Our expectations of 9th NASS – FCT residents
After the June 11, 2019 National Assembly internal elections which saw the emergence of Senator Ahmed Lawan as Senate President and Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nigerians from all backgrounds in the FCT are voicing their renewed expectations. In view of its importance to the survival of the nation’s democracy, Nigerians who spoke to Ere-Ebi AGEDAH and Williams ABAH expressed their desire for harmony between the legislature and other arms of government. Excerpts:
JOHN OGWUCHE: Much is expected of the 9th National Assembly. We don't want to see a repeat of the disharmony between the executive and legislature that we saw in the 8th Assembly.
As to whether the leadership of the National Assembly will have divided loyalty, I think there is need for them to strictly adhere to the rules of operation of both chamber of the National Assembly.
If APC members subject themselves to the whims and caprices of the executive and fail to consider the interest of the masses, and the views of minority members of the National Assembly, there will always be controversy between them.
Whatever decision they take has an impact on the lives of all Nigerians. Hence the need for them to work together irrespective of political affiliation so that they can move the country to the next level.
VICTOR OKPEH: as required by law, the National Assembly must maintain a high standard. If you take a critical look at their legislative activities in the last assembly, you will discover that they were always in conflict with the executive.
It is sad that the leaders of this country deliberately refuse to obey the law even if they are custodians of it. My fear when I saw the list of the new leaders of the both chambers of the National Assembly was the influence of the presidency in the activities of the legislature.
If you check all those who were elected into the exalted position of the both chambers, you will realise that they are anointed men of the president. Most of them contested for the same posts in 2015, but they didn't succeed because they members of the National Assembly as at that time stood their ground to elect their leaders by themselves without the influence of the executive.
The executive should respect the principle of separation of power to allow the legislature to do their work independently.
MARYAM AUDU: My expectations are enormous. I want to see a National Assembly that will work in harmony with the executive. The 8th Assembly did not do well in that direction. Throughout that period, there was a battle for supremacy between the executive and the legislature. This was fuelled by members of the APC who felt that the leadership of the National Assembly was not in their favour.
APC as a ruling party should put their house in order. The situation where the bill sent to the National Assembly always meet a brick wall, due to disagreement among party members does not in any way reflect the practice of true democracy.
We all know what happened when the name of Ibrahim Magu was sent to the Senate for confirmation as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. The Senate refused to confirm him because of allegations against him. Yet the president retained him in acting capacity. The president should respect the principle of separation of powers so they can work in harmony.
VICTOR OROYI: With the emergence of the preferred candidates of APC, my expectation is low. I see the National Assembly doing the bidding of the executive arm without critical and rigorous law-making process. The National Assembly is the people's voice which needs to be heard and not silenced. The effort of APC as a party is to reduce friction between the legislative and executive arms.
The beauty of democracy is the harmonization of divergent views between the minority and majority on any issue. Clearly, the APC has a perfect excuse for its failure to meet the expectation of the people after making promises to improve the economy, security and fight against corruption that brought them to power in 2015.
The 9th session of the National Assembly should not concentrate on passing large number of bills but only those that will have direct bearing on the people especially lifting the over 100 million citizens out of poverty. Nigerians are yearning for improvement of their living conditions in rural areas.
The National Assembly should formulate laws that will improve the present power situation, healthcare, and education in the rural communities while opening up the political space for free and fair election process in the country.
MORAYO OGUNKOYA: For the new members, it should be about making impact and not making money. The newly-elected members of the National Assembly should legislate in accordance with what the constitution entrusts to them and exercise their duty with the greatest show of patriotism, humility and respect for the rule of law because no one is above the law.
DORCAS EBUARA: My expectations are in the form of a prayer to our new members to consider the plight of the masses. Do not let four years pass by without doing something meaningful that will outlive you, a milestone for your predecessors.
Also, I hope the issue of the budget can be looked into because it is not being implemented yet, and organisations are on standstill thus slowing down our economy