On February 17, the House of Representatives called on government at all levels to provide body-worn cameras for security operatives, including the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Custom Service, Police, and other paramilitary agencies in order to check their excesses.
We tracked two other stories from the National Assembly (NASS), for your reading delight.
The House of Representatives made the call sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Chinedu Martins.
“The House is cognizant that the body cameras will keep the security operatives in check, considering the massive allegations of human rights violation by security operatives and lack of evidence to indict them,” Martins said among others.
The House resolution is, no doubt, brilliant. However, a major concern is the willingness of the government to commit to executing such a laudable project designed to hold men of the armed forces accountable for their actions.
With a poor history of underfunding the Nigerian military and other sister organizations, coupled with endemic corruption in the services, it is left to be seen how the entire dream pans out.
At best, the House resolution may remain an instrument just on paper as the executive has shown an increasing disregard for the legislature, whose leadership is guilty of acting as lapdogs of the presidency.
NASS MEMORY LANE
“Although the country is making attempts to take giant strides in its pursuit of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), these efforts and whatever achievements have been recorded could be quickly eroded if health security is not prioritised. This is obvious in the COVID-19 pandemic, and other disease outbreaks that have greatly impacted the health system negatively.”
Answer: See end of post
Two other stories
Developing coastal communities
The House of Representatives, on February 16, charged the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on the poor state of infrastructure in all the coastal communities in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Lagos, Imo, Ogun, Delta, Rivers States among others.
This was sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Kolade Akinjo in which he said, “Despite being surrounded by water, coastal communities in Nigeria do not have access to potable water and are left to use water polluted with saline or crude oil or even human excrement…thereby exposing them to diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea to name a few.”
The tale of underdevelopment in the coastal communities is not new. And, this is amidst reports of government interventions in the communities.
Again, it bears repetition to state that the contributions of the legislature by way of law-making, oversights and appropriations come to nought unless the executive is willing to implement.
Incidentally, Nigeria’s federating units are just as guilty as the central government, with a pack of visionless Governors that have shown little acumen for harnessing local resources for societal development.
It must be said, therefore, that the burden of leadership rests squarely on those driving governance at both the state and federal levels. Would they be considerate and patriotic enough to ensure good governance, transparency and accountability? The trend suggests little Hope.
On February 16, the Deputy-Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, boasted that the All Progressives Congress (APC) will take over Delta State in 2023. He said this during the inauguration of the State APC executives, at the party secretariat in Asaba, the State capital.
“Our goal now is to defeat Okowa (Delta State Governor), and whoever he is planning to impose on the people of Delta,” he said.
Omo-Agege’s rhetorics are not out of place, as such are common in structured democratic settings. The expectations, however, are that such pursuits should be seen to be within accepted democratic norms and devoid of violence.
This argument becomes tenable in the light of Omo-Agege’s suspect links to an incident in the Senate which involved the use of armed thugs to disrupt proceedings.
Answer: Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe
Oloriegbe made the statement on May 20, 2021, at a media briefing in Abuja. He is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, and represents Kwara Central Senatorial District.
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