Padding! This word has dominated the political news for over 2 weeks now and it looks like it won’t just go away like that because Rep. Jibrin doesn’t look like one that will take a chill pill soon. Dogara himself seems not to be bothered or maybe he is hiding his fears; either way by the time he realizes that Nigerians decide to rally round and demand for his resignation or something serious his fears will become self-evident. Let me add here please; the rate these lawmakers troop in and out of Aso Rock is really something else. I don’t know why but something more than the money they use to enjoy is taking them there. To save their heads?
Now considering the style of governance as a democrat, President Buhari decided to give us the budget when the year was long gone and as the tradition is, sent it to the national assembly for passage into law; which they did and returned to the Presidency. Along the line, the Presidency discovered there were insertions, refused to append his signature and we Nigerians or someone somewhere decided to call it padding (which is not common to politics or governance). Seeing that the word is new, Speaker Dogara decided to take cover under that by saying he has never heard of it before.
We need to do some work there by looking for synonyms for that word (according to my Encarta- filling, wadding, lining, packing, packaging, insulation). I am sure there will be more but with those you can agree that this act is questionable. Rep. Jibrin has made some serious allegations against principal officers in the house but based on the act of including projects, amounts, that have not been appropriated by the executive, then we really need to look closely.
Have you ever wondered that such thing (padding) was done with the thought that President Buhari or the presidency will simply accent to it without taken a second look? I still don’t know if the lawmakers are by allowed to appropriate or simply advise the executive since one of their function is oversight in nature. But we were not told that they did this as a way of supervision or advising the presidency but they were inserted secretly with no letter attached (whether cover letter, executive summary and all that).
I have followed the conversation on Politics Today on Channels TV but after listening to the Chief Whip all I can say is that something is fishy. And another member of the Appropriation Committee that was headed by Jibrin said he (Jibrin) is not his friend and they don’t know each other offices. Please is that how they are serving us by being at war, can they actually make laws that will matter to Nigerians, can their other functions be performed based on right thought processes. When Seun Okin asked him if knew about the sharing of $20,000 he said he heard the rumor but wasn’t sure and added that anything can happen in politics. Let me stop recounting what he said.
But is that the kind of people we want to lead us out these trial times, people who think that anything goes in our polity, people who don’t care about public perception or those who don’t give a hoot what you and I think. Believe me we are really in trouble with this 8th Assembly.
Then to Speaker Dogara’s response on padding! He said he doesn’t know what that is or ever heard it before as a lawyer or lawmaker. Now mind you he didn’t say in that interview whether he did or there was any padding or insertion, packaging; in case he needs synonyms to help him out. He happens to be someone I had much respect for and it seems he has not been involved in anything shady as a politician and with this coming up, he isn’t handling it properly or rather doesn’t know how to without landing himself in more trouble.
Finally, it seems the recession is really affecting the drive for some young twitter celebrities to run and stage a protest at the NASS premises like we use to know. Either way, something must be done or are being left at the mercy of these legislators (because they can settle secretly) or those of our public institutions?
Help us Oh Lord!