Fellow Nigerians, it is no longer news that from the inception of his reign as Senate president, Ahmed Lawan had committed to approving and confirming “whatever” comes from the executive. In his own thinking, that is the best way to ensure a harmonious relationship between the executive and the legislature.
While I have nothing against the harmony of the legislative and executive arms of government, I find it worrisome and scandalous when the oversight function of the Senate is gravely compromised for the sake of harmony. For clarity, the constitution empowers the Senate to oversight the executive and not to build a “harmonious” relationship with them.
On several occasions, the Ahmed Lawan led Senate had gone ahead to clear and confirm candidates despite weighty allegations against them. In fact, even appointments that violated the provisions of the constitution were also approved. Is this what harmony is supposed to mean?
The latest in this show of shame is the confirmation of a member of the board of EFCC who had very clear discrepancies in the credentials he submitted. The most glaring was the fact that while the man stated that he was born in 1969, his credentials showed that he stated primary school in 1968. How could that have happened? This was one of several other discrepancies noticed.
A fellow Senator pointed this out and even suggested that corrections be made if they were typographical errors. But Ahmed Lawan will have none of that. He will not sit and watch anyone jeopardize the harmonious relationship he has worked hard to build with the executive. The Senate went ahead to confirm the nominee warts and all. This is what our Senate has been reduced to.
Once upon a time in this country, we had a senate that rejected nominees from the president on grounds that they were either unfit or not qualified to hold the office they were nominated for.
Magu’s rejection readily comes to mind here. The same executive will eventually remove Magu for the same reasons his confirmation was declined.
The danger in this approach adopted by Ahmed Lawal is that; even when Nigerians have credible information about the character and other flaws in a candidate, they will be reluctant to come forward since as long as Lawal is concerned, nothing should stop his harmonious policy with the executive.
We populate our institutions with unqualified and incompetent people and then turn to God in prayers to make our country great. Isn’t that madness?
It is about time that Nigerians tell Ahmed Lawan that he is the president of the Nigeria Senate and not a puppet to the APC led executive.