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Is National Assembly bastion, or mockery of democracy?

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SIR: Again, the Nigeria National Assembly has demonstrated that it is not learning from the past. Being the pillar of democracy, it seems not to know its strengths. It is unfortunate that members of these hallowed chambers continue to toy with our nascent democracy.

The leadership of the National Assembly since the Fourth Assembly, particularly this Ninth Assembly have failed the country. They have helped the executive to go away with maladministration. The root of our snail’s pace growth as a country can be largely linked to the ineffectiveness of our National Assembly.

This ninth Assembly is sliding into the trench its predecessors fell into. The two major bills that would have revolutionised the political and economic fortunes of our country have yet again been rolled in the muddy water of politics and selfishness. Personal and political party interests have beclouded the understanding of those that should put the country on the pedestal of development.

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The Electoral Act and the Petroleum Industry Bill are two key legislations, which if meritoriously passed will put the country in her rightful place in the comity of nations. First, the Electoral Act, if Electronic Transmission of Results is legalised, it will raise the bar of fairness and credibility of our elections. Thus, the people will consolidate their place as the giver and taker of political power. Only those with the prerequisite qualities and the people’s choice will hold public offices.

For the Petroleum Industry Bill, our oil wealth has for decades been mismanaged. If the bill had been given the right consideration, it will spread the wealth of these resources and fast-track national development. A situation where an oil producing country cannot boast of refined products and other bye products of petroleum will be greatly checked.

In situations like these, one would agree with those who seek the deletion of the Senate from the National Assembly. The constitutionality and maturity with which the House of Representatives leadership is employing in handling these critical national issues are commendable. 

To members of either the Senate or the House of Representatives, your reign as the members of the ninth National Assembly will be written in gold if Electronic Transmission of Results is emphatically stated in the reviewed Electoral Act. And if the states/regions that produce this crude oil are duly compensated for the environmental degradation this oil wealth brings to them.
By Lawal Adewale Qudus alaniadewale05@gmail.com
Lagos, Nigeria.

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