The shame of a diminished Senate By Louis Odion, FNGE

American Fugitive Prince Buruji Kashamu aka Eso Jinadu….A Great Image of Nigeria Senate

Increasingly
obsessed with sleaze and scandals, it is unknown how many of our conniving
senators still have the presence of mind today to ponder history. Those who do
would perhaps have encountered the name Oliver Cromwell, the British
general, who turned England a
republic and taught it puritan values.
Convinced the parliament had transmuted to the biblical Sodom and Gomorrah by the middle of the 17th century, the new
lawgiver did not hesitate to dismiss the assembly. But not before he made a
searing speech at the House of Commons
on April 20, 1653, the echo of which
must have haunted the buccaneering lawmakers for the rest of their lives.

His words: “It is high time for me
to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your
contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a
factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary
wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like
Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money”.

Lord Oliver Cromwell….Disbanded the first Corrupt Senate house in history


“Is there a single virtue now
remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more
religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not bartered your
conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for
the good of the Commonwealth?”

Senate President Bukola Saraki, an ex-Failed Bank Director….Runs Nigeria’s Most Corrupt Senate?


“Ye sordid prostitutes have you not
defil’d this sacred place, and turn’d the Lord’s temple into a den of thieves,
by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious
to the whole nation; you were deputed here by the people to get grievances
redressed, are yourselves gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there, and
lock up the doors.
“In the name of God, go!”

Mr. Yakubu Dogara, Speaker Federal House of Representatives….Carries a handbag of corruption called ‘PADDING’


Well, the perfidies and iniquities Cromwell lamented in the Long
parliament in the 17th century Europe
would seem very much alive in Nigeria’s
upper legislative chamber today as personal interests are shamelessly
camouflaged as public cause.
To be fair, even in mature democracies often held up as model for the fledgling
ones, the legislative chamber is never always the best place to find angels.
But elsewhere, there is always a concerted effort to hide, to conceal the dirty
linen, out of respect for public sensibilities and shared commitment to
preserve the corporate integrity of that very space.

The Author, Louis Odion… Emotionally disturbed with the level of shame at the upper house

Certainly, nowhere is venality and rascality so glamorized as we are beginning
to see in the Nigerian Senate lately.

Senator Dino Melaye….An alleged thug turned Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Legal titan, Professor Itse Sagay, is the latest to be dragged into the
seedy arena.
The chair of the Presidential Advisory
Committee Against Corruption
(PACAC) Tuesday took an
unprecedented step by issuing the Senate an ultimatum to eat its words, failing
which he would slap it with a suit for daring to as much as contemplate
subpoenaing him over an earlier comment that the senators acted “childish and irresponsible”
by refusing to screen 27 Resident
Electoral
Commissioners over President Buhari’s retention of Ibrahim
Magu
as acting head of the Economic
and Financial Crimes Commission
(EFCC).

President Muhammadu Buhari….Emotionally scandalized with all the shenanigans in the National Assembly

Predictably, the law professor has meticulously outlined the futility of
Senate’s plan in a statement, citing legal authorities to back his argument.
Whether the Senate sticks to its guns and Sagay
resorts to court is, however, not the issue. Rather, what is invariably exposed
is the obsession of certain elements at the Senate to impose their own will on
the nation and the ridiculous length they will travel in pursuit of a personal
agenda.
To be sure, this writer is sold on the imperative of the independence of both
the legislature and the judiciary as the surest institutional valve against
executive tyranny.
But in the present circumstance, those deploying such fine argument in defense
of the ongoing Senate intransigence however suddenly turn dumb when reminded of
the underlining certainty of blackmail in the Magu blockade.

EFCC Ibrahim Magu; Nigerians loves him but the Senate hates him

By describing the senators as “childish
and irresponsible”, Sagay
could, in fact, be accused of being too
charitable. By harbouring a nest of former governors standing trial for massive
theft while in office, failed contractors, certificate impostors, a practising
bearded pedophile, a fugitive who jumped bail in London and one “drug
baron”
absconding from American
justice, Nigerians who choose to view the red chamber as presently constituted
as a den of shifty characters cannot therefore be accused of libel or
hyperbole.
It is, therefore, more in the interests of these “suspects” that a hard-tackling Magu is prevented from
continuing at the EFCC than the
advertised fixation on the so-called disabling memos by the DSS. To argue otherwise is to assume all
Nigerians are big fools.

Lawal Daura….the DSS boss who engineered EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu’s crisis at the senate

Last week, Ali Ndume, senator representing Borno South, was thrown out of
the chamber based on the report of the Ethics Committee that he had raised a
false alarm over the imported bullet-proof SUV
belonging to senate president Bukola Saraki and Dino Melaye’s counterfeit academic claims. In short, they seemed to
accuse Ndume of exaggeration. But
exaggeration, as Khalib Gibran tells us, is only a truth that has lost its
temper.
What’s more, Ndume also happened to
be Magu’s only vocal advocate in the
chamber. What a clever way to silence that dissent once and for all.
But without Ndume’s raising the red flag, how would we have known that an SUV imported for Saraki was cleared with forged documents? Without SaharaReporters
championing the public scrutiny of Ahmadu
Bello University
(ABU) records, how would we have known that loquacious Dino entered the school with “incomplete” result and spent
record eight years to graduate with a pass, yet again in the most shadowy
circumstances, in what would have taken even a poorly endowed student four
years to finish?

What Would a Jerry Rawlings like minded Leader would do with Mr. Saraki & Mr. Dogara?

And that the chain of “Harvard,
Oxford degrees”
he used to flaunt on social media were actually not
more than glossy letters acknowledging attendance of nothing more than a week
seminar?
For the temerity to impound on the highway the SUV meant for the use and comfort of the Senate president, our
almighty senators had summoned Customs boss Hameed Ali and, to exact
a pound of flesh, thought of the harshest humiliation possible for him. He
would not even be allowed a seat in the chamber until he wore the service
uniform.

Works Minister Babatunde Raji Fashola once told National Assembly men that constituency projects are to be under the supervisory of the ministry of Works’

Again, the Senate is diminished when the other side of Lawal Babachir’s grass-cutting scam is told. Sure, the yarn spurned
by the Secretary to the Federal Government to absolve himself of complicity in
the contract scandal is hard to believe.
Conversely, it does our senators no good either when Babachir’s apologists squealed that the Senate chose to blow the
bugle and, in fact, asked Buhari to fire the government scribe
only because he had insisted it was not the job of federal lawmakers to execute
constituency projects.

Honorable Abdulmumin Jibrin….Reveals the rotten culture of ‘Budget Padding’ in the Federal House before being suspended by Dogara & his men

To be fair, among the irredeemable in the red chamber are a few conscientious
senators. But as the upper legislature continues to hobble from one scandal to
another, they, unfortunately, are also vicariously liable and so lose respect
in the eyes of the Nigerian people.