Last week, the Senate Minority Whip, Chukwuka Utazi’s sponsored bill titled, “Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act Amendment Bill and for other matters Connected Therewith 2022,” which sought to limit the power of President Muhammadu Buhari to terminate the appointment of the
Chairman of the anti-graft agency, scaled second reading at the Senate.
We selected two other stories from the National Assembly (NASS), for your reading delight.
1.Curtailing presidential powers
On December 13, Senator Utazi, who led the debate for the bill at the plenary, noted that the EFCC, just like the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Commission (ICPC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), should have security of tenure for its headship.
“One of the thrusts of this amendment is the issue of security of tenure for the executive chairman of the commission. For other anti-graft agencies created through the legislative instrumentality…the National Assembly ensured that the headship had the security of tenure by ensuring that their appointments and removal, as the case may be, were subject to the confirmation of the Senate,” he said.
The proposed amendment, though well intentioned, may have been late in coming. The attendant abuses inherent in the wobbly structures of the anti-graft agencies had been too glaring.
Will the National Assembly see the changes through or is this another wild goose chase? While the answers may be farfetched, what is evident is that succeeding presidents will continue to convert the anti-corruption agencies into attack dogs unless the appropriate checks are put in place.
NASS MEMORY LANE
“The last security summit ended with some recommendations for the government to act upon. It’s sad that no implementation has taken place. Our over-reliance on kinetic measures to deal with insecurity are not working.”
Answer: See end of post
Two other stories
2.Omo-Agege’s half-measured preachings
The Deputy Senate President and All Progressives Congress (APC), gubernatorial candidate in Delta State, Ovie Omo-Agege, on December 16, cautioned opponents against harassing the party’s voters during the 2023 elections or, face the full wrath of the law.
Omo-Agege issued the warning when he led the APC ward-to-ward campaign trail to Warri South Local Council of the state.
“Nobody can scare you. Nobody can molest you. There will be adequate security for everyone. And by God’s grace, we shall win,” he said, among others.
Omo-Agege’s warning reflects the possibility of thuggery during the elections next year. It, therefore, raises the need for security operatives to be more prepared in dealing with any form of attacks on voters in the state, and the country at large.
He, perhaps, would have been more statesmanly by preaching tolerance on the part of all stakeholders, instead of whipping up sentiments capable of inflaming an already bad situation. This certainly is the bane of Nigeria’s political culture.
3. Ibrahim’s bold move
On December 15, the House of
Representatives moved against the construction of a second federal hospital in President Buhari’s home town, Daura, Katsina State.
Hon. Babangida Ibrahim, who represents Malumfashi/Kurfi Federal Constituency of Katsina State, during plenary, moved a motion against the plan.
Ibrahim said: “The interest of the large populace in Katsina State will be adversely affected if the sited Federal Medical Centre is left in Daura despite the presence of the Air Force Reference Hospital and its geographical proximity to Katsina.”
Ibrahim’s comments are courageous and do speak truth to power. Siting two federal hospitals in one town smacks of greed and injustice to other sections of the community.
The fact, though, is that politics is an interest-driven game, and largely defined by excessive intrigues.
Ibrahim may do well to fall back on the time-tested lobby strategy to push his agenda across. Anything less may mean that the president’s overriding influence, through his constituent’s representative, would seal the project in favour of the Daura community.
Answer: Abdulrasaq Namdas
Namdas made the statement on August 10, 2022, while speaking on Channels TV programme, Politics Today. He represents Jada/Ganye/MayoBelwa/Toungo Federal Constituency of Adamawa State.
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