Editor’s note : The eight Senate has been bedeviled with several controversies since it came in with the first being the manner in which the Senate president, Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu were elected.
In this opinion by Bada Yusuf, he examines the different controversies surrounding the Senate and how its manner of operation can affect the success of the administration of President Muhammadu Bauhri.
Corruption and lack of leadership have been hurting Nigeria since it became a republic. For the first time in Nigeria, this present administration, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari vow to fight corruption with full force. However, the fight against corruption has been criticized by some few who feel those who have been probe so far are members of the opposition party, even when we all know that this same opposition had been the only one in power since the return of democracy in 1999. This administration on the other hand had claimed that corruption is fighting back and the Eight Senate appears on the other side of Buhari’s administration.
The eight Senate, since its suspicious leadership election had not been showing much support to the executive especially on the fight against corruption as expected. The election of the deputy senate president was wow, though the action supposes to create a battle balance of law that would favour Nigerians but reverse is the case. The curiosity started when the Senate delayed the passing of 2016 budget. Several accusing fingers were point at the Senate for removing capital projects such as Calabar/Kano Rail Project for selfish interest and others include budget padding and budget missing in the floor of the Senate.
The alleged forgery of the Senate Standing Rule by Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu which has been challenged in the court of law and the Code of Conduct Tribunal case Saraki is facing are generating lots of controversy. Some say it is politically motivated while others say it is not. To me, these two cases are presenting Nigeria as a country of three idiots (i.e the executive, legislative and judiciary), if Saraki and others know they are not guilty, they should go to court and defend themselves rather than shouting that the executive is interfering in the affairs of the legislature. After all, it is the judiciary that charged them to court and not the executive, and by common sense, that is the definition of check and balancing.
More so, the Legislature is building an immortal institution of corruption and poverty in the history of Nigeria politics. The Senate instead of promoting and implementing laws that will enhance development and easy execution of capital projects, what we are hearing is the move to impeach the president, the promotion of LIFE IMMUNITY for its leadership and LIFE PENSION for its members, I want to ask, which democratic country of the world has life immunity for its legislative arm in its constitution? First, if this bill is passed into law, the concept of check and balance had been removed in Nigeria constitution. Secondly, if members of the legislative arm are entitled to life pension, with time, there will be no fund to carry out capital projects, finance security agencies among other things.