Disappointing southern senators…!

‘I can explain,’ a la a spouse caught cheating… That is what we now have after active support and strong encouragement for the North to continue their dominance of our polity. Southern senators are explaining their roles after they crumbled like clay pillars at the amendment of the electoral act. They injured Nigeria by their lack of strength and obviously disappointed their respective constituents. These senators from the south have been explaining themselves at every opportunity. Like the wicked that flees when no one is pursuing, some of them have been running helter-skelter to tell us why they decided to throw Nigeria backward by a century through that capitulation on the electoral act. They know also that they deliberately weeded the farm to the continued advantage and dominance of the north over the south in all spheres, especially in the running of the country.

A few of them have given their reasons for their action. They have explained why they either stayed away on that all-important day or what led them to vote the way they did. Of course we know that they might not be telling us the truth of all that transpired by their excuses, but I think it shows a whiff of respect for their puzzled and angry constituents. There are so many things in this terrestrial ball that would end up as the grumbled words of the pig. We know. In answer to a question during an interview, the first female Speaker of the House of Representatives in Nigeria, Mrs. Patricia Olubunmi Etteh, told me that “many things will die in the belly of our political leaders.” She’s right. One of such would be the real reasons why some of our lawmakers from the South saw the road and headed for the forest – the real cause of their joining the monkey to eat grass.

Those who bothered to explain are not as bad as those who have kept mum and called the bluff of the people on whose back they rode to Abuja. Many of these lawmakers have set their eyes on loftier political positions, and ‘y’know we need support from above going forward’. That is why they made a mess of the entire work that had gone into the amendment of the Electoral Act. Those who have shown respect to their constituents by explaining their position, kudos to you. Those of who have carried on as if their constituents do not matter, kudos to you too. Those of them who have gone to their constituencies with sacks of cash to “empower” the people, kudos to you too. These are the ones who have brought some of the “shut up” largesse and it’s now time to “gerrup an’ dance” and make merry.

The senator representing Anambra Central, Mrs. Uche Ekwunife, was forced to explain herself after Obosi community in Idemili North Local Government Area queried her absence from the Senate on the day. Iyom said she thought the Senate would continue with the debate, or is it consideration of the report of the Kabiru Gaya committee report on Monday. So, she left Abuja to romance her people and inaugurate constituency projects. As we say on the streets, ‘she use Saturday take collect Sunday’ from Anambra Central, nay Nigeria. Put differently, she momentarily became onye ulo ya na-agba oku mà o na achu oke… A person whose house is on fire but who saw the pursuit of scampering rats as a pressing priority.

Iyom said she read and heard complaints of the people and “saw them as germane.” While she held that she had always been for electronic transmission of election results. She said: “The deliberation on the electoral act which was supposed to come up on Wednesday was moved to Thursday and was expected to stretch to Monday, July 19, for voting. However, during the plenary on Thursday, after some of us had travelled, senators present extended plenary hours to vote on the electronic transmission in order to conclude the same day, instead of continuing on Monday, which was why the senate plenary lasted till 9 pm.”

Senator Tolu Odebiyi of Ogun West was also absent from the voting. His absence divided some of his supporters and fans, who argued in a WhatsApp group. He was not reported to have said anything about his absence, but we know that as a party man, he would do his party’s bidding. One of his fans said Odebiyi would have voted the wish of the people, but another pooh-poohed this citing the voting pattern which showed that they placed political party above the country. A “progressive” of Opeyemi Bamidele’s status voted against electronic transmission of votes–underscoring the contention that their political party is above the country! What reasons can make the action of Senator MOB justifiable other than political interest?

We are not talking about the shameless ones like Orji Uzor Kalu who threw away his dignity long ago… He was a lackey at its best when he rubbed it in by saying that there was no network coverage in his constituency. I might be forced to admit that there might be places in his native Bende Local Government which could be experiencing poor network coverage. But what about other towns and villages which he ruled over as governor for eight years? His Excellency abandoned reason when he said there was no network in his village…. Orji Uzor Kalu claims that there is no telephone network coverage in Igbere?! Abia léè, ùnu na anu-kwa?!!!

Dr Uzor Kalu, Chief Ekwunife said she knew that “South East is one of the regions in Nigeria that have good network coverage.” Is she telling lies? Igbere is a prosperous community, a hilly, lovely town of the popular Igbere TV, one of the most prominent community television operators in Nigeria. Igbere is also the home town of military chiefs and former Governors Amadi Ikwechegh, who governed Imo State, Emma Ukaegbu Anambra State. What came upon Orji Kalu is worthy of investigation, because he didn’t appear as acting based only on the fact that he is trying to stand firm and hold the reins of his unpopular Abia APC.

After all the jejune excuses, what would our senators say about the statement by the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Idris Wase? Wase’s scornful congratulation to the North for pulling it off again against the South exposed as inanity all the stories we are fed as reasons for their abdication. When the time comes, these ones would stand before the people and give account.

However, we are inching towards a better democratic experience. It is really quite slow, difficult and painful, but we are still moving on. The Chinese say even he who limps moves. We are limping seriously now considering our experiences in this administration of Muhammadu Buhari. Nigeria is even worse than limping, we are crawling on all fours. And our representatives are proving to be among the spikes and hurdles.


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