OPINION: The fraud that was Retreat on Constitution ReviewArticles/Opinion, Featured, Featured Contributors/Columnists, Latest News Monday, June 20th, 2016
Eureka! I found the answer! I am the genius who found a simple answer to all the needs and problems of the National Assembly. Just see, what the senate-looters and legislooters are looking for is right there in Abuja. It is right there for them to take: the Nigerian treasury. Bukola Saraki and his co-travelers should quickly return to the filthy floor of the house, call a joint session and package a new law that immediately transfer the control of the Nigerian treasury to the office of the Senate President. It is a simple solution to all the wants, needs, desires, life pension, auto and aero procurement, and many more wishes of its members.
Why go to Lagos for a two-day retreat with the title ‘Towards Ensuring Governance Accountability in Nigerian Federalism’ when they can remain in the National Assembly and still achieve the same goal, or even greater goal that will ensure they no longer have to ask for funds, but just take, take, take and take. Let me suggest that all senate-looters and legislooters be allowed to enjoy life pensions, life wages and allowances, constituency offices, domestic staff, medical tourism to Europe and America, a fleet of SUVs for life and access to new brides every year. Some there are so used to unhindered access to treasuries – either in a bank, state or party offices, so why should they now be denied control of treasury at the National Assembly? Why must they be subject to a budget or be held back from having access to funds now that they are top executives of the legislative chambers?
It is a shame that most of our people do not recognize that denying the presiding officers of the National Assembly – in fact the whole members of the assembly – a life pension is in itself hindering governance accountability in Nigeria. Accountability is very important and we must all focus our attention and rally round the National Assembly to ensure full accountability in governance. Without this kind of accountability what can the National Assembly do? Actually, what can anyone do without accountability in governance? The uninformed among us, including Senator Oluremi Tinubu, do not know that the two houses will be helpless, hopeless and useless without this kind of governance accountability. We all need to learn one or two things from the likes of Ike Ekweremadu and Stella Oduah (still a free woman, BMW and all?) about how to make government money work for you. Stella Oduah and her BMWs are likely to bring about new knowledge in government procurement and accountability studies. We shall await her paper on this matter.
I can only imagine how angry the people of the other states of the federation are about the two-day retreat. Shouldn’t the retreat be rotated among the states? But how can the retreat be rotated among the states without proper accountability that will include the procurement of at least 10 Boeing 747 Executive jets that will ease the travel and movement of our senate-looters and legislooters and a fleet of SUVs for the road travels? We must learn to be accountable as a nation by equalizing the states’ access to the retreat and Constitution Review program of the Senate. We must follow the champions of accountability in governance and learn at their feet. Each member of the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Constitution Review should be assigned a Boeing 737jet to make their task easier and their trips around the states smooth and fast. They should all enjoy immunity for life, and that should bring to an end the troubles of a dodgy senate president who has vowed and insisted that he was ready for prosecution but never stopped shopping for ways to stop his trial. Once governance accountability is introduced to the way we the people are being governed there will no longer be any fear of the EFCC or the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
Mark my word, accountability will not be complete without the dismantling of the CCT. I agree with Senate Committee and their co-travelers at the Senate and those at the House of Looters that every senate-looter and legislooter should be allowed direct access to the treasury. The solution is that the treasury be transferred to the office of the Senate President. With accountability embraced and the nation’s funds in the firm control of accountability wizards, we should all be able to lay back and take a long rest knowing that all our problems are solved and taken care of, and our money will never go to buying private homes in the UK or the United States, or used to create offshore accounts in Panama.
Babs Ajayi, Babsajayi@yahoo.com
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