Published On: Wed, Dec 7th, 2016

NASS: Expensive Congregation of Idle Armchair Citizens

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NASSWEDNESDAY Column By Israel A. Ebije

It may not be right to generalize on the level of educational qualification of members of the National Assembly, after all only forty out of over 360 members of the House of Representatives are with secondary school certificates. For the Senate only 5 out of 109 distinguished.
Once you consider the number of those who are yet to see the four walls of a higher institution, the need to raise songs of praise in celebration of our great legislatures can only be patriotic and most honorable thing to do. At least education is not everything, experience in politics of thuggery and brigandage is a paramount criterion for sharing public funds, sit back and do nothing.
I wouldn’t like to use the word ‘sharing of public funds, it was just an unavoidable slip of pen. As representatives of the people they should be well taken care of. They need all the comforts to think out solutions to myriads of our country’s problems. They must be conveyed in the most expensive cars, reside in highbrow areas, travel the globe, take mistresses and how bad is that if it is on our behalf?
I am unimpressed with those behind the recent discovery that has exposed those affected by low certificate among NASS members. Instead of engaging themselves in better activities like enjoying the ambience of recession, they have managed to waste everybody’s time on a needless mission. After all isn’t it the loss of states like Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina and Jigawa for voting half illiterates? Before I forget, states like Niger, Kwara, Benue and Plateau also inclusive.
It is simply a small price to pay – less contribution on the floor regardless of pressing issues in their constituency. But whoever thinks certificate limits contributions most certainly hasn’t heard of Hon. Muhammed Gudaji Kazaure, representing Kazaure federal constituency of Jigawa state. He is a proud holder of SSCE, and most certainly not a pushover at the House of Representatives. He is bold, very confident and ambitious. In one of his epic interviews he intimated on plans to contest presidential election after incumbent president Mohammadu Buhari completes his second term.
The combination of elected politicians at the NASS is done with natural permutations for the good of all. There are people with requisite education with conning ideas. They sell their ill conceived ideas to the completely naïve, academically deficit members who buy it so quickly provided money is involved. The drama begins when they can convince electorates they are on the side of the masses.
The NASS gallantly stood for the masses immediately the fuel price was hiked from N87.00 to N145.00. They fought vehemently until Federal Government left the new price at N145.00. It was victory for them to also watch the inflation, recession without bathing eyelids. They however succeeded in padding a padded budget to prove their anger against a budget well padded.
On the issue of the proposed $29.96 billion loan to be collected by FG, the NASS halted it! They will have nothing to do with it unless they know what is in it for them, I mean…until they see everything in it for them. Oh, cut the crap it means the same thing… something must be in it for them. About the new planned hike in data tariff, the NASS came in to rescue us from FG exploitation! They halted the move! Yes they did until there is a ‘good explanation’ for the hike, just the way they scuttled the fuel price hike.
Some people are of the opinion that the national assembly is too expensive to maintain. They even advocate it should be reduced to part time duties, others assert it should be scrapped and I just wonder why some people lack sense of humor. All the walk outs, the grammars, the back and forth decisions, the quarrels and the fights are simply enough to relieve us of the pains of recession.
It saddens me when people claim the NASS is too expensive to maintain. After all in 10 years, they only got N1,154 Trillion. The money is only enough to build schools, construct roads, resuscitate our moribund railways, equip our hospitals, reduce poverty, combat inflation, navigate out of recession, combat terrorism etc. so where have they gone wrong if they cant even use part of the money to pay their legislative aides?
My sincere thanks to our NASS for all the great job of nation building, patriotism injected into the art and craft of fashioning a nation wrapped around strong democratic ties. We owe the national assembly a big ovation for the fight against corruption championed by the Buhari led administration, they have done well in so many flattering ways to stampede it.
The likes of former President Olusegun Obasanjo can roast in hell for all I care for his negative views against our partially educated, financially inebriated, lackadaisical, indolent legislators who know everything but lawmaking. We must keep applauding them after all we voted them. Who need lawmakers who have morethan WAEC or SSCE? A requisite knowledge in herbs will do. Soon, we expect our legislative arm of government to be occupied by herbalists who will conjure affairs of lawmaking from shrines.

Ebije can be reached via: ebijeo5@gmail.com, ebijeisrael@yahoo.com or @ebijeisrael.com

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