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Nigeria at 61: Nation’s legislative arm struggling amid executive control, other historical controversies

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The Nigeria Independence Day celebration has all the time been about celebrating the nationalists who fought for Nigeria’s Independence towards the British.

These nationalists like Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikwe, Ahmadu Bello, Tafawa Balewa and others had been all legislators. By the Westminster model parliamentary system, the lawmakers ran the nation within the first republic underneath Prime Minister Balewa.

Over time, the nation’s political panorama has modified, the Westminster system didn’t survive the bloody coup of January 15, 1966. Therefore, the standing of the legislative arms has decreased in comparison with the chief.

Army interventions have additionally contributed to the weakening of the establishment. The parliament couldn’t co-exist with navy rule, therefore the rationale for suspending the parliament after coup.

On this report, DAILY POST examines the Nationwide Meeting from independence until at the moment, exploring completely different controversies.

Out of the 61 years of independence in Nigeria, solely 32 have been underneath a Democratic system.

1st republic and brutal coup of 1966

The politics of the first republic was outlined by ethnoreligious demarcation. The Motion Group was roughly a Yoruba-led social gathering, the Nationwide Council for Nigerians and Cameroon was majorly Igbo, whereas the Northern Peoples Congress was dominated by Fulani/Hausa.

Despite the fact that the NPC and the NCNC coalition fashioned the federal government, the animosity between Mr Awolowo, who was the minority chief within the Home of Representatives, outlined that period.

On the tenth of April 1964, Awolowo and a few of the AG members bagged jail phrases for treasonable felony costs. The Prime Minister, the Premier of the North and different members of the ruling coalition misplaced their lives within the bloody coup carried out by some majors.

Quickly after, the chief of the January 1966 coup, Kaduna Nzeogwu, in his broadcast mentioned, “The Structure is
suspended and the regional authorities and elected assemblies are hereby dissolved.”

That put an finish to that Republic and equally marked the travail of the parliament. The coup set the template for the suspension of the parliament.

2nd Republic and the 1979 Structure

Following 9 years of navy rule, the Olusegun Obasanjo regime proceeded with the transition embarked upon by Murtala Muhammed, who was assassinated in 1976 failed coup try.

The Rotimi Williams-led committee had advisable the America styled bicameral system for the nation. That republic, from 1979-1983 was lower brief by the coup that toppled that authorities.

Identical to in 1966, Basic Muhammad Buhari suspended the structure and dissolved the parliament.

Quick-lived third republic and June 12

The Babangida regime performed an election into the federal parliament in 1992, the place lawmakers like Bola Tinubu had been elected into the senate. Sadly, that republic was truncated by the June 12 controversy.

Return of democracy and surviving Obasanjo

The 4th Meeting (1999-2003) was extra of a battle between the lawmakers and former President Obasanjo.

Obasanjo from the get-go was taken with controlling the management of the Home and Senate. The Peoples Democratic Occasion (PDP) managed the bulk, whereas regional events, Alliance for Democracy (AD) which is dominant within the Southwest and APP which is dominant in some elements of the north, led the opposition.

Based on stories, the previous president was capable of get Evans Ewerenme to change into the Senate President and Salisu Buhari because the Speaker.

In lower than a yr, Sen Ewereme was ousted and changed by Chuba Okadigbo. In lower than a yr, Senator Okadigbo was additionally changed by Anyim Pius Anyim.

Whereas Salisu Buhari was disgraced out of workplace for a cast certificates, he was changed by Ghali Na’abbah.

One of many highlights of that Meeting was the veto of the President within the passage of the Niger Delta Improvement Fee. It will be recalled that the President had earlier refused assent to the invoice. Nonetheless, the 2 chambers reconsidered and re-passed the invoice.

The NDDC stays the one act with out the signature of the President.

fifth Meeting and the third time period agenda

The 2005 Nationwide Political Reform Convention (NPRC) produced some units of constitutional alteration suggestions to amend the 1999 Structure. Nonetheless, the method snowballed into disaster attributable to an try and elongate the tenure of Presidents and governors.

The saga, which is popularly known as the Third Time period agenda divided the Nationwide Meeting, with these in assist and people towards.

Public outcry led to the abandoning of your entire Structure modification in that period.

sixth Meeting: Stability in David Mark’s senate, Royal Rumble in Bankole’s Home

The emergence of Sen David Mark introduced stability to the Senate from 2007-2015. The previous navy governor presided over a senate that was relativity calm, in comparison with the earlier 8 years of 1999-2007 the place the crimson chamber had 5 Senate presidents.

When the illness of former President, Umar Yar’adua created a vacuum in authorities, David Mark’s senate was in a position to make use of the Doctrine of necessity to transmit energy to President Goodluck Jonathan. It will be recalled that when the late president travelled overseas for medical, he didn’t transmit energy to his deputy.

Within the decrease chamber, the Home had change into extra rebellious and rowdy. First, Patricia Etteh, who emerged as the primary feminine Speaker in 2007 was eliminated over allegation of spending N628 million on renovation.

The integrity caucus led by now convicted Farouq Lawan was capable of drive Etteh out, regardless of a last-minute try by the progressive camp led by Dino Melaye.

The emergence of the younger Dimeji Bankole didn’t cease the wrangling that characterised the Home. Cases of fistfights dominated the affairs of that Home.

seventh Meeting: Extra calm in David Mark’s senate– Tambuwal and the gate climbing lawmakers

The relative stability within the Senate continued within the seventh Senate underneath David Mark. It additionally coincided with ex-governors shifting into the Senate. Governors like Ahmed Yerima, Goni Bukar, Bukola Saraki and others began the pattern of shifting to the Senate.

Within the Home, the revolt towards the imposition of the speaker continued. Aminu Tambuwal emerged as The Speaker by working with the 2 major opposition events within the Home – The Motion Congress of Nigeria and the All Nigeria Peoples Occasion.

With that coalition, the PDP’s backed candidate, Mulikat Akande was defeated by Tambuwal.

The revolt led to an alleged plot to take away Tambuwal in 2014 when an emergency session was known as however Tambuwal and his supporters had been locked outdoors. The pictures of lawmakers scaling the fence trended everywhere in the world.

That Home additionally produced the Farouq Lawan scandal. Mr Lawan who’s serving a jail time period over bribery was the chairman of the Home advert hoc committee investigating gas subsidy scams. The sting operation by the DSS and oil magnate, Femi Otedola and controversy that trailed the affair outlined that Home.

2015: APC-led Nationwide Meeting — one drama per day

From the day of the inauguration on the ninth June 2015 until the day it adjourned sine die, the eighth Meeting, led by Saraki within the Senate and Yakubu within the Home, was full of drama.

From the charting away of mace, locking of NASS gate by DSS, to Saraki’s CCT trial to the fixed drama by Dino Melaye, it was packed.

The emergence of Saraki and Dogara towards the dictate of the social gathering outlined the trail of the eighth Meeting.

It was a whole frozen relationship between the chief and the Nationwide Meeting. When the Senate refused to verify ex-EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu, the president stored him in an appearing capability. The lawmakers handed a number of votes of no confidence on the then service chiefs, ex-IGP, Ibrahim Idris and the refusal of Customs Comptroller Basic, Hammed Ali to obey the directive to put on Customs uniform.

On the a part of Dino Melaye, his menace to impregnate Sen Remi Tinubu and subsequently visiting Burdillon avenue in Ikoyi, the road the place the home of Bola Tinubu is positioned, is simply one of many many dramas in that period.

The connection between the chief and Nationwide Meeting even affected the passage of payments just like the electoral invoice and the Petroleum Business Invoice.

Nonetheless, sure landmark payments just like the Not too younger to run invoice, Home of Meeting autonomy and others had been handed within the eighth Meeting.

Many commentators described that Meeting as some of the Impartial Assemblies.

ninth Home: getting issues carried out underneath the tag of rubber stamp

The ninth Meeting underneath the management of Ahmad Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila has been described by many as a rubber stamp Meeting.

Though, the connection between the chief and the lawmakers has helped to hurry up passage of vital payments just like the Petroleum Business Invoice, manufacturing sharing contract, police reform act and returning the price range to January to December timeline.

Whereas the decision remains to be out on the ninth Meeting, what seems to be clear is that the legislature remains to be struggling to get again to the previous glory of the 60s.

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