The Deputy-President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, last week, took what appeared an indirect swipe at the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
This follows his charge to Nigerians to avoid making the mistake of electing a leader, in 2023, who will not unite the country.
His speech, and two other stories have since generated conversations in the polity. Sit back and read on.
The Deputy-Speaker of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, on August 21, urged Nigerians to elect leaders who will unite the country in 2023.
Omo-Agege, in a speech read by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yomi Odunga, at an event in Lagos said: “Nigeria seems to be more divided along ethnic and religious divisions. This is why we need leaders who are committed to a strong united and corruption-free Nigeria. Nigeria needs selfless leaders who will improve the economy, create jobs, provide adequate security and turn their backs on ethnic and religious divisions.”
Omo-Agege may have unwittingly taken shots at the Buhari administration. Specifically, it is more of an endorsement of the accusations around mismanaging the country’s unity, falling short on security provision, and messing up the economy, among other fallings.
Ahead 2023, was Omo-Agege merely sounding politically correct for the purpose of pleasing his audience? This is, perhaps, so.
As a top political shot, and a member of the ruling APC, his admittance speaks to a sickening departure from the promises made by the administration.
Sadly too, it offers a glimpse of hopelessness as the country continues to limp in its journey to nationhood. Indeed, a bigger concern is that the ruling party may have perfected its plans to retain power through manipulations, as speculated in some public circles.
NASS MEMORY LANE
“I did not force myself on my people and therefore somebody out there, especially the one that did not elect me cannot force me out because I didn’t come in by force. I came in by ballot, not by gun, not by placard, I have posters, not placards. So, if for example, I am short of performance and my constituents feel that they do not have time to waste, there is clear-cut process by which they can ask me to be recalled.
Answer: See end of post
Two other stories
Lawan’s power tips
On August 19, Senate President Ahmed Lawan, issued tips on how the All Progressives Congress (APC) can retain power beyond 2023.
Addressing APC Youth Lobby Committee in Abuja, Lawan stressed that the ruling party controls the Federal Government, two chambers of the NASS, majority of the States, including State Houses of Assembly.
“…We must continue to show the best examples on how good governance is enshrined and sustained and, of course, at the council levels. If we do that, we will be in power for as long as God wants us to be, and that will be a very long time,” he said.
Lawan’s submissions are understandable. Having tasted the sweetness of power, strategising to retain it is only a natural action.
However, Lawan must admit that having control of most political offices across the country is no guarantee to retaining power. The experience of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the 2015 general election, provides enough example.
The President of the Senate must come to the realisation that his party has lost so much political capital in the past years, and that only a semblance of good governance, spiced with justice, equity and fairness can guarantee its hold on power.
For now, 2023 outcomes remain a thing of conjecture.
Women in politics
Senate Minority leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, on August 21, called for more participation of women in governance.
At a virtual event hosted by the Nkata Ndi Inyom Igbo, a socio-cultural group and think-tank for Igbo women, Abaribe, among others, said: “…With each election cycle, we have less and less. The reason why there are fewer women now, I do not know. Maybe people are getting more conservative, or the party in power is far more conservative than the previous one. If we continue along the line that we’re going, we will get to a point where there will be no woman in the senate.”
Abaribe’s concerns are well-felt. Indeed, it has since attracted discussions among politically conscious Nigerians.
Some had attributed the low number of women in political participation to financial constraints, cultural and religious values, marital commitment, and violent nature of politics in the country.
Abaribe should do well to lead from the front in the sensitization campaigns that will see women come out from their cocoons, and vie for political offices like their male counterparts.
Nonetheless, he has the option of proposing a bill that would allocate a given number of seats at the NASS to the women.
No doubt, women would amount to valuable assets in offices as their input in managerial affairs remain enviable. Can Abaribe play the big role in reawakening the political participation in women? Time will, surely.
Answer: Senator Ali Ndume
Ndume made the statement, on April 26, 2016, against a protest by “Occupy National Assembly” group, calling for the resignation of the then President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki. Ndume represents Borno South, and he is currently the Senate Committee Chairman on Army.
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