TNG Analysis: NASS struggling to reject toga of rubber stamp
…vow to wear cap of a watchdog
…made bold moves to correct impression
Since the ninth Assembly resumed legislative business last werk Tuesday, the signals and actions that signposted the National Assembly clearly indicate that there is need to correct the rubber stamp image impression created in the last six months of its existence.
Twenty four hours before resumption, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan vehemently rejected the title in a press conference stating clearly that it can’t be business as usual.
Lawan did not mince words he told whoever cared to listen that the ninth Assembly is focused and ready to transform the lives of Nigerians positively.
The speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila however had a different thing to say declaring that he was not elected to fight the executive arm.
In a nutshell telling Nigerians he cared less if the Assembly adorns the toga of a rubber stamp.
Erasing an eligible impression created by the ninth legislature maybe a little bit difficult as the first six months of NASS had exhibited all the traces of a rubber stamp body.
Virtually all executive bills scaled through without much stress and the enveloped 2020 budget too enjoyed such a treatment.
But the new swan song of the upper legislature last week clearly depicts a new picture of the upper legislative body.
Hon Benjamin Kalu, the spokesperson of the House had also told journalists last week that the House was not a rubber stamp.
He said “we’ll bark and bite if need be and put on the cap of the watchdog of the society as enshrined in the 1999 constitution as amended.
Last week and this week showcased a little of the watchdog role Kalu mentioned in his weekly briefing.
The House making a bold move resolved that President Buhari should sack all his service chiefs and thereafter summoned them to show their beautiful faces before reps.
This was graciously respected by the service chiefs who had closed door sessions with the Lawmakers.
Positive development as this for once gave an impression that a national legislature exists in Nigeria.
The Senate on the other hand declared a full day session to discuss matters strictly on insecurity in Nigeria and had a closed door chat with the Inspector General of Police, Abubakar Adamu.
The situation if well placed and priortised by the Lawmakers, the rubber stamp toga may gradually water down but the first six months really painted the ninth Assembly as a mere extension of the executive arm of government.