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Saraki, Dogara: The Bane of Politics

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Many writers and commentators have written and said so much about last Tuesday’s election of the principal officers of the two houses of the National Assembly, with some calling what transpired a coup, a rebellion or what have you. One inescapable way of also looking at it is democracy was at play in the Red and Green Chambers, and politics was also at work. But the sage who said politics does not always throw up the best candidate sure knows what he was saying. For in Tuesday’s election of Senate President and House of Representatives’ Speaker, the various lawmakers who did the picking, majority of those at the sitting as it were, did not put their best foot forward. Just check it. They picked former Kwara State governor, Senator Bukola Saraki, as Senate President and former Chairman House Services Committee, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, from Bauch as Speaker.

Saraki had done just one term in the Senate. He was Chairman Senate Committee on Environment. Whereas, Senator Ahmed Lawan, who was rejected in the name of politics and political intrigues, did two terms in the House and is at present spending his third term in the Senate. He has been Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts since he emerged in the Senate. The chairmanship of Public Account Committee is normally reserved for opposition lawmaker. As for the House, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila was until recently the Minority Leader of the House. In most developed democracies, when a minority party becomes majority party, its leader steps into the leadership position. Both Lawan and Gbajabiamila have lodged experience and expertise needed to build and deepen the parliament. With what happened last Tuesday, where is the place of institutional memory in our parliament?

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