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[OPINION] Abolish National Assembly It’s A Syndicate Scam! By Bayo Oluwasanmi

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 Bayo

“Moribund society creates its own morbid gravediggers. Revolt against injustice is not honorable but it is imperative.” – Karl Max

The indictment letter written to the National Assembly by the former President Olusegun Obasanjo triggers a fresh riot of words in and outside of the National Assembly. If you have been following the utter mess in the National Assembly, you won’t be surprised any more of new absurdities coming from the hollow chamber.

I have some quotes here to help you laugh, or at least, keep you from screaming in frustration. All you need to do is replace the word “Congress” with National Assembly in the quotes:

“Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress…” – Mark Twain

“In my years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a Congress.” – John Adams

“Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate; now what’s going to happen to us with both a Senate and a House?” – Will Rogers

“You can lead a man to Congress, but you can’t make him think.” – Milton Berle

I know that there are some few narrow-minded dinosaurs out there would say that abolishing the National Assembly – House and Senate – Houses of Corruption – and transferring the power to the President is unconstitutional. Well, there are not enough such people to worry about. After all, the Houses of Corruption have no regard for the Constitution.

For most part, the Houses of Corruption do things that are idiotic. It’s an assembly where people get to do things that are bad, wicked, and unconstitutional. A frat assembly for thieves. They spend money they don’t have. They pass laws that they more or less exempt themselves from. They enjoy staffs that tell them how wonderful they are. They lecture the rest of us how patriotic and upstanding they are, and so on. Things cannot look more perilous than this.

The CV of corruption and criminal dossier of majority of members in the National Assembly have scandalized our nation by its magnitude and gall. The magnitude of brazen robbery and corruption make the Houses of Corruption the world’s biggest criminal syndicate. For example, nine out of 109 Senators are entangled in criminal cases. With 10 per cent of members of the upper house in criminal proceedings, the composition of the National Assembly reads like FBI most wanted fugitives.

The National Assembly is a failed institution. It represents the world’s most corrupt and undemocratic legislature. It is the most cockeyed systems of minority rule, one that allows a tiny corrupt coterie to hold Nigerians ransom until their demands are met. Take the issue of exotic cars demanded by the brainless members. Why should we provide them loans or grants to buy cars on top of the outrageous salaries and other criminal allowances and perks they receive which is second to none in the world? One would expect a Nigerian version of the American Million Man March in the streets to protesting against tyranny of the privileged few. But the crowds aren’t there.

In Nigeria, members of the Houses of Corruption are paid when they are absent from congressional sessions or are on vacations, or traveling abroad, or doing something else not related to their congregational duties like when they cramped into bus loads to escort in a comedic circus one of their own – the President of Thieves of the Senate of Thieves – Bukola Mesujamba Saraki to the court. The National Assembly lurches along badly. The record shows. President Obasanjo’s letter to the out of whack legislators was timely, appropriate, well placed, courageous, and blunt. But I’ll go a step further: Abolish the National Assembly it’s a syndicate scam!

How can a National Assembly of crooks, thieves, con artists, looters, forgers really represent my interest and the interests of other Nigerians? The National Assembly is thoroughly and fully corrupt. It’s eating up billions of Naira of our economy through bogus salaries, allowances and corruption binge. The National Assembly is a dinosaur that cost Nigerians billions to operate. Never met people from hell – until now. With each legislative agenda that’s not relevant to the needs of the Nigerian people, the National Assembly continues to alienate Nigerians. With the absurdities of the absurd on display each day to the world, the National Assembly has moved is legislative offices to hell in close proximity to like minded zombies.

It is good to question the institution that’s supposed to serve the people. Can anything good come out of the National Assembly? Not really. Nigeria is in a dire strait. It’s a nation where the wisest are perplexed and the boldest staggered. The National Assembly has proven to be an instrument of conspiracy. It is known for its fetish secrecy.  A democratic government that worth its salt must make openness a regular feature of governance. Under the auspices of openness, no evil can continue.

The National Assembly is a disappointing aberration. For 16 years, the country has remained in ruins.  No sector is healthy. For 16 years, the National Assembly didn’t give a damn about the state of the nation: no infrastructure, no water to drink, no electricity, no industries, no safety and security, no standard education system, no hospitals, no housing, no criminal justice system. Nothing, absolutely nothing, you can point to that the National Assembly has accomplished other than pass appropriation bills that would fatten their pockets.

My belief that we should abolish the National Assembly because its a syndicate scam may seem too radical. But can any Nigerian tell me in what way has the National Assembly benefited this country since Nigeria returned to democratic rule 16 years ago?  Only a stranger from hell would disagree that the popularity and the respect of this institution is at an all time low. The National Assembly of thieves and thugs has essentially neutered the essence of a representative democracy.

So, let’s shut down Abuja, make it a museum city. Get rid of the National Assembly and replace it with a true representative democracy. We each have a vote in democracy. Let’s vote on issues important to us. We’ll vote directly through a plebiscite on issues.  We’ll authorize the President to initiate bills on our behalf. The President and a new set of Supreme Court Justices will provide checks and balances on anything bizarre and outrageous.

The scrapping of National Assembly will be an event of historical collapse. The House and Senate cost tens of billions to operate and maintain. We should be angry. It’s taxation without representation. The National Assembly do not represent us. These thieves get elected every year automagically. We the people should form the legislative branch through direct participation and voting. See, we voted them all in there, they serve their own interest, they loot our treasury, and throw those who elected them under the bus.

We can do without the National Assembly. Right now, there is no proof that we have a National Assembly, hence there is no need for it. We’re better off without the National Assembly. Nigerians don’t feel its impact. Without National Assembly, there will be no constituency allowance, no wardrobe allowance, no furniture allowance, no concubine allowance, no shoe allowance, no transportation allowance, no housing allowance, no sick days allowance, no solidarity allowance for its criminal members, and other primitive allowances. They are paid for doing nothing. The last time the National Assembly worked for its pay was when they shut down the Senate for a circus that accompanied their President, Bukola Mesujamba Saraki to the criminal court.

Ooh, I remember another occasion when the Senators earned their pay for a day’s job. That was when three social media terrorists: Bukola Mesujamba Saraki, Dino Melaye, and Ibn Na’Allah unleashed their vitriolic nonsense in support of the anti-social media bill.

We’ll do better without the National Assembly. It will take away from the elite few the power to spend money, for they spend money which is not their own. Nigerians who pay taxes should be the ones to decide when and how money is spent. We must take government out of the hands of the few, for it corrupts them when they’re given free rein. They spend our money with reckless abandon and without real concern for our people. Records show the National Assembly is not about the welfare of Nigerians but about the greed of the ruling few.

Nigeria is in total ruins with the National Assembly acting on behalf of Nigerians. Nigeria will continue to be in complete ruins if we take a back seat to the arrogance, insensitivity, wickedness, self preservation, looting, and self-serving few in the National Assembly. We cannot trust the National Assembly in running our country, for too few hands rule over too many lives. The National Assembly is power drunk and obdurately blind to the fact that the power they hold to legislate and to vote was given to them by the people. We the people must be in charge.

The National Assembly has turned Nigeria into a wilderness. A wilderness is never pleasant. It tends to be dry, barren, lifeless, and uncomfortable. You tend to get thirsty there and find yourself yearning to be in a place of rest and refreshment. Nigeria is a paradise turned wilderness nation run down by the thieves in the National Assembly.

The National Assembly has become a national liability. We find ourselves in such extreme distress. We’re shoved to-and-fro. The National Assembly is inefficient, inept, self-serving, corrupt, and a spendthrift. It has totally lost the respect and trust of  the Nigerian people. “We the people,” President Dwight D. Eisenhower reminds us, “elect leaders not to rule, but to serve.” The National Assembly is the world’s most useless and tyrannical legislature.

The National Assembly needs to go!

bjoluwasanmi@gmail.com

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Opinion

Who Will Explain Coronavirus To Buhari?

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Coronavirus (COVID-19), an exorable doom, threatens life on the planet. It is exorable because it is conquerable. This explains why world leaders are taking the charge to combat this ominous apocalypse. It is a time for leadership from the fore-end; a time when citizens must hear their leaders speak to them; see them take action, making assurances and fulfilling those promises. The counsel, consolation and firm statement of a leader is imperative at this moment.

In Canada, Justin Trudeau, prime minister, despite being in self-isolation and his wife battling the virus after contracting it at a conference in the UK, is leading the fight against this dreaded disease from the fore. He is providing regular updates of the efforts of his government to roll back this scourge, listening and speaking to citizens.

In a popular broadcast on March 13, Justin spoke to citizens of Canada announcing measures to relieve the financial stress brought on by the pandemic on Canadians.

“We do not want any Canadian to have to worry about whether or not they’re going to be able to pay their rent, whether or not they’re going to be able to buy groceries, or care for their kids or elderly family members. We need to make sure that Canadians have the options and the ability to follow the best public health advice and keep themselves safe,” he said.

In the UK, Boris Johnson, prime minister, leads the struggle against coronavirus. He provides updates, alongside health experts, on the measures his government is taking to tackle the spread of the disease. And in the US, Donald Trump is not shying away from speaking to Americans on the virus.

As a matter of fact, President Muhammadu Buhari’s lapses are often easily dismissed by his supporters or by Nigerians who do not know better. Some of them say, ‘’ Why must the president speak when the minister of health and the NCDC DG are already doing that?” This is a contemptible rationalisation of incompetence. Are they suggesting the president lacks the capacitance to understand the issues?’’

Really, I surmise the president has been walled off the ‘’candid cameras’’ over the years by his handlers – not just now – because he lacks the intellectual propensity to understand and discuss incisive issues. The last presidential media chat he held was in 2015 and it was a woeful outing. Also, his non-choreographed media interviews have been abysmal to say the least.

The truth is the unfiltered Buhari is a vacuously gaffing one. On October 14, 2016, standing beside Angela Merkel, German chancellor, Buhari said his wife, Aisha, ‘’belonged in the kitchen and the other room’’, when he was asked to comment on the first lady’s criticism of his government.

On April 18, 2018, at the Commonwealth Business Forum in London, the president said the young citizens of the country he leads are lazy.

“More than 60 per cent of the population is below 30, a lot of them haven’t been to school and they are claiming that Nigeria is an oil producing country, therefore, they should sit and do nothing, and get housing, healthcare, education free,” he said during a panel appearance with world leaders at the forum.

In a February 2016 interview with UK Telegraph, Buhari dropped another clanger. He said the young citizens of his country have a knack for criminality and should not be granted asylum in the UK.

With the Buhari experience, it is indubitable that Nigerians must place a high premium on education — not just certificate – in choosing their leaders. The cost of electing leaders who do not have the intellectual grit to understand and handle matters is far too high.

The senate has asked the president to speak to citizens on this threat, and Nigerians are also asking the president to speak to them. This is an abnormality. Citizens must not beg to hear from their president. But because it is Buhari involved here, we have to beg and even excuse the crass inefficiency and vacuity.

Perhaps, the president is still trying to get a hang of it. I think he has ‘’capable handlers’’ who can break it down to him in ABC.

Mr President, speak to your citizens. The words of a leader are more resounding and assuring than the blandishment of proxies.

PS: Let’s follow all health protocol as advised by the NCDC.

• Wash your hands regularly with soap under running water.

• Cover your mouth and nose properly with handkerchief or tissue paper when sneezing and/or coughing. You may also cough into your elbow if a handkerchief is not available.

• Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

• Avoid self-medication, report to the nearest health facility when you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms.

Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and journalist.

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Opinion

Sanusi: Once Upon An Emir, By Wole Olaoye

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We are all potential Ex-es: ex-student, ex-director, ex-lecturer, ex-senator, ex-governor, ex-president, ex-oba, ex-emir…. The inimitable Zik famously reminded us when he had a spat with Ukpabi Asika that Ex was an inevitable prefix for any human being as was evidenced by the fact that a certain young man who would someday become an ex-Administrator, was the son of an ex-postmaster!

So, what’s so apocalyptic about Sanusi Lamido Sanusi joining the ranks of ex-potentates? Nothing? Everything! Don’t ever think that bell you are hearing is tolling for the former Emir of Kano. No. It could be signalling the beginning of a comprehensive demystification of traditional rulership by plebeians holding tenured political power. In centuries past, no plebeian messed with the traditional institution. The halo of nobility, the sheer vastness of a prince’s hereditary powers, rights and privileges, made the subject know his place.

Yesterday’s subjects are today’s political sovereign. They make no pretences to sophistication. They load a gun to kill a spider. When you dethrone a monarch and then deprive him of his liberty, forcefully banishing him to a place without electricity and potable water, you are playing god. If it was all a public relations Olympics, the calm dignity with which Sanusi handled the humiliation made people all over the world admire his chutzpa and hand him the gold medal. A

Life and its many puzzles! Why is it that for some men and women, “their sleep is taken away unless they cause some to fall”? What do you do about an ego that knows no satiation? As the Preacher in the Good Book timelessly says, “All the rivers flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full… The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear content with hearing… there is nothing new under the sun”.

The Yoruba have a poem that says just that. “The horse struts and frets and then dies. Being a veteran walker is no immunity to getting lost. Nothing new under the sun. I’ve seen kings reduced to slaves; and servants who mounted the throne. Haven’t my eyes beheld both river and sea? Haven’t I seen a hunchback on spindly legs, and a midget climbing a ladder to add condiment to the soup pot? Tell me, has anyone ever started a building from the roof?

The new Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, is a cousin of his predecessor. As royal intrigues go, when the dust is settled the sword will be sheathed and brother will embrace brother. That is the way of princes. Eventually, outsiders will realise that all they can ever be in palace politics is outsiders. Our very own Nobel prize winning Kongi was not amused by the scandalous extra-judicial detention of the former emir.

He put the emir’s travail down to his progressive stance: “Emir Sanusi was a one-man EFCC sanitisation squad in the banking system, taking on the powerful corrupters of that institution…. “Most important of all, and most pertinently for the nation, Sanusi was one of the early warning voices against religious extremism whose bitter fruits the nation is currently reaping….

The doors of enlightened society remain wide open to Muhammad Sanusi. As for his current crowing Nemesis, a different kind of gates remain yawning to receive him when, as must, the days of governorship immunity finally come to an end.” Support for Sanusi is not limited to radical voices.

Veteran technocrat Alhaji Ahmed Joda penned a panegyric in support of the ex-emir: “The purpose of this letter to you is not to commiserate with you, because I know that you must have known the likely consequences  of the principled position you have taken. The reality we must face in Northern Nigeria is that the evil forces of feudalism that have kept us in bondage for so long are still there and fighting. You have been the only voice that has been telling us this truth….”

It is easy to kick a man given a pin-fall by fate, or piss on the grave of a fallen warrior. Dead men don’t bite. Real friends show up when you are in life’s valley. Say what you will, I would rather have a friend like Nasir el Rufai when the chips are down. In the midst of all the turmoil, conspiracy theories have surfaced to the effect that the dethronement is but a political sleight-of-hand to propel Sanusi to Nigeria’s presidency in 2023. Caution! Let’s separate the issues. Political succession is totally different from fundamental human rights. Sanusi is not my next president.

My views on power rotation are well documented. The ex-emir will go down in history as a champion for the rights of the poorest of the poor. He advocated for a new Northern Nigeria where old backward practices such as the almajiri system and irresponsible parenting will be abandoned. His was the voice crying out in the desert, lift my people up from the cesspit of penury. The attempt to demonise him after dethronement through various allegations, including one on religious fundamentalism, is dead on arrival. The same fate will befall the vilification of El Rufai on account of his loyalty to Sanusi. Please quote me: Modern challenges can never be resolved with a resort to medieval solutions.

Christopher Hitchens’ Q&A may someday apply to the ex-Kings College boy who’s now an ex-king.

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Opinion

Sanusi Dethronement: The North Only Beheads The Bearers Of Truth

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By Fredrick Nwabufo

Northern Nigeria is prostrate. It is the axis of uglies – banditry, insurgency, kidnapping, diseases, ignorance, and drug abuse. Alas! The region’s elite are aware of the problems, but look away because the disequilibrious status quo sustains them. What is petrifying, however, is that they maul and clobber at anyone who spits the truth in their faces.

I think, this is the mortal sin of Muhammad Sanusi II, emir of Kano – beyond his politics with Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano.

But wait!

The World Bank says 87 percent of Nigeria’s poor are in the north. And that while poverty is plummeting in the south, it is rocketing in the upper region.

READ: Dethroned Sanusi Will Be Under House Arrest – Ganduje’s Aide

“Poverty in the northern regions of the country has been increasing especially in the north-west zone. Almost half of all poor lived in the north-west and the north accounts for 87 percent of all poor in the country in 2016,’’ the Bretton Woods institution said in its report entitled ‘Advancing social protection in a dynamic Nigeria’ in February 2020.

In August, 2019, the federal government revealed that 1,460 people were killed by bandits in seven months. And that the north-west is the worst-hit by this bloody enterprise. The killings have steadied, expanding in proportion and execution in the region.

In his accustomed manner, Sanusi recently vocalised these depressing figures of retrogression in the north – as regards the World Bank report — earning himself praise from progressive Nigerians and reprimand from the usual suspects — those stuck in the cesspit of bigotry.

Also, the gadfly emir of Kano, whom I regard as the John the Baptist of the north for his vociferous condemnation of this status quo, is alone in his advocacy against irresponsible polygamy, Al-majiri and child marriage – practices the northern elite espouse. He is the face of a progressive north; the northerner of the new age.

As a matter of fact, on different occasions he had complained about the northern elite whom he said wanted to silence him for speaking the truth about the region.

‘’Our colleagues and compatriots among the elite do not like statistics. Numbers are disturbing. I recently gave a speech in which I said the north-east and north-west of Nigeria are the poorest parts of the country. This simple statement of fact has generated so much heat; the noise has yet to die down. The response to this speech has been a barrage of personal attacks and insults aimed at silencing any voices that dare shine the light on the society to which we are saying Bring Back our Girls,’’ he said at a lecture held to commemorate the Chibok girls abduction.

READ: Sanusi Breaks Silence After Dethronement As Emir Of Kano (Video)

And I guess they can only take the throne away from him but cannot take away his royalty in the community of decent humans. Really, I believe the emir would rather give up his throne than be gagged by the shareholders of iniquity.

To say the least, Sanusi’s dethroning was not unexpected. Ganduje had always shown his hand in this plot. Really, the emir of Kano never hid his dislike for him. But what is there to like about a governor who was allegedly caught on camera stuffing wads of dollars into his babariga? In the build-up to the 2019 governorship election in the state, the emir was not shy in expressing his disapproval to Ganduje’s candidature.

So, Ganduje, who considers Sanusi a ‘’loud mouth’’, plotted a bitter revenge after he was re-elected. He had moved to remove the emir in 2018 but for the intervention of some ‘’higher powers’’. However, he whittle-down the power of the emir by creating new emirates from his domain. He was not done though. He rustled-up allegations, set up probe panels – all in the desperation to embarrass Sanusi.

But Sanusi was still talking.

Really, one of the most abrasive places to exist is in the circle of non-progressives. You talk different, think different or act different, they will feel threatened. Even when you try to clown around; the aboriginal clowns will still feel threatened because you do not look the part.

I think, Emir Sanusi is light-years away from the people he is dealing with in Kano government. He is needed more at the top echelon of government where he can contribute more meaningfully to the development of Nigeria.

Northern Nigeria is not ready for an emir like Sanusi. He is ahead of his time.

Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and journalist.

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