I am never a fan of Nigerian politician, I have never believed in the processes and operations of the Nigerian National Assembly and I am mortified at the numbers of cases against the present members of this eight Senate of the federal Republic, yet we need to face issues when our national institution of democratic governance are being ridiculed in the public domain. Most Nigerians imbued with ‘messiah worshipping zeal’ are wont to misunderstand the basics of a presidential system of government. The Senate of the Federal Republic represents the lead organ in the National Assembly of Nigeria given power by the constitution to make laws and oversees all operations of the Executive organ led by the President.
The fact that a Nigerian would denigrate the Senate of Federal Republic as “uncultured, uncivilised, undemocratic and immature” and come into the public domain with the insult merely due to an aversion to resolutions of the Senate on the Inspector General of Police, shows a lack of patriotism; a crude and uninformed reasoning always displayed by really inequitable elements that have perpetually resolved issues in public domain through an appeal to cyclical reasoning.
Obvious lack of proper understanding of the democratic principle and harried researches would have informed the contributions of several elements deliberately engineered to perpetuate ignorance on a condescending but largely unread public via a sustain attack on their intelligence with hugely fabricated missives. For the sake of prosperity there should be proper well-researched response to properly educate the obfuscated critics amongst us and inform the public on the proper use of words in public domains.
Facts remain that Senator Dino Melaye’s travail could have been self-imposed, avoidable and clearly challenge the process of law enforcement operation in Nigeria. That Dino intentionally refused Police invitations in Kogi State would have been construed as an affront to the legal processes and local laws. Yet a clear circumstantial observation of the reason for his refusal to attend to the Kogi State Command’s requests were striking. Dino maintained he cannot and will never have fair hearing in Kogi State, stating the case of his on-going row with the state government as basis.
For the sake of Clarification, I invite Bala Ibrahim to please read:
- Kogi government framed me up – Dino Melaye – BusinessDay : News …
- What Kogi government wants to do me – Dino Melaye – Daily Post …
The invitation by the Senate was for the IGP Idris to attend its session and clear issues dealing with National security based on continuous killings in Benue, Nassarawa, Kaduna and other states in Nigeria, the Melaye issue was adjunct.
For the avoidance of doubts, a look at Sections 88 of the 1999 Constitution says, “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, each House of the National Assembly shall have power by resolution published in its journal or in the Official Gazette of the Government of the Federation to direct or cause to be directed investigation into – (a) any matter or thing with respect to which it has power to make laws, and (b) the conduct of affairs of any person, authority, ministry or government department charged, or intended to be charged, with the duty of or responsibility for – (i) executing or administering laws enacted by National Assembly, and (ii) disbursing or administering moneys appropriated or to be appropriated by the National Assembly.”
The powers conferred on the National Assembly under the provisions of this section are exercisable only for the purpose of enabling it to;
(a) make laws with respect to any matter within its legislative competence and correct any defects in existing laws; and (b) expose corruption, inefficiency or waste in the execution or administration of laws within its legislative competence and in the disbursement or administration of funds appropriated by it.
What amazes me in this narrative remains the assertion of invaluable excuse by Bala in his write-up for the IGP’s refusal to attend the Senate summons. Even the IGP has never in any fora denied this absolute right of the Senate to invite him to its session, but his litany of excuses shows a flagrant disdain for a democratic institution. The Police Act quoted by Mr. Bala could never and will never over rule the Constitution that empowers the Senate to act as supervisor of the public trust in the executive and all its agencies.
The office of the IGP is the central management point for coalescing all operational, intelligence and administrative operations of the Nigeria Police Force, which are gathered by separate departments. The IGP’s main duty was to manage all these resources and employ them in designing an effective operational system. DIGs are administrative heads of different department of policing operations; hence IGP Operations cannot be in possession of as much information as the IGP. Common sense would have dictated that given the fact that a formal invitation was sent to the IGP, there should have been a letter from the IGP office to the Senate leadership on his schedules and possible date for his visit.
Disparagement for any organ of democracy is the way towards anarchy. We cannot continue to condone our public officials for doing the wrong things. The president should be made to understand basic tenets of a working democracy. When the executive continually ignores National assembly resolutions on major national issues, we have drawn the line towards abrogating the rule of law in Nigeria.
The distinguished senators on individual basis could be an issue, but the national assembly is an institution we must gather round and support. The executive should learn to appreciate and support the operations of the Senate and harken to it. Our democracy needs our concerted protection and not derision.