The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the National symbol of our democracy. The highest point in representative democratic institution in Nigeria. Despite many rancourous sessions, fraud cases and executive propelled challenges to the current Senate: many would agree with me that the Bukola Saraki led Senate has seen a sort of stability and individuality that not any senate has enjoyed in Nigerian history.
The fact that the leadership of the senate belonged to the same party as the Buhari Led Executive, most of analysts had expected a smoother and collaborative approach to governance. Unfortunately, the 8th senate has refused to followed laid-down expectations of the leadership of the All Progressive Congress (APC). The Party leadership lost out in elections of the senate and House of Assembly leadership. With the Senate President, Distinguished Senator Bukola Saraki alligning with the PDP Senator to execute a coup de grace that produced a PDP senator, Ekweremadu as Deputy Senate President. Equally, the alliance occasioned several PDP senators chairing several important committee of the senate.
Saraki and his executives have continued to survive on their political dexterity against a group of sharks and lions from the APC planning and orchestrating a change of leadership in the senate. Three years and several scars latter, the Saraki team has shown great tenacity at holding on to the senate leadership seat, but current attack was the worst challenge not to Saraki and his men but to the Nigerian democracy which we all must resist otherwise our hard fought growing democracy might be the victim.
Today’s attack on the Senate by the Ovie Omo-Agege led coalition supporting the PMB refusal to accent NASS amendment of the 2010 Electoral Act is an affront on our democracy which raises several issues that must be addressed immediately, or we are really in greater trouble as the 2019 elections approaches.
Security: In a country where we have nothing less than six different gun totting security agencies supposedly guarding and providing coverage for over 400 NASS VVIPs; That translating to over 400 security aide on premises of the National Assembly -not minding the Police and SSS Units deployed to secure the Institution on permanent basis- as at time of attack; the Mace of the Senate was carted away by a few hoodlum. This is a great challenge on our security agencies intelligence abilities, response time to incidence and understanding of their assigned duties. Who really was in-charge of the National Assembly security and protection details? Aside from running after their bosses, carrying bags for their wives, and assaulting the public, are there any real security functions for the security aides to politicians?
Discipline: The political class are getting loose in their acts in recent ties. apparent lack of concise political leadership occasioned by a senile and partial party leadership has created a culture of individual empires within the Nigerian political class. This lack of respect has been ascribed to the loose arrangement that midwives the APC and produced its leadership before the 2015 elections. Senator Omo-Agege (the reported leader of these hoodlum) has reached above his head and there is a need to caution such move immediately. Regardless of his angst, no-one has the right to rob the senate of the Federal Republic. The Nigerian elites have to forget which side this senator stands on and call him to order. He should be as a matter of national emergency, be arrested and stand trial for robbery and nothing lesser. He should be made to understand that the National assembly is not a village meeting in anyone’s village.
2019 Elections: More at risk is our commonwealth as a nation if great security risks like this are occurring at the eve of our national elections. While direct efforts should be concerted on the recorvery of the stollen Mace, a rethink of our security mix and strategic response during an attack should be undertaken as a matter of national emergency. The security of the nation is at risk and we must really call all to task in propagating a fool proof, thug and hoodlum free elections come February 2019.