THE 7TH HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND ITS MANY UNIQUENESS
The 7th House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is very unique and exhilarating in so many ways. One, it has gone a long way in opening the eyes of every Nigerian that nothing is more profitable than allowing the leadership of any society to be thrown up through the corporate agreement of the generality rather than allowing a small clique to dictate the pace.
Today, apart from some few clique within the Peoples Democratic Party, nearly every Nigerian is still savouring the pleasure of the victory that dogged the emergence of the Speaker of the House and his Deputy, Rt. Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and Hon Emeka Ihedioha respectively against the obnoxious PDP zoning that could have enslaved the lower chambers of the National Assembly, if respected.
Two, this House remain one of the most credible in the annals of the democratic experience of the country, because the 2011 elections were relatively peaceful, free and fair as well as credible. Hence, those that were elected could be regarded as the true reflections of the wishes of the people.
Comparatively, the representatives of the past could not have been regarded as not being representing the people, but the fact still remain that the elections that produced them were largely flawed and condemnable.
In just two months of proclamation of the 7th Assembly at the Federal level, I know that Nigerians and leaders of various political parties in the country must have started counting their gains that it is always good to allow the will of the people to prevail.
Secondly, Independence of the Legislature remains the best condiment and catalyst to any growing democracy like Nigeria’s , allowing a few clique or a political party to corner it may spell doom for the development of the nation.
I am not being partisan to assert that, it is morally wrong for a political party to assume that the whole country could be taken for a ride on a platter of gold after fifty one years of its independence on the issue of who governs the people.
On this note, I want to totally subscribe and support the breaching of the so called zoning formula, because it will not be in the interest of the country for people that are not duly elected to be imposed on the populace.
It is rather misplaced and vexatious, the calls from some quarters and some highly placed personalities that Mr. Speaker and his Deputy should step down in honour of the zoning thing. These calls, to me were self-serving and a serious slap on the electorate and Nigerian citizens, who are tired of this slavish politicking that had been introduced into the system by the ruling class.
I want those that are agitating for this to tell Nigerians what they have lost with the emergence of these two fantastic Nigerians as the leaders of the House of Representatives. Again, they should also tell us what good their stepping down will do to Nigeria as a political entity.
Though, Nigerians, as discernible citizens did not reckon with these calls because they know they were coming from those who are averse to change, who were also privileged to have benefitted from the rots of the past.
When the Honourable Speaker and his Deputy were sworn-in , they pledged that they would lead by example and the manifestation have started unfolding with the way the leadership relates with the opposition figures that has built a house that is bereft of division , tribal and religious sentiments and ultimately confidence crisis that characterized the House of the past.
I am very sure that if any lawmaker within the PDP fold had been elected against the wishes of the honourable members of the House, the Lower Chambers should have started boiling by now due to confidence crisis and polarization that would have crept in.
One thing make the new Tambuwal’s leadership more fascinating, he has promised to rule with the fear of God and ensure that all the rep members are treated without being partisan and this he has been keeping to.
It is quite appalling and disturbing that the former Speaker and his Deputy, Rt. Hon. Dimeji Bankole and Hon Usman Bayero Nafada are being tried by the anti-corruption Agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged N10 billion loan scam in the house.
Another N2 billion Car scam suit had been filed against the immediate past leadership, which without sounding immodest or being preemptive of the court’s judgment had ridiculed the sanctity and the credibility of the House.
Though, the two personalities, whom I so much respect for their doggedness and coherence within the three and half years they steered the ship of the House are deemed innocent until court rules in the contrary.
But to guard against the re-occurrence of this sordid scenario, Tambuwal and Ihedioha had put up structures that would further enhance and deepen transparency in all the financial dealings of the House.
All the top civil servants of the green chambers, who are deeply concerned with the running of the Assembly had been informed about this new development and they are cooperating in this regard. Today by any standard of measurement, it is no longer business as usual in the Lower Chambers.
The Action Congress of Nigeria leadership were so calculative in taking the decision to support Tambuwal’s and Ihedioha candidacies against the highly parochial interest of some individuals. This apt political calculation confirmed the position of the ACN National Leader, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu, Former Governor of Lagos State that only an independent Legislature can bring about a robust democracy in Nigeria.
Tinubu, who has become an enigma in Nigerian politics in a recent interview stated among other reasons that the ACN supported Tambuwal not for any other reason than for the entrenchment of democracy in Nigeria.
What the leadership of the House needs now is the prayers and support of every Nigerian regardless of political affiliation for the success of Tambuwal and his foot-soldiers rather than to dogma on zoning that is irrelevant to the plight o Nigerians at this present time.
Ahmed Salami, who is the Media Consultant and Political Analyst, wrote from Abuja.