It is unfathomable that at the threshold of the 8th session of the National Assembly a piece like the one dished by Modibbo Kawu titled “Bukola Saraki: Tentative First Steps for 2019 Presidency ” in the Vanguard newspaper of August 6, 2019 and Blueprint newspaper of August 7,2019 could be authored and published.
Rather than cast false innuendo on the visitation of the Senate committee led by the Senate President Dr Bukola Saraki to insurgency -ravaged Maiduguri and the North East region of Nigeria, he should have carefully bothered to gaze into the horizon and considered at least the victims including the Chibok girls who got onto the line of trouble because of their desire to break into the elite class.
Instead of pontificating in the red chamber the Senate had gone to do the needful in consonance with section 88 of the constitution which provides that
(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, each House of the National Assembly shall have power by resolution published in its journal or in the Official Gazette of the Government of the Federation to direct or cause to be directed investigation into:
(a) any matter or thing with respect to which it has power to make laws, and
(b) the conduct of affairs of any person, authority, ministry or government department charged, or intended to be charged, with the duty of or responsibility for – (i) executing or administering laws enacted by National Assembly, and (ii) disbursing or administering moneys appropriated or to be appropriated by the National Assembly.
(2) The powers conferred on the National Assembly under the provisions of this section are exercisable only for the purpose of enabling it to:
(a) make laws with respect to any matter within its legislative competence and correct any defects in existing laws; and
(b) expose corruption, inefficiency or waste in the execution or administration of laws within its legislative competence and in the disbursement or administration of funds appropriated by it”
Therefore the Senate President and his team were no ‘busy -bodies’ , their task was cut out for them consequent on the mandate given.
Other than for the wrong reasons there was no direct correlation in the Senate oversight to Maiduguri led by the Senate President Dr Bukola Saraki and his imputation of political undertone and allegation that it was to prepare a ground for 2019 presidential launch.
It is important to articulate it in our consciousness that the legislature is the least developed arm of government in Nigeria. It is by choice and not a mistake that each time the military torpedoed the civilian constitutional government the first broadcast was usually to suspend the constitution and the effective casualty is the first arm of government-legislature which is the only one of the tripod that is sacked.
The executive often subsists when the military junta constitute the Council of Ministers. And the judiciary stays as the courts continue to do their business.If for once since 1960 we have a leader of men in war and peacetime in President Muhammadu Buhari who sought the job and got it, it would not be fair on his demonstrated capacity to deny him a legislature that has to make his task easy to accomplish.
The level we are today as a nation is not far from where US was in the 19th century. And just as mother luck blessed them with Henry Clay , an excellent negotiator and statesman that helped them navigate the difficult terrain of forging a nation and putting it on good pedestal that has it metamorphosed today as the most powerful country on earth, so do we have a Senate President that aptly realises that a layback legislature will pull down the momentum that PMB has embarked upon. Therefore for Modibbo Kawu to have deliberately slanted his observation upon the visit of the Senate team is uncharitable.
I hope he had opportunity to watch the visit of Edo state Governor Adams Oshiomhole who went to Edo state IDPs camp propelled by the God’s Miracle Crusaders of Pastor Folorunsho with his immaculate new wife, well decked in beautiful attire suited for such occasion. Oshio Baba must also be eyeing 2019, abi in the imagination of Modibbo.
Thank God it was a senate tour of duty. Only God knows what would have been painted if SP went with his wife, whom we know does have an NGO-the Wellbeing foundation that ministers, especially to children and the women who bear the heaviest burden of Boko Haram craze.
If Hunter Clay was in the past what about flair and charisma of Speaker US House of Representatives , Newt Gingrich in the recent. He was an Associate Professor with all the carriage that goes with such background. Certainly if Modibbo has to do a warped analysis of the legitimate duty tour of the SP then he has to contend with the Governor of Borno State Alhaji Ibrahim Shettima who was exhilarated and described the oversight visit as breathtaking, relieving,novel and indicative that the country has not forgotten them in the corner that God posted them. He regretted that it was the first visitation of its kind since insurgency began 6 years ago.
As chairman 7th Senate committee on Environment was the Senate President also working on 2019 when he visited Zamfara at the height of the lead poisoning which saved the lives of many of our citizens ? Was he preparing for 2019 when he tackled oil spillage in the Niger Delta when many of his predecessors baited in their comfort zone and got Shell Petroleum to pay 93m dollars to the victims. When he raised the ante against felling of trees while our God given gas is being flared endlessly and the Jonathan government lattched onto that to award contract for the cookstove programme for the economic benefit of the nation, stop deforestation and bring relief to the womenfolk. Was the SP also preparing for 2019. WHEN he and Governor Ibikunle Amosun accompanied President- in- waiting Muhammadu Buhari to the Chatham House in London prelude to his inauguration, was he also preparing for 2019? WHEN he raised the red flag on the oil subsidy scam and oil theft which has been the pinnacle of national debate till date, was he also preparing for 2019.
It is sad to play the ostrich for Modibbo Kawu to now pretend as President Buhari -lover and more catholic than the Pope. With his heart, his voice and his pen which is generally acknowledged as being mightier than the sword he fiercely participated in organising PDP in Kwara when he addressed them at a seminar devoted to stopping APC, the platform that brought the President back to power. Is his romance over and 360degree back to PMB. Another shot over the bar was his allegation that SP would join PDP. Ahhhaa it is not fair to think that the SP would jump ship. Can he prove where and when the SP held consultation to move ?
Modibbo Kawu should pick a compass in the famous word of late US President Thomas Jefferson that “the care of human life and happiness and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government “. This is the creed upon which the Senate President anchors his programme at every level he has found himself. In order to signal his mission this time around he has engaged a number of public institutions including but not limited to ICPC, CBN, Code of Conduct Bureau etc and he has received a number of Heads of missions in the country including UK, US, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, South Korea, India among others. What runs through is his commitment to nationhood.
ACCORDING to him “these engagements are intended not only to open the space for popular participation in the legislative process but also to reflect our commitment to the issues of citizens rights. Our general commitment is to ensure that our legislation is updated to block avenues for revenue leakages, facilitate and support investments, protect legal agreements and make it easier for genuine investors to thrive”. The fruits of this initiative would manifest soon.
Afterall when he was invited to address a session of the UN on the consequences of deforestation and flaring of gas small minds did not fathom how Nigerians would be the ultimate beneficiary until a team from UN came, Shell was penalised and free cookstoves were distributed. It takes the deep to call to the deep. Namo dat quo non habet(what you don’t have you cannot give). When the benefit of his recent consultation starts rolling, I pray Modibbo shall the courage to acknowledge it and give him the credit.
It is instructive to accept generally in life, it is not a gargantuan position that makes a little man soar high , it is rather the gargantuan man that makes small position huge. That Jose Mourinho won the UEFA Champions cup first in FC Porto of Portugal, then Inter Milan FC of Italy and he won the Premier league and FA cup a number of times with Chelsea FC of England and Real Madrid of Spain as well, was not necessarily because the teams were superlative but he is simply the icon that made the difference. A star is star even if he is working among liliputians.
There had been a couple of Chairmen of the Governors Forum,but when God bestowed it on then Governor Bukola Saraki of Kwara state, he bolstered it to a glittering height yet to be attained till date. A golden fish has no hiding place- he shall be unravelled.
IN conclusion we shall admonish Modibbo Kawu to take heed in the legendary words of Jeffrey Archer in his classic book Kane and Abel: “Never seek the wind in the field , it is useless to try and find what is gone”. Bukola ti gun oke odo kafara to ja meaning that “Bukola has crossed the bridge of antagonists before the bridge collapsed”.
By ABS Mandate Constituency Office, Ilorin.
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