Nigerians appraise the 9th National Assembly as history beckons

The 9th senate was more of a stooge and it lost so much respect in that regard – it made little provisions for accountability and respect to rules of law as some of its members were reported as the first to break every law of the land without scruples.

By Njoku SaintJerry A.

The 9th National Assembly is on its way to the archives. How they have fared in the past years will be weighed upon their actions and inactions on matters of national interests, bothering on legislative duties, checks and balances on the Executives and their responsibilities to the electorates. Will their memory linger as an impactful arm of government or will Nigerians simply trash them in the dustbin of history as we approach the 10th National Assembly

Whether they have lived up to expectations or have widened the gap of irresponsible representations in governance, the 9th national assembly will serve as a reference point on how not to serve in the legislative chambers.
This is a sad ending and history will definitely not smile at such characters that have brought the institution to disrepute so much that Nigerians will wish never to have a repeat of the 9th national assembly in the 10th national assembly.

The two most important functions of the National Assembly are to make laws and provide oversight. Where they have made laws that impacted positively on the citizenry and the society, we will not hesitate to acknowledge that and give them credit especially on matters that has produced revolutionary outcomes as in the 2022 Electoral Amendment Bill passed into law that stipulates the electronic transmission of votes to check the excesses of voter’s manipulation, rigging and violence that has become a common feature during general elections.

The evidence of that electoral bill as a matter of fact contributed to the improved voter’s registration as Nigerians began to see faith in the electoral process.
Also the Petroleum Industry Bill passed by the National Assembly marked another milestone as it introduced a regime of checks and balances, transparency and accountability of the oil and gas sector especially where it involves revenue generation.

Other bills as in the 2021 Gender equality bill might have suffered series of technical defeat but the overall outcomes gave the impression of a National assembly that was seriously engaged. However, that assessment remain challenged by the Nigerian people who do not see the 9th National Assembly as living close up to expectations as in providing oversight functions to the Executives especially on matters of critical national issues like Security, Education and Healthcare.

The 9th national Assembly led by Senator Lawan Ahmed from every indication portrayed the characters of its members in the legislative chambers as stooges of the executives and accomplices in the corruption that is eating deep into the national psyche of Nigeria’s economy and culture.
A case in point is the reported cases of about 4,000 abandoned constituency projects sighted in 2022. These are constituencies under the responsibilities and supervision of committees made up of members of the National Assembly; these projects were voted and approved by them and finances provided for, yet about 4,000 of such projects were sighted as completely abandoned, while members of committees assigned to provide oversight functions to such corruption loopholes were seated comfortably at their legislative chambers – what happened to the doctrine of checks and balances, their sheer negligence simply implies that they have been legislating and allocating resources without asking how this money are being used, – this is outright fraud and a sad reality of the kind a National Assembly Nigerians do not wish to have again.

It is not overstatement to say that the 9th Senate appears as one of the worst in Nigeria history because of her leadership structure.
Ideally it should have had a vote of no confidence but one could assert that the members do not have the moral courage to challenge such negligence as noticed in the 9th Senate because the members appear to be accessories to the fraudulent practices and rubber stamp status of the senate.

As a legislative chamber that encourages and connives with the executives and the judiciary to disobey its own laws, how will Nigerians view such a body of outlaws that suppresses the rule of law to suits its own selfish interpretations?
Take for instance the election that returns Senator Ahmed Lawan as senate in Yobe North Constituency, in an election he never participated in the primaries. Ahmed Lawan is the Senate President of the Federal Republic, he is in the best position to interpret the law, yet he boldly led in the outright onslaught to an electoral law passed by his regime – the 9th senate.  infact, he left after he had failed in his previous attempt at the presidency to join in the candidacy for Yobe North Senatorial district, yet INEC condoned him and the Judiciary declared him Winner while the actual candidate Bashir Machina was kicked out.
I am very convinced this is not the kind of a law making body Nigerians would like to remember for any reason.

The 9th National Assembly has been subservient to the executives so much that they have lacked the capacity to provide the required oversight functions and this breed only impunity of the highest order – Because the National Assembly is not holding the executives to account, Nigeria as a nation is almost running into anarchy on a daily basis.
There were cases where the national assembly invited Security Chiefs for questioning concerning the dire security situations in the country, many of them declined to show up and the Legislature were unable to get serious security briefing that will enable them to implement laws guiding the security, therefore, what is the duty of the Senate Committee on Security if they cannot consult and interfere with the security arm of government to come out with laws that should address the security situations in the country.

How many invitation of the executives by the national assembly were honoured by relevant authorities among the Executives, the law makers are not respected because the office of the National Assembly has been so abused by questionable characters in the senate

Also, If the National Assembly is not providing oversight functions even in the manner which the executives borrow money, it will only give an impression of an accomplice to criminality 

It simply means that you cannot provide oversight functions in an agency whereby you are accessory to the criminality and fraud that goes on in that agency, a situation whereby they pay for your conveniences in order to get accelerated hearing in matters of mutual interest, there will be little that law making agency can do when it is dependent on superior influences from other arms of government for its functions. This is not the kind of National Assembly Nigerians wish to see again in the 10th National Assembly,

The 9th senate was more of a stooge and it lost so much respect in that regard – it made little provisions for accountability and respect to rules of law as some of its members were reported as the first to break every law of the land without scruples.

As Nigeria prepares to bid farewell to the 9th Senate, efforts should be focused on the characters of individuals coming to make up the 10th National assembly to save the nation further embarrassment and impunity.

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