Lawmakers go around wearing our schools, driving our hospitals, eating our pipe borne water – Progress Okuk, #OccupyNASS 23/06/2015
Did the Nigerian Senate president just set up a committee to “resolve the controversies on the earning of senators?” Do they really not know how much of our money they consume? It is the second time in a public statement, the senate president is speaking ambiguously, unsure of what they actually earn. This further illustrates the grave atrocity and infraction being perpetuated on Nigeria by this greedy bunch. This new “committee” is another way the senate usurps billions. Millions of naira “Constituency project” allowances, “committees.” These are all scams operated by a senate that has a singular purpose – milking the system and leading to poverty, terror and all the things related.
Today we protested at the national assembly, we will protest online and on the ground around Nigeria and abroad every week henceforth. We are determined now more than ever that the Nigerian senate must be scrapped. It is a defunct body. A vestige that is now a drag on the Nigerian equation and a frank danger.
Scrap The Redundant, Mouldering Senate
Half the countries of the world operate unicameral systems. There has never been a justification for Nigeria adopting the American bicameral system with two sets of lawmakers. Our lawmakers do not even make any important new laws. There is no explanation for two houses and their full time employment. The senate is useless. We have ministries and the Representatives house is more than all we need. We need to scrap the senate and operate the House of Representatives part time. This is what Nigerians will demand and ensure in the upcoming weeks.
It is on record that in four years, while guzzling over N150 billion per year, the assemblymen barely passed 106 bills. And they passed 46 in 10 minutes! All that for N600 billion to N1 trillion? This house exists simply as a mechanism to defraud Nigeria and the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC has existed since creation by former dictator and PDP god-father Babangida as co-conspirators in the grand defrauding scheme.
The allowance scam does not only exist in the senate, but the Central bank and NNPC, all these departments corner over 25%of Nigeria’s income in gravid emoluments.
Change Government: The Senate Is Corruption As Is RMAFC
The Buhari government cannot seriously fight corruption until they dismantle RMAFC and begin the course of downward revising the legislature budget to one tenth of what it currently is. We will continue our protests to help the new government deliver on its promises. All extra baggage must be cut-off. The senate is redundant and a burden on Nigeria, it must be discarded with. Princess Akporaro challenged today, “Why do market women not get hardship allowances? Police, teachers, others?…but the Senators get sleeping, waking, answering their phone and hanging up allowances!”
At todays protests we told the media and public that the senate is on record only threatening to impeach or expose the former president, three or so times. And in each of these events, one when the president and senate president threatened their seats, and a most recent when the former president refused to sign a bill that gave them life immunity and life pensions. The senate never threatened him when thousands of Nigerians died and millions were displaced and he refused to fight Boko Haram. The senate never threatened him when millions of Nigerians lived and died in poverty. They only threatened to impeach him including the ridiculous one days to the presidential elections, when he affected their personal interests. It is clear that this senate is not only a burden to Nigeria but a sham and a harmful criminal institution that must be investigated for intent to undermine Nigeria.
A Call To Action
To this end, ENDS, Change Agents Initiative, Conscience Nigeria and other groups and civil societies embarked on protests since last week. We promise to continue nationwide and international demonstrations till our needs as Nigerians are met and we get true representation with legislators who earn what their people earn and live how their people live and have the challenges their people have. Our mission is to assist the process of change and help the new government deliver on their promise. As Progress Okuk of Change Initiative put it, “Earn as you work.”
We invite Nigerians to challenge their Representatives, utilize their Power of Recall, conduct protests across the world and sign the petition: Scrap The Senate, Cut Assembly Budget By 90% And Earn As You Work
Nigeria will be great again.