agree these projects are a welcome idea, but on the other hand, and along side other pundits who are of the same opinion, that this should not be the only or main reason or essence of one vying for a legislative seat. 

Very recently we have come to see myriad of legislators sleeping repeatedly and very frequently in their respective 'Assemblies', even more worrisome is the fact that some, more often than not, are conspicuously absent from sessions, very absurd you will say. But it is mostly because they know, that is not the yardstick at which their constituents judge them with, hence seatings are optional only on occasions of national importance you get to see them.

It will be a misplaced priority, (in the right sense), for an aspirant who wants to bring development through 'primarily' projects to seek or vie for a legislative position, when such a person should rationally be seeking an "Executive" position. Where they are saddled basically with such responsibilities.
In recent times, as a public affairs analyst, when I go through political manifestos and blue prints of aspirants vying for legislative positions, I only but wonder if they act by default? Using a purely executive manifesto to vie for legislative positions. It makes one wonder how conversant these aspirants are with the statutory responsibilities and duties of the offices they vie for, they give the primary aim of the legislature, which is law formation the least in their blue prints, painfully the very people who are so called "enlightened and educated" applaud this act of gross ineptitude. 

The people now chose legislators based on who primarily shares the highest amount of money, who delights mostly in joining the boys in sharing their bottles of alcohol and engaging in unguarded conversation, and they call that accessibility. What a shame? Instead of focusing on who has capacity and intelligence to deliver as a LEGISLATOR.

An arm of government that is considered as one of the most powerful and vital has "in our days" been brought down to its knee. What happened to those old good days when only rational minds made it to the House? Those days when the legislature was the House for SOUND minds and intellectuals? Until we get it right again, our Democracy will remain crumbling and in shackles, which will continue to have a ripple effect on the laws made. What a watered Legislature! 
Until we come to the realization that the law making arm of government, is basically for law making, and any other duty(ies) remains tertiary not even secondary, we will continue to have an assembly both at the state and national level, where noble men remain a scarce commodity, and intellectual debate is seen as obsolete, but rather hooliganism thrives along side unruly, un-honourable behaviour as the other of the day.

The legislature, is and remains the organ of government vested with the ultimate responsibility of law formation, and hence should be seen as that, and not a place to primarily carry out other duties which although are important but can be done by other arms of government. If this madness don't stop, tomorrow, the judiciary will also want their own project in the name of giving back to the society, after all they are the "last hope of the common man".

I call, and stand for the scrapping of "constituency projects" as part of the duties of the legislature, so they can concentrate on law formation. Which is obvious and already crystal clear, is a cumbersome job already.



Victor Adaha
Public Affairs Analyst 



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