The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, seems to have found a new pastime of making disclosures on those allegedly fueling challenges plaguing Nigeria.
Last week, in particular, he made a sweeping claim on those he considered behind secession calls in different parts of the country.
His disclosure has since got tongues wagging both within and outside the National Assembly (NASS).
Lawan’s sweeping claims
On April 3, Senator Lawan alleged that Nigerian elites, who make up the minority of the population, were the ones clamouring for the country’s breakup.
Speaking to journalists in his home town Gashua, he said: “I believe the majority of Nigerians believe that they should stay together – and I mean the ordinary Nigerians. These are people who believe in the unity of this country. But the elite is where the problem is, the elite will tell you, no, we have to secede. I believe that we should be fair to the multitude of Nigerians – those ordinary people of Nigeria. What they require is leadership.”
Lawan’s submission, a direct product of several calls for a renegotiation of the relationship between and among Nigeria’s federating units, demands a closer scrutiny.
In his claim that the elites are the ones agitating for disintegration of the country lies many questions begging for answers.
1. Who are the elites that Lawan was talking about?
2. Are they only members of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP)?
3. If they are not, is it possible that the detractors could also be members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)?
4. Or, was Lawan just running his mouth like he once alleged that drug barons were funding Boko Haram terrorists, kidnappers and bandits.
Without the facts, Lawan can only be said to be building worthless hypotheses with his unsubstantiated claims that serve no real purpose in fixing the rot bedeviling the country.
And, who to hold squarely responsible for the descent into near anarchy, grinding poverty but the leadership to which Lawan is a very visible member.
NASS MEMORY LANE
“Our President is not a man to be taken out anytime or anything that happens to him on sickness matter. He must attend our clinic here and we must make sure that we equip our hospital to the best of our ability so that any emergency will be first taken care of here before flying out if the need arises. It is already approved, N1.3 billion for State House Clinic?”
Answer: See end of post
On Ebonyi killings
The South-East Senate Caucus, on March 31, asked the then Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to immediately fish out those responsible for the recent killings of natives in Ebonyi State communities.
The leader of the Caucus and former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, in a statement, in Abuja, said: “This act is most unfeeling and gruesome; and we condemn it in totality. But more importantly, this must not go unpunished like others before it.”
While the Senators have done the needful, taking a step beyond the line of condemnation and ensuring that the newly appointed IGP, Usman Baba, goes after the criminals is something that the victims, and the affected communities earnestly yearn for.
Besides, it would not be out-of-place for the Senators to solicit the support of fellow lawmakers to build greater consensus and put sustained pressure on the executive to act swiftly and decisively in the mass killing of Nigerians.
On March 29, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Smart Adeyemi, said most airports in Nigeria were not viable.
Adeyemi stated this after an inspection of the Anambra State International cargo/passenger airport at Umuleri, in Anambra East Local Government Area of the State by a joint Senate/House of Representatives’ Committees on aviation.
He had said, among others: “But your Excellency (Governor Willie Obiano) I mustn’t fail to say that most airports in Nigeria are not viable. Most of our airports don’t get up to 500 passengers per annum.”
Adeyemi’s stand lends credence to widely held views that a significant number of airport projects in the country have been driven by political considerations rather than rational business sense.
Many have, indeed, accused the governors of most States in Nigeria of initiating the projects as legacy monuments to massage their ego.
It could be recalled that in 2016, the Federal Government had directed that airports must be made viable, and that 25% of their earnings should be paid into government purse.
Majority of the airports are yet to meet this basic target.
Answer: Danjuma La’ah
La’ah made the statement on November 5, 2020. It was in reaction to a proposed N1.3 billion budgeted for the State House Clinic. The budget was presented by State House Permanent Secretary, Tijani Umar, before the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs. La’ah represents Kaduna South Senatorial District of Kaduna State.
By John Chukwu…
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