By Mike Odiegwu, The Nation Newspaper
A member of the House of Representatives, Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, has described the Senate under Senate President Ahmed Lawan as rudderless.
In an advertorial, Jarigbe said the problem of the ninth National Assembly is the Senate President whom he accused of desecrating the sanctity of the legislative institution through his actions and inactions.
Jarigbe said: “The seeming epileptic nature of the legislature in Nigeria cannot be unconnected to a compromised leadership in the Senate. Nigerians attack legislators over the state of the nation, for not playing its role, as an arm of government. The House of Representatives has its role, separate from the Senate.”
He explained that “the problem of the ninth National Assembly is the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan. It is not about protecting the ruling APC, because the APC’s House of Representatives members led by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, are also very protective of this government and the APC.”
He noted that “the Senate President’s shortcomings have nothing to do with loyalty to the APC-led government, but deliberate acts of compromise and incompetence.
On the recent decision by the 17 Southern governors calling for restructuring of the country, Jarigbe questioned the Senate President’s opposition, asking “How can we have a Senate President that is opposed to the restructuring of a country that is at its precipice? The governors of the South came together and unanimously took a position and Lawan thinks that it can be swept under the carpet? It is impossible.”
On the way forward, Jarigbe suggested that “all the governors in this country should meet with the leadership of the legislative arm, beyond party lines. This will provide for a proper interface. Let us remember that the governors of the south are a blend of APC, PDP and APGA. It is beyond Party lines. Let us be careful with sensitive issues.”
On the refusal by the Senate President to inaugurate him as the winner of the Cross River North Senatorial by-election despite a subsisting apex court ruling, Jarigbe said “The Senate President has also shown clearly that he abhors legally by allowing an illegal occupant of a Senate seat, to be attending plenary, after the Supreme Court has given a judgment that ousted him.
“A man is attending plenary with a Certificate of Return that has been invalidated by the issuance of a new Certificate of Return to a new Senator-elect by INEC, in line with a Judgment of Court. My greatest dismay, is the fact that, other Senators, of proven integrity, sit and watch the sanctity of the hallowed Chamber, desecrated.”
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