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Itse Sagay Vs NASS: Of Senility, Facts and Service - Abdulwahab Oba

Abdulwahaab Oba

Chief Press Secretary to the Kwara State Governor

As every passing day awakens us to the reality of an election year ahead, and doing so with its familiar trappings of staccato style political intrigues, lickspittle, including but not limited to rumours of political alignment and re-aligments, it would certainly come as a rude shock to a necromancer for the National Assembly, particularly, the senate and its leadership, not to come under all forms of politically ingrained verbal blitzkrieg. And, why not? 

The leadershio of the 8th National Assembly, NASS, emrrged against all predictions. And since its emergence, the NASS has remained the punching bag of those who stood against its emergence. Regrettably too, the executive has refused to see wisdom in an harmonious and mutually respectful relationship with the srcond arm of government. Over time, the National Assembly has been the prime target of attacks and knowing that a weak National Assembly provides a freeway for easy manipulation of the citizenry, its leadership is expected to have enormous courage and strength of heart to withstand pressure from within and without. The reason survival of democracies is hugely hinged on a vibrant assembly committed to keeping in check other arms of government. 

More than any of the previous Assemblies, this NASS has remained united, focussed and pragmatic in the pursuit of its constitutional duties. It survived it teething challenges of leadership and diverse political affiliations through personal sacrifices and purposeful leadership. 

Yet, while politics is heavily profiled in attacks, finger pointing and intrigues, it cuts a curious pie to find one apparently weighed down by a seemingly deepening acute subjectivity arriving from survivalist instinct attempting to dissect, pontificate and bookmark values, behaviour and ideals that are far beyond his remit. Moreso, doing it without due regard to the sanctity of truth.

With due respect to old age and professorial credibility, that was exactly how I felt reading Professor Itse Sagay, (SAN), the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption's (PACAC) interview published in the Nation newspaper, recently. 

In Professor Sagay's cocktail of untruths typifying someone couched in genteel ignorance or personal hatred, he described the current senate under Dr Bukola Saraki, as the worst since 1999. Apparently, in curious defiance to evidences available on easy click online, Professor Sagay, true to character, fancied mischief, pettiness and rabble-rousing, as opposed to a little research into the activities of the current senate, submitted a non performance verdict on the current NASS.

Pitiable, as it is, if anyone attributed his gaffe to mere mental hiatus that would come round with time, his umbrage at the senate leadership's insistence that the Inspector General of Police, Abubakar Idris, should appear before it to answer questions relating to growing insecurity in Nigeria punched holes on expectations that a professor knows better. I wonder what his submission will be if an undergraduate submitted such a verdict without a detailed but emperical comparative analysis of all the eight NASS. 

Granted that Professor Sagay reserves the right to hold any  opinion he so wishes about the senate, but would such right extend to attempts aimed at  circumventing the truth? Like it or not, while much more is still expected from the 8th Senate, it is without doubt that its leadership has acquitted itself dutifully by passing into laws no fewer than 200 bills in record 33 months and more still to come with only 15 months left to go. Interestingly, this record, when compared to the 6th and 7th senate, which passed 72 and 128 bills, in 48 months, respectively, or, the 5th senate with a total of 129 bills in the same month, underscores fact that Nigeria's senate has never had it so good in lawmaking, as it has had under the Saraki's Senate presidency. This is why it is curious where Professor Sagay got his facts.

Perhaps, for the mention, the Saraki Senate presidency passed among others, the following bills since inception: the National Railway Corporation Act 1955 N129 LFN 2004 (Repeal & Re-enactment Bill 2015; Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act CAP B2 LFN 2011 (Repeal and Re-enactment) 2015; National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (est,etc) Bill 2015; Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (est., etc) Bill 2015; Courts and Tribunal Fines and Financial Penalties Bill, 2017 HB 642; Radiographers (Registration, etc.) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017 HB 676; Medical Residency Training Bill, 2017 (HB.982); National Road Funds (Est, etc.) Bill, 2018; National Climate Change Bill (HB1020); National Agricultural Seeds Council Bill, 2018 (HB. 472);  Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport of Nigeria Bill, 2018 (HB. 973); National Security Agencies Protection of Officers Identity Bill, 2018 (HB. 830); Institute of Environmental Practitioners of Nigeria (HB. 1022); National Biotechnology Development Agency (Est., etc.) Bill, (HB. 33); Nigeria Aeronautical Search and Rescue Bill, 2018 (HB. 139); Federal Audit Service Commission Bill (HB. 107); Pharmacy Council of Nigeria (est., etc.) Bill, 2018 (HB 364 & 656); Digital rights and freedom bill, 2018(HB490); Energy Commission Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018(HB72 & 446). 

Surprisingly, in the face of available records to cross-check where in doubt, Professor Sagay feigned ignorance, but mindlessly continued to dabble into, among others, the 2018 Budget passage delay and sundry senate activities, issues far beyond his purview, and, coming clear as one seemingly suffering from erosion of ideas and condemned to confusing today's internet age with his analog era.

This is why Professor Sagay deserves our sympathy and needs be reminded that the world has since moved, just as no propaganda or tardiness can overturn or smear truth that the 8th Senate under Dr Bukola Saraki deserves accolades for upping the ante of service and putting the nation first. 

In a saner clime, the learned professor should be cooling off in a solitary confinement after been caught on tape giving directives to the chairman, code of conduct tribunal on how to handle the Saraki's case before the tribunal. But one day, and no matter how long, the long arm of the law will catch up with the culprits.
Itse Sagay Vs NASS: Of Senility, Facts and Service - Abdulwahab Oba Reviewed by Unknown on May 14, 2018 Rating: 5

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