From Joe Effiong, Uyo
Nigerian National Assembly is said to have lost focus recently because the Senate has become a retirement social club of former governors while the House of Representatives is populated by the protégées of the governors.
The former member of the House of Representatives, Mr Eseme Eyiboh, who made this grave assertion, while speaking with Daily Sun in Uyo, lamented that such a scenario cannot guarantee good governance since the governors, serving or past, are in control of the states and the federal government through the legislature.
“Are you not sad that almost 90% of the Senate is populated by almost all former governors and most of those governors, their proteges are the people in the House of Representatives; so if you want anything to happen in the National Assembly you need to discuss it with governors?
“Like another election cycle is coming, the governors will be in charge of who they sponsor in their respective political parties to go to the national assembly and some of the governors who are exiting will end up being in the Senate so the Senate will likely be 100% former governors. So it becomes a club and no longer legislative chambers but a social club, a retirement club that the ex-governors go to .” Eyiboh said.
He said that President Muhammadu Buhari has performed well but is affected by the poor leadership recruitment process in Nigeria.
“ I want to be very fair to Buhari. President Buhari came on account of his personal integrity and made a 3-prong promise of security, economy and anti-corruption. And he meant well for this country and the consequences of this poor leadership recruitment process is what we are experiencing now.
How many of the ministers, how many of the board of trustees, how many political party members have actually sincerely and honestly bought into his philosophy of anti-corruption, security and economy. That’s one then number. Two; if you look at a lot of social benefits of safety nets this current government has created, no government ever has attempted that.
“Let me tell you Buhari’s advantage which a lot of people, even the party team has not brought to bear. Buhari is the only president since Independence who has come out of his account, of self conviction to run for the presidency of this country. Shagari wanted to go to the Senate he was to become a president, Obasanjo never wanted to become military head of state but because of the death of Murtala the other time, and by the death of Abiola, they went and brought Obasanjo from the prison. Abdulsalami was filling the gap. Yada’dua wanted to become the governor of Katsina State he was railroaded into becoming the president of this country. Jonathan came in as a president as a result of Yada’dua .
“So Buhari is the only president in this country which is supposed to be a plus, supposed to be an advantage; meaning that he must have prepared, having been a former Head of State he must have prepared. He must have articulated a blueprint. He must have had a philosophy and a policy to be able to implement and trigger development which is very desirable for this country.
“So the managers, his information managers would have taken advantage of that to restructure, to launch the blueprint, to interpret it. But no minister, I repeat, no minister, has taken any step proactive or reactive to be able to now look at this and articulate an agenda.” Eyiboh said.