The Parliament Diary


By Chukwuka Nwa Oliseh

“Democracy, as the famous American President Abraham Lincoln would say is the government of the people, for the people and by the people” in other words, what the never say die leader of the world’s most strongest democratic nation meant is that of all forms of government on the earth surface, it is the rule of the majority that is more reliable and favourable to the commoners and the less privileged.

In all sense of honesty, it is in a genuine, reliable and a trustworthy democratic setting that the masses can question their leaders and representatives in all cadres of the electoral offices, from the councillors to the senators, even to the highest political office holder in the land, which is the PRESIDENT.

This simple and unarguable fact brings us to the involvement and inquisitiveness of the Nigerian people to know how those that are representing them in the higher pinnacles of power are faring in their daily duties at the national Assembly. Choosing this area as a starting point, reminds us of the startling and embarrassing revelations at the ongoing probe where the former Akwa Ibom state Chief executive, ex-senator and currently a minister in charge of the oil rich Niger Delta region, Obong Godswill Akpabo declared that some Legislators (not all anyway) are beneficiaries of at least 60% of the contracts given out by the Niger Delta Development commission, NDDC in the areas where projects (roads, schools, markets or bridges in the rural area) are established. Since that immortal declaration by the onetime “governor of the year” in the Nigerian nation, the ordinary Nigerian has been felt with fear and hopelessness with what to make out of the so called unpatriotic acts of those that they voted in to be their eyes in government. To some of us in the media and reportorial writing profession, the mere sighting of or interaction with a legislator gives one more suspicion, because no one seems to believe them, just as they themselves can’t also trust their colleagues.

Rather than focus on their foremost and primary duties as representatives of their people (who go out in the public) to vote them into power, our legislators allegedly choose this unwholesome part of taking shares or even using ghost names to execute contracts, which are supposed to be awarded to competent contractors who can give the people what they need and the correct specification and duration of the job. Little wonder, some rural roads across the country are quite impassable because no one queries the quality of jobs done, no one decides what kind of everlasting material to be used in erecting long lasting projects.

The major issue now is whether Akpabio has settled scores with members of the Nigerian parliament or not, the current 9th Assembly shouldn’t conclude that somebody somewhere is been used to witch-hunt them and their activities at the floor of the house. The story of high rate corruption between members of the former National Assembly and highly placed rich contractors in the country might not been new to some of us. The Lawan Farouk alleged $500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) kick back from Zenon oil boss, Femi Otedola in the subsidy scandal as juxtaposed also to removed his firm from companies to be probed in the accusation saga between ex Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) boss, Mrs. Evelyn Aruma Oteh and the then House Committee on Capital Market over bribery allegation is still fresh in our memory.

If our legislators (particularly those at the National Assembly) want the ordinary mortals like us to have much confidence in them they should purge themselves of this chronic disease of corruption. secondly, they should always make their activities in the “HOUSE” known, to their immediate constituencies, thirdly give room for research, to know how great and outstanding lawmakers made their breakthrough not choosing the primitive attitude of court suits or physical confrontation of perceived enemies in public places.


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