The Bipolarity of Nigerian Senate and the Masses

By Ajiboro Afolabi

So many discussions have been provoked by the actions and inactions of the Nigerian Senate. This is as a result of high level of controversies that have always shrouded the activities and conducts of the inhabitants of the hallowed chambers. It has always been the case of: The Good, The bad and The Ugly. However, the precise ratio can be rightly expressed as 3:50:47. For those with little or no love for arithmetic, the above expression simply means that out of every 100 members,  3 belong to the first classification, 50 to the second and the remaining 47 can be said to be ugly.

Right from the inauguration of the 8th National assembly, so many debates have ensued. From the legitimacy of the leaders being put to the sword, to the ineffectiveness of the arm of government, all the way to various corruption and terrorism accusations against the members. The social media has always provided the perfect platform for the aggrieved members of the masses to express themselves. It has been a rather effective avenue.

A new twist to social media usage has ensued though, with our politicians gleefully engaging the platform to either attempt to repair their tattered reputation or to spread bamboozle the masses with their lies or half-truths. In all cases, mixed reactions have followed such issue with some sections of the social media viciously deceived, while the other sections always vociferous in their opposition.

The most recent of such social media move was the hashtag created as supposed reaction to the spiralling economy of the nation: #BuyNaijaToGrowNaija. This campaign would have counted for a sincere step in the wrong direction if and only if those behind the campaign were close to being sincere about it. Yes, wrong direction because they are not the first to lead this kind of campaign. The period of cassava bread easily comes to mind.

If you believe the recent campaign by Ben 10 and Saraki is a sincere campaign to promote locally made products, then you might have qualified for a “February fool”.

The two notable champions of this cause are: Twenator Senator Ben Murray Bruce and Sinator Senator Bukola Saraki. Yet Ben Murray Bruce will rather not print his book on “Common Sense” in Nigeria while  Bukola Saraki will rather go for foreign cars in his convoy.
Ben Bruce wrote a book he tagged “common sense”: he led a campaign to patronize made in Nigeria products as part of the “common sense”. Some of us never took him seriously and he proved us right when we got to know that the “common sense” book was not even printed in Nigeria. Many who believed the campaign are yet to recover from the shock of being fooled by the senator while some are still  struggling to rationalize their gullibility.

The senate President, Bukola Saraki also tried to get the public behind him especially after he got to know that his criminal case at the CCT will not be stalled. He drove Innoson Motors vehicle much to the admiration of innocent Nigerians. He promised heaven and earth as well as gave the commitment of the senate to patronize made in Nigeria products and even make Innoson Motors their official cars. The senate had initially disclosed their plan to spend 4.7 billion naira on cars, a development that sparked serious outrage from the members of the public. Many argued that the move just does not reflect the economic reality of the country.
Part of the billions of naira worth of cars include10 exotic cars for the senate President alone. Yes, 10 very expensive cars for just one person. RFMAC, the body saddled with regulating salaries and entitlement of public office holders, recommended that the SP reduce the cars to 6 but Saraki ignored this call and went ahead to order the 10 cars out of which 4 are already delivered.
Ordinarily, considering how outspoken the SP was on made in Naija products, one would think these cars are made in Nnewi where IVM produce their cars. This is not the case. Mr Saraki went for the latest Toyota, Benz etc.
Saraki does not care about Nigerians or made in Nigeria products.
Don’t be fooled again, The NASS is the greatest enemy of this administration. Let us stand up to them. For the common man out there, this is beyond the acronym APC or PDP. It is about you buying “pure water” for #10 and endure suffering of the economic hardship these leaders brought upon us while they keep enjoying luxury at the  expense of the progress of the country.

“In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility – I welcome it.”- John F. Kennedy, in his Inaugural Address January 20, 1961

Afolabi is a fearless and outspoken advocate of good governance