Finally, seven senators on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) may have ignored the order by their party asking them to block the screening of service chiefs recently appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan by fully participating in the screening exercise. The opposition party had initially issued a directive to its members in the house to frustrate the passage of the 2014 budget and the screening of ministerial nominees, alongside the confirmation of the new service chiefs.
The opposition claimed that their action borne on the perceived persecution of its member, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state alongside other security issues in the state which have element of partisan ideology.
First and foremost, Rivers state is just a state out of the 36 states of the federation. Thus political issues within a state should not serve as yardstick in truncating major national issues. Just within the period of waiting for the confirmation of the new service chiefs many lives had been lost through insurgent attacks in the volatile North-east region of the country. So, why on earth will a political party fighting for national interest try to frustrate the confirmation of the new service chiefs just because of an issue affecting a state governed by their member? This action will not only jeopardize our ailing democracy but will also compromise national security.
The lawmakers have the power to summon and interrogate the commissioner of police alongside his boss, the inspector general of police for the misdemeanor in Rivers State rather than holding the nation and its citizens to ransom. The commissioner can be questioned about incessant disruption of opposition gatherings and other partisan security activities. In this case, the party can use its numerical advantage and I also believe that well-meaning lawmakers will support their decision either to seek for the redeployment or the sack of the commissioner.
The first month of the year has come to an end; there is no better time to pass the year’s budget than now. But it is so unfortunate that the opposition who is supposed to put the ruling party on its feet is trying to frustrate a sensitive issue like the national budget. There is no gainsaying that this year is a defining year for the present administration to finalize its transformation agenda and the budget is the only way to achieve that mission. Derailing the passage of the budget and hence its implementation will not only affect the economy but dehumanize the Nigerian populace.
Garki II, Abuja