If any lawmaker felt an immediate sense of relief over the sack of Nigeria’s military chiefs last week, it was Senator Ali Ndume.
He is the Senate Committee Chairman on the Nigerian Army, and had been the arrow head for the clamour of radical changes in the execution of the Boko Haram war.
Ndume, a native of Borno had often told the story of how he had been unable to visit his homestead since 2014.
His charge to the new Service Chiefs was not unexpected. This, and other stories made the National Assembly (NASS) tick in the past week.
On January 27, Senator Ndume called on President Muhammadu Buhari to give newly appointed Service Chiefs a timeline to defeat terrorism and banditry in the country.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja, he said: “In fact, I have been advocating and I am still advocating that now that there is a new set of Service Chiefs, their requirements should be front-loaded, that is to say, if they require so, so amount to execute the war, they should be exempted from quarterly allocations and be given their money upfront.
“And once the government does that, I suggest that the President should now be sitting with them for the first or second time, give them a timeline that ‘Look! You want this, I have given you, what else?’ If they say nothing, ‘okay, give me a time when you finish this war’. That should determine their tenure. If they don’t perform, the government should not waste time in replacing them.”
There is absolutely nothing more to add to Ndume’s exhortations. His charge to the new Service Chiefs ought to be the lot of President Muhammadu Buhari who is Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
But a critical question over time has been whether the President has been alive to his responsibilities. A resounding answer is no!
As the country drifts dangerously towards anarchy, Buhari may do well to review Ndume’s wise counsel, that is, if he and his team are yet to adopt this long established managerial principles that incorporate identification of deliverables, target setting, performance measurements, timelines, rewards and sanctions.
Beyond calls for the new Service Chiefs to perform or get sacked, is also the all important need to interrogate how the several billions sunk into the war so far has been expended.
Will Ndume also lead this charge in the spirit of transparency and accountability?
And, will Buhari also heed Ndume’s wise counsels? The answers are yet blowing in the winds.
NASS MEMORY LANE
“Mr. Speaker, I don’t believe in coronavirus and it cannot catch me. Tell me how many people coronavirus have killed in Nigeria and how many people are killed in a single day by armed bandits in Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kaduna, and other parts of the north. So what I’m saying is banditry is more dangerous than the coronavirus pandemic?”
Answer: See end of post
Two other stories
Reps on rascals
The House of Representatives, on January 29, vowed to arrest and prosecute anyone who attempts to disrupt legislative proceedings in the future.
This came barely 24 hours after a disagreement amongst members of host communities led to a physical combat during a public hearing on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), on January 27.
The Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, had said: “Public hearings are a critical aspect of lawmaking. They are an opportunity to invite views from critical stakeholders on legislative interventions and are not an opportunity for virulent altercations or physical combat. Therefore, the House will not hesitate to ensure the arrest and prosecution of any offender who perpetrates a similar occurrence in the future.”
Rascality in the House is a very condemnable act, no doubt. It debases human nature and must not be allowed to become a norm.
But many are want to agree that Nigerian lawmakers themselves are collectively guilty of the same offense of irresponsible conduct sometimes, especially during their sittings.
The difference, though, is that ‘irresponsible’ acts within the precincts of the chamber are considered internal matters and are so settled without recourse to the country’s criminal laws.
In speaking to Nigerians, the lawmakers must also do some introspection and resolve not to set bad examples for others to follow.
At the moment, they sure look not to have the moral rights to pontificate to some other rascals.
That Senate’s stand
On January 29, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Dr. Ajibola Basiru, disclosed that the Senate will not cut short its current recess to confirm the appointment of the newly appointed Service Chiefs.
Speaking in an interview, he said: “The Senate will not cut short its recess to confirm the new Service Chiefs. There is nothing urgent about it. The National Assembly postponed its resumption to enable our colleagues participate in an exercise which is also of national importance.”
The Senate disposition speaks to the general laissez-faire culture in the leadership style of the country’s rulers. This abhorrent approach largely explains why there is no sense of urgency in the conduct of the affairs of state.
The legislature is just as guilty as the executive while the judiciary, on its part, appears to have perfected the use of technicalities to deny and delay justice.
The pursuit of personal interests seems to have become very dominant as can be seen in the declaration that the enthronement of the law can wait for party registration exercise.
Interestingly, Nigerian senators think the opinion of the country’s legal luminaries don’t matter at this time which shows how much respect is accorded the law.
Answer: Hon. Muhammed Gudaji Kazaure
Kazaure made the statement in June 2020, when he called on the Federal Government to redouble its efforts towards tackling the insecurity bedeviling the nation. He represents Kazaure, Roni, Gwiwa and Yankwashi Federal constituency of Jigawa State in the House of Representatives.
By John Chukwu…
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