The National Assembly, last week, took a strong stand on off-cycle elections in Nigeria.
Two other stories were tracked within the week under review.
1. Retaining off-cycle elections
On November 13, the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Niyi Adegbonmire, declared that the National Assembly will not pass a law that will stop off-cycle elections in Nigeria.
Adegbonmire, who represents Ondo Central Senatorial District, made this public while speaking during a media parley in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
“Based on an interpretation of Nigeria’s law, the National Assembly won’t pass a law to stop off-season elections in Nigeria. It is a constitutional matter and the Supreme Court has been clear about it. The constitution says you shall be sworn in for a term of four years. That four years start from the day you were sworn in as a governor,” the Senator said.
In clear terms, the NASS’ stand demonstrates the supremacy of the law in the conduct of all elections in the country.
It serves as a constructive strategy of avoiding a needless political crisis that would be generated by politicians whose interests might be thwarted, if the NASS passes a law to stop the off-cycle elections.
Perhaps, the lawmakers could do more to close perceived gaps in the electoral process that have seen the much-talked about electronic voting system side-tracked and rendering the integrity of polls suspicious.
NASS MEMORY LANE
“I was just briefed that Senators have served President Muhammadu Buhari impeachment notice. Very soon the House of Representatives will serve President Buhari its impeachment.”
Answer: See end of post
Two other stories
2. On lawmakers may not get re-elected
The Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, on November 12, argued that any Nigerian legislator who stuck to the core legislative duties of lawmaking, performing oversight functions, and making appropriations would not be re-elected.
READ ALSO:NASS REPUBLIC: On Akpabio’s warning to MDAs. Two other stories, and a quote to remember
Represented by Senator Shuaib Salisu at the centenary birthday celebration of Second Republic lawmaker, Senator Kunle Oyero, in Abeokuta, Akpabio said: “…Any senator that confines himself to that will not get a return ticket even in his party because the metric of measuring the performance of legislators is the number of transformers, and other material things they give to the people they are representing.”
Akpabio’s statement highlights ignorance of the average Nigerian on the core duties of NASS members. It, therefore, draws attention to the need for a thorough sensitization of the populace as this would help to hold the lawmakers accountable in the right way.
The statement, however, tells of the infrastructural rot in the country, and the eagerness of Nigerians to demand basic amenities in running their day-to-day lives.
3. Increasing budgetary allocation to education
On November 13, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Federal Polytechnics and Higher Technical Education, Adegboyega Isiaka, called for an upward review of budgetary allocation to education to a minimum of 15 per cent.
Isiaka made the call at the inauguration of the committee, in Abuja, adding that sub-allocation to technical education be upgraded to no less than 30 per cent of education allocation.
Isiaka’s call, once again, refreshes the long years of yearnings for better funding of the education sector.
More so, the call draws attention to the need for the lawmakers to conduct an investigative probe in order to ascertain how the monies the Federal Government had pumped into the sector had been expended, or frittered away in the past years.
Answer: Hon. Ndudi Elumelu.
Elumelu made the statement on July 27, 2022, while speaking at a function in Guzape, Abuja. He is a former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.