Rep chides Obasanjo for labelling National Assembly members corrupt
Shawulu backs restructuring, secession
Member, House of Representatives for Tukum/Donga/Ussa Federal Constituency (PDP), Plateau State, Rima Shawulu has described as “very uncharitable” the remarks by former President Olusegun Obasanjo that National Assembly members are corrupt.
Shawulu also maintained that any section of the country that wants to go should be allowed to go, because the world has witnessed some movements, which Nigeria cannot be immune from, citing the Soviet Unions, which broke into parts and Czechoslovakia, which also broke into several countries are now flourishing.
Shawulu while speaking with The Guardian in Jos said his worry with Obasanjo’s comment is that it undermines the legislature, which is the most important institution of democracy.
“If you look at the length of times that we have had civil rule in Nigeria, you will discover that the legislature is the arm of government that has been least tainted with corruption. Rather, it is the executive and the civil service that have been found wanting. In fact, most times, the legislature was not in place.
The lawmaker said Obasanjo’s accusation that either the National Assembly has a big corrupting influence or that Nigerians prefer to put people that don’t have integrity in that arm of government does not hold water.”
On budget padding, he referred Nigerians to Section 80 of the constitution, which gives the “National Assembly the power ‘to add, to remove, to reduce, to delete completely.’ That is what is contained in the constitution…”
According to him, when it comes to the appropriation law of the country, the power of the National Assembly is absolute. National Assembly will determine how it should be spent, though it will not be the one to expend. “So, anyone that says that National Assembly members have added and removed is wrong. That is the key function of the legislature.”
Shawulu said if the Biafrans want to go, we should let them go. Though we could conduct a referendum. If the Niger Deltans want to go, let them go. If the North wants to go, let them go. It is their right. This is an era of universal human rights where people decide where they want to live, where they want to associate.
“When people sit down and decide to move apart like what happened in Czechoslovakia, let them go ahead and split. It is allowed because this is how human beings are. Our system must be such that we should be allowed to associate and dissociate,” Shawulu submitted.