By Abdulwahab Oba
Recently, all sorts of ignoble campaigns have been on in the social media against real or perceived political enemy (enemies) by those who feel disgruntled with the election, almost two years ago, of leaders of the NASS. Rather than wait another day for another election and allow those elected concentrate on arduous task of governance, they engage in Machiavellian tactics to get ahead.
I am inundated with such campaigns from a number of social media platforms, especially from my Lagos constituency. Ostensibly targeting the leadership of the National Assembly for ridicule and blame for the poor state of the Nigerian economy, the totally misleading messages fueled by sentiments like many others in recent past, again, highlighted the usually rehearsed rhythmic acts of frustration by the society’s growing poor, but more than anything else, notoriously proved of a truth that though everyone knows that Nigeria is on an emergency mode, very few people actually understand where and on whom to vent their anger and frustrations, or guided by unrestrained frustration of power lost.
Often wavering between reality and fiction, these seemingly brainwashed, bread and butter seeking writers, l have yet to understand who their true enemies are, and, so frequently caught spiking the wrong persons, while the enemy is overlooked and left on free way, to continue repeating mistakes of the past and pointing the people the wrong way. This misplaced anger, perhaps, best explains why things have remained the same governments after governments; in the face of tonnes of promises after promises, as time keeps sustained flight.
One recalls that among other reasons, which cost the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government the presidency in the last elections were the party’s failure after repeated assurances to fix the steadily dwindling economy, rising poverty, geometric unemployment and above all, corruption. Today, it remains to be seen how well the All Progressives Congress (APC) party administration has done regarding these issues, two years on.
It is ominous where from the early life of a government, such dangerous and worrisome signs emerge that one arm of government wants to lord it over the other arms as if it were superior. Unfortunately, signs of these wrong footings were crystal clear when attempts were made to handpick the leadership of the National Assembly, apparently, to control it shortly after inauguration. But only a few took cognisance of this early red flag.
This, probably, is the missing link which those, who, today, are sheepishly prodded to blame NASS for the growing discontent in the land, failed to pick. Sadly enough too, rather than settle down for governance through effective collaboration by the three arms under the principle of power separation, we keep chasing shadows in the name of fighting corruption.
No one puts it more succinctly than Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, when he said, “we seem to be fixated on the naming and shaming of people who have already been identified by successive governments for one reason or the other, whether genuinely or otherwise, rather than confronting headlong and holistically, the toxicity of corruption in the nation. We have held people without charge, whilst others with similar allegations of corruption hanging on their necks, continue to walk free and even occupying sensitive positions in government.
I have been saying this for ages but those who could die for this government keep saying ‘corruption is fighting back’. The bitter truth is that no one is fighting any corruption. The EFCC under Magu is only interested in naming and shaming. A kind of media circus that will make Nigerians feel ‘shocked’. The alleged N15b found in a Lagos home should tell us something. It raises some fundamental questions….
Let me repeat: no one is fighting any corruption. My anger is that latest EFCC circus will embarrass us in the eyes of the world.
This one will soon fizzle out until the next “EFCC Money Discovery Show”. Remember, we are still on Season One!” Lobatan!
This is why one finds absurdity in the ill-conceived text circulating in the social media blaming the NASS for the so called, largely lacking in emperical analysis, alarming poor performance of the present government totally misplaced. It clearly points to fact that some paid agent provocateur are at work. Though it is not the first time the NASS and the presidency are having a face-off, everything tilts to collaborate a possibility that the 8th National Assembly led by Senator (Dr) Olubukola Saraki, who, like former Senate President, Pius Anyim Pius, and Honourable Alhaji Umar Ghali Na’Abba, former Speaker, Federal House of Representatives, is resisting attempts to arm-twist and determine who gets what and how the NASS ran its business, would go down as the most misunderstood and misinterpreted in the history of NASS disagreements with presidency.
The various anti-National Assembly campaigns in the social media qualifying for a niagara of lies and misplaced aggression on the Senate President, Saraki, and especially one calling for protest as the Senate President attends a Town Hall meeting in Houston, Texas, United States, in May – a meeting in which he hopes to share insights on the activities of the 8th Senate with Nigerians abroad – stand facts on its head and condemnable. While every Nigerian whose trust the APC government is currently enjoying has right to protest over the prostrate state of the Nigerian economy, it is hard to understand how the NASS is to blame. Except, perhaps, at any time in the life of this government NASS refused to pass any economy-revamping bill initiated by the presidency.
Interestingly, those behind the orchestrated campaign against the NASS conveniently forgot that it was this same senate that exposed leakages in the system, including the controversial budget padding brouhaha. Really, what do Nigerians want: a rubber stamp NASS that accepts anything and everything thrown to it from other arms without questions?
Curiously, some even call for the scrapping of the senate as if that brings food to the table of the ordinary man on the street. Often pitiably bereft of knowledge of history, those reaching for NASS jugular have forgotten that Rabiu Kwankaso, Rochas Okorocha and Abubakar Atiku, had all contested and lost their bids to be flag bearers of the party, yet joined the party campaign conscientiously. So, why can’t those who lost their parsimonious bid to control the NASS, but erroneously think that national politics start and end in their backyard, join others to move Nigeria forward.
Yet, discouraging as it seems, there is still opportunity for the APC leadership to tell itself home truth and redeem its fast fading integrity before the next election. This possibility lies solely on APC and in a combination of three factors – end to blame games, honest self-search and end to exalting personal interest far and above national interest.
*Oba, can be reached via email@example.com