The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Cooperation and Integration in Africa, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani, last week, blamed Federal Government’s alienation of different ethnic groups from mainstream politics as the cause of agitations and restiveness seen in different parts of the country.
We tracked two other stories from the National Assembly (NASS), for your reading delight.
Dealing with political agitations
Senator Nnamani, in his April 17 Easter message to Nigerians, stated that agitations and restiveness across the country were results of government lack of administrative inclusiveness.
“In some cases, the agitations or restiveness arise when people feel denied or excluded from the mainstream of politics and governance,” he said.
Nnamani’s message cannot be divorced from the sprinkle of agitations in the country as represented by activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), in the South-East, the Yoruba Nation in the South-West, and even the recent protests by women groups, sequel to the rejection of five gender bills by federal lawmakers.
Indeed, Nnamani’s message reinforces strong feelings that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has done little to mitigate allegations of nepotism, favouritism and crass corruption levied against his government.
While Nnamani’s concern is not new, it should serve as a challenge to the Buhari government to raise the quality of governance and give all stakeholders in the Nigerian project a sense of belonging.
NASS MEMORY LANE
“Unfortunately, as a result of the inability of the government to provide quality education in its public educational institutions. Nigerians have resorted to private schools and foreign schools for their education…The trouble with this is that most of those who patronise private-owned educational institutions or those who travel abroad to study are children and wards of Nigerian public officers.”
Answer: See end of post
Two other stories
Being wary of irresponsible politicians
On April 18, a member of the House of Representatives, Shina Peller, who represents Iseyin/Itsesiwaju/Kajola/Iwajowa Federal Constituency of Oyo State, urged youths and other Nigerians not to allow any politician use them irresponsibly to achieve their political ambition.
“Importantly, as the 2023 general election beckons, we must not allow any politician to use us irresponsibly or callously to fulfil their political ambition or interest at the detriment of the overall interest of our dear country,” Peller stated in his Easter message.
Peller’s admonition is a call to action for impressionable youths to resist monetary gains offered by politicians in order to perpetrate different forms of electoral malpractices, and violence targeted at winning elections.
Beyond this, however, it also ignites the call for government to exert more effort in making life better for the youths, and creating sustainable opportunities for them to be meaningfully engaged.
All said, it is hoped that Peller would use his good office to create a sustained campaign against political brigandage ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Omo-Agege on Okowa’s administration
The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, on April 23, accused Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa of wasting a cumulative sum of N168bn on maintaining a long list of political aides.
Omo-Agege made the accusation when he visited his staunch supporter, High Chief Lucky Akara Gbeneyei, at his residence in Warri, Delta State.
He said: “Unemployed graduates are all over the place, yet you see the government spending two billion naira monthly to pay aides, many of them don’t have offices. Two billion monthly in seven years will give you 168bn. If he had used the money to give them long term employment it would have been ok. But he spends it on aides, where many don’t have offices.”
Omo-Agege’s accusation, typical of campaign strategies, is one that must be chewed carefully in the absence of verifiable claims. This is more so given his recent declaration for the Delta State Governorship seat.
Nevertheless, his claims resurrect the call for cutting the cost of governance, and thus, saving more funds that could be injected in projects capable of yielding more dividends of democracy.
The Deputy Senate President, however, has to go beyond the rhetoric, and set example in this regard by trimming, drastically, his number of aides, and encourage his legislative colleagues to do same.
Answer: Hon. Sergius Ogun
Ogun made the statement, on March 3, 2022, in his lead debate; concerning a private member bill for an Act to regulate international studies for wards and children of Nigerian Public Officer. He represents Esan North/Esan South in the Federal House of Representatives.