28th March, 2011
On 23 March 2011, I read with dismay, betrayal and shock at the effrontery, sheer wickedness and lack of sympathy of members of Nigeriaâ€™s National Assembly. The headline of the story I saw on-line on Punch Nigeriaâ€™s website was â€œThe Punch: How N/Assembly amended constitution to preserve jumbo pay â€“ Investigationâ€. My attention was immediately drawn to this write up and Iâ€™m still trying to comprehendÂ the sincerity of our elected members of the National Assembly. My question is, how can a group of Nigerians, that constitute less than 0.0006% (zero, point zero, zero, zero, six per cent) of Nigeriaâ€™s population appropriate 4.7% (close to 5%) of the entire 2011 budget to themselves? How can a group of Nigerians that constitute less than 0.0006% of our population and contribute absolutely nothingÂ to our gross domestic product appropriate N232,740,000,000 (two hundred and thirty two billion, seven hundred and forty million naira) to themselves, and to make matters worse and insult our collective intelligence, this group of Nigerians now amend the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the extent of placing their budget under â€œStatutory Transfersâ€, thus automatically giving immunity and protection to their share of the budget from budget adjustments and slashes by the executive arm of the Federal Government. Surely, this is pure criminality of unrivalled dimension in every sense of the word. Also, this is the pinnacle of betrayal meted out to all Nigerians all over the world and Nigerians will not stand by and watch members of the National Assembly mortgage the future of Nigerians and generations of unborn Nigerians.
With the placement of the National Assembly budget under statutory transfer, it simply means, if members of theÂ NA decide to appropriate ten per cent, 20 %, 50% or 95% of subsequent yearly budgets of the Federal Republic of NigeriaÂ to themselves, then Nigeria is under total and absolute obligation to transfer whatever amount of money the NA members request into the NAâ€™s account(s), without as much as slashing the budget byÂ ten kobo. Regardless of the prevailing economic situation Nigeria might be facing, even if Nigeria is on the verge of bankruptcy (God forbids it, Amen!), Nigeria will have to transfer whatever amount the NA desires to their coffers to spend as they deem fit. We elected legislators to serve our collective interest as Nigerians, but right now, it seems we as Nigerians erroneously shot ourselves in the legs by electing individuals a million and one times far worse than red eyed criminals and bandits to preside over our common wealth, honestly speaking, after reading the investigative article, the militants in the Niger Delta look more like angels and saints to me compared to the members of Nigeriaâ€™s national assembly in Abuja.
In response to the heartlessness of members of the NA, Iâ€™ve created a facebook community page titled, â€œNigerians SAY NO to Statutory Transfer of National Assembly’s Budgetâ€. This community page on facebook will be used to create awareness and sensitisation amongst Nigerians on the insensitivity of members of Nigeriaâ€™s NA to the plight and hardship facing the generality of Nigerians. The community page on facebook – Nigerians SAY NO to Statutory Transfer of National Assembly’s Budget., will also be used to call on all Nigerians, Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANS), constitutional lawyers, legal rights activists, human rights activists, political activists, widows, unemployed youths, undergraduates and studentsÂ to file law suits at the Supreme Court in Nigeria to seek constitutional repeal and redress of the obnoxious amendment of Section 81, subsection 3 of the 1999 Constitution to include the budget of the National Assembly under statutory transfer.Â Furthermore, Nigerian youths and Nigerians in general might decide to boycott the National Assembly elections scheduled for the 2nd of April 2011 if the NA does not repeal the obnoxious law before then, Nigerians will only participate in the presidential and governorship elections as a mark of protest against the placement of the budget of the National Assembly under statutory transfers. Nigerian youths strongly believe in the able leadership of His Excellency, President Goodluck Jonathan, and for this reason, weâ€™re in total support of his presidential ambition, since he symbolises our dreams, hopes and aspirations; thus we believe, His Excellency, President Goodluck Jonathan will use the Presidential and Executive Powers at his disposal to pressure the leadership of the National Assembly to return the amended segment(s) of the 1999 Constitution as it relates to the checks and balances placed on the NAâ€™s budget by the executive arm of the Federal Government to its status quo.
The whole essence of democracy is to prevent any arm of government or any institution of government from possessing absolute power(s) over the socio-political, economic and financial affairs as it relates to the arm of government in question, democracy is all about checks and balances and any arm of government that threads the lines of autocracy, places the country in grave perils. Right now, all over North Africa and the Middle East, autocratic regimes are all going up in flames, thus, any arm of government that decides to place itself above checks and balances becomes a threat to Nigeriaâ€™s national security.
In light of this, every effort must be made by every Nigerian (young or old, poor or rich) that loves Nigeria to call the National Assembly to order. Nigeria cannot afford to mortgage her sovereignty and place herself in a state of anarchy and chaos, simply because of the excessive greed and immense avarice for wealth at Nigeriaâ€™s expense by a microscopic few that have decided to place their selfish interest above national security and collective interest. Thus, Nigerians SAY NO to Statutory Transfer of National Assembly’s Budget.
Long Live The Federal Republic of Nigeria. Amen!
â€¢Emperor Victor wrote from Lagos.