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National Assembly is not a retirement home

On Saturday, Nigerians will be electing 360 House of Representatives members, and 109 senators from different constituencies and senatorial districts across the 36 states and…

On Saturday, Nigerians will be electing 360 House of Representatives members, and 109 senators from different constituencies and senatorial districts across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. 

By virtue of Section 4 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, these persons are empowered to make laws for peace, orderliness, and good governance for the federation among other things.  

These people represent the image of democracy with a unique power to impeach president, vice-president, federal judges, and others if proper things are done. They are also saddled with the responsibility of the annual federal budget scrutiny, and oversight functions to ensure what was appropriated, and approved is implemented to the letter across the federation.  

Thus,  the legislators are critical to the survival and prosperity of our nation, and it shouldn’t be occupied by people without character, competence, and capacity to perform.  

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Their own inability to carry out their constitutional functions to the letter somehow facilitated the failure of other arms of the government.  

Unfortunately, the National Assembly is being seen as a retirement home, where people that are physically and mentally tired go to sit and rest. On many occasions, some of the members have been seen sleeping while matters of national importance are being considered and debate ongoing.  

Some could not make any positive contribution even if the issues affect the people they claimed to represent. These should not be encouraged or allowed to continue if we must have a better Nigeria, because these should not be the character of sincere representation. 

Now Nigerians have another opportunity to elect our House of Representatives members, and senators that will represent us for another four years at the National Assembly. This election is also as important as that of the president, whose efficiency also depends on the capacity, vibrancy and determination of the members of the National Assembly to provide good governance for Nigerians. 

This position requires track record, and the ability to perform and truly represent the people, and not the personal pocket. It requires character, integrity, core values of humanity, and compassion when it comes to resource allocation. It requires people of foresight, who can look into the future and make laws or plan beyond the present economic situation for future generations, and not stomach infrastructure. In fact, not for people who are limited to 1980s ideas to rule the 21st century generation and beyond. 

The idea of people between the ages of 70 and 80 planning for the future of the people of 15s and 20s requires additional care and consideration. As time changes, so also the interest, and societal demands change.  

Above all, it requires people with mental alertness and ready to work, who can take a stand on national issues for the good of the masses, and not ‘oh yes’ members to godfathers, but people with godly principles. Not people that imposed themselves on the electorate, but by majority votes.   

Our struggle for democratic principles, peace, unity, growth, and development is possible if only we can say enough is enough for money-bag politics.  May God bless Nigeria. 


Omale Omachi Samuel, Special Duties Officer, Centre for Social Justice, Abuja  


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