By Tola Adeniyi.
I really don’t know what to call them. We labelled them men without balls, it didn’t bother them. We accused the few women in their midst as being mere decorations and carriers of scents and perfumes to deodorize the legislative chambers, those lipsticked ‘wives and mothers’ merely shrugged their shoulders. We say they are irredeemably corrupt and lacking in character and stature befitting people expected to represent their constituents, they just look the other way as if our words were Greek to their ears.
Wikipedia says a eunuch is a man who has been castrated. Throughout history, castration often served a specific social function. The earliest records of intentional castration to produce eunuchs are from the Sumerian city of Lagash in the 2nd millennium BCE. Over the millennia since, they have performed a wide variety of functions in many different cultures: courtiers or equivalent domestics, for espionage or clandestine operations, castrato singers, concubines, or sexual partners, religious specialists, soldiers, royal guards, government officials, or guardians of women or harem servants’
‘Eunuchs would usually be servants or slaves who had been castrated to make them less threatening servants of a royal court where physical access to the ruler could wield great influence. Eunuchs supposedly did not generally have loyalties… they were thus seen as more trustworthy and less interested in in establishing a private ‘dynasty’. Because their condition usually lowered their social status, they could also be easily replaced or killed without repercussion’
The current National Assembly is crowded by eunuchs, servants and slaves who had been castrated by greed, gluttony, selfishness, political ignorance and stupidity. Except for a negligible few, the so-called parliamentarians are a bunch of shameless individuals who are not fit to be called representatives of their constituencies. Most of them only show up in parliament when there is money to be shared and whenever they show up, most of them are either sleeping, snoring or emitting silent odious farts. The tiny few who ever displayed any independence are usually swept off by the establishment.
I crave Dr Michael Owhoko’s indulgence to let me quote copiously from his recent comprehensive damnation of the 9th Assembly:
“In the absence of 11th hour miracle, when an assessment of performance of the Executive arm of government will be carried out on May 29 next year, using the economy, security and corruption as index, President Muhammadu Buhari may likely go down as a failed President.
If this happened, the Legislative organ of government should largely be blamed. Firstly, for failing to invoke the doctrine of checks and balances to ensure the President discharges his statutory obligations in line with national interest and aspirations. Secondly, for failing to halt breach of federal character principle by the President. Thirdly, for failing to interrogate the Executive for sliding economic indices, worsening corruption, rising insecurity, capital flight, mounting loans, multiple tax burden, unemployment, and decaying infrastructure, including poor electricity and education.
For these flops, the 9th National Assembly is an accessory to current woes of the country, and cannot be absolved. The Legislature is the second organ of Government, free and independent from the control of the Executive, yet, the lawmakers have made it an extension, and apron string of the President.
“Signs that the 9th National Assembly will be a weakling and lacking a mind of its own, emerged when the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan said “any request that comes from Mr. President is a request that will make Nigeria a better place”, and would therefore expeditiously ensure passage of legislation therefrom.
“With this declaration by the Senate President and head of National Assembly, the Legislature has violated the doctrine of separation of powers and checks and balances as enunciated by French philosopher, Charles Baron Montesquieu, in his book, The Spirit of Law. The intention of Montesquieu was the need to separate the three organs of government, namely, the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, to enable each arm serve as check on the other to ensure equilibrium.
It is aimed at protecting their respective liberty, and preventing any organ of government from becoming too powerful as to transmute into tyranny and authoritarianism. The doctrine has become a template for good governance and global reference for protection and advancement of egalitarianism. It forms part of constitution in countries where democracy is practiced.
For undermining this doctrine, Lawan has not only sacrificed the trust of the people on the altar of self-aggrandizement but projected President Buhari as all-knowing and omniscient President who can do no wrong, and whose intellectual capacity is beyond the competence of the Senate and House of Representatives combined.
Besides, the National Assembly (NASS) has encouraged the creation and emergence of an all-powerful President with uninhibited liberty to go off course at will even on matters of national interest. For example, the federal character principle as contained in the 1999 Constitution is breached with impunity by President Buhari, and despite criticism, has shown no remorse.”
“Section 14, Sub-section 3 of the 1999 Constitution says that “The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few states or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.”
The Buhari Administration has done exactly the opposite. All key national appointments contravene Section 14, Sub-section 3 as evidently reflected in the dominance of people from the north, particularly, from the Fulani ethnic group. Yet, the Senate sees nothing wrong with this imbalance, as long as it originates from the President. By this, the President has promoted what the constitution intended to avoid – disunity and national disloyalty.
All key and juicy ministries, departments and agencies of government (MDAs), including security agencies, are headed, and firmly in the hands of northerners, just as all three organs of government were headed by northerners up till few weeks ago when Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad resigned as Chief Justice of Nigeria, paving the way for the most senior justice, Olukayode Ariwoola, a southerner, in acting capacity.
“In advanced democracies, the Senate would have compelled the President to reverse such appointments to reflect federal character or face impeachment. But the National Assembly lacks the courage to reject Buhari’s nominees or even initiate impeachment threat, obviously, for fear of Executive intimidation.
“When a country deliberately closes its doors against other sections and ethnic groups just to achieve ethnic dominance, unwittingly, misses contributions of intelligent and bright minds from the neglected areas to national development. That the country has been on a downward swing in the last seven years, is the price of nepotism.
“Ironically, those who have been favoured by this structural abnormality do not see anything wrong with it, even within the context of the constitution. They keep blind eyes, reminding others that Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable. This is an illusion. Attaining peace in the face of obvious mismanagement of diversities and dishonest policies, is a tall order..
“Unfortunately, the Judiciary is also unable to invoke the doctrine of checks and balances, as it appears not to have recovered from the intimidation it suffered in the hands of the Executive when operatives of the Department of State Service (DSS) in 2016 raided the homes of some federal judges, including serving Supreme Court justices.
Perhaps, if the law makers were courageous enough, and the Judiciary lives up to its billings to restrain the President appropriately, the Executive would have been shaped up.
“Since NASS has abdicated its autonomy and authority, who then can challenge the Executive over breaches of federal character principle and other statutory obligations, including economy and security management? If Chief Gani Fawehinmi of blessed memory were alive, no doubt, would have instituted litigation.
“As it stands, what legacy will the 9th National Assembly under the chairmanship of Ahmad Lawan, be leaving as the law makers vacate office in less than a year from now? Certainly, they cannot be divorced from the performance of the Buhari Administration when the score card is evaluated on May 29, 2023.”
This is the conclusion of Dr Owhoko’s incisive treatise which is unassailable and perhaps requires no further elucidation. My only addition is the reality of Buhari being a completely calamitous President and deceitful and callously insensitive Dictator.
One can only ask the spineless members of the National Assembly what devil has befallen them and has eaten up their awareness of their environment and the reason why they went to Abuja to feast on our national treasury.
Are they scared-stiff of Major General Buhari? Are they afraid of Mamman Daura as they were afraid of Abba Kyari, Ismaila Funtua before him? Are they afraid of El-Rufai or other shadowy characters who are the real puppeteers in Aso Rock? Or is the semi-illiterate Malami who ordinarily should not have been appointed a court clerk that has made eunuchs of them all? Or is it the grand-patron of the Caliphate?
It is shameful that Senators and Representatives from Taraba, Benue, Plateau, Zamfara, Katsina, Kogi, Niger, Southern Kaduna and Southern Adamawa, and the entire South of the Rivers Niger and Benue are just sitting down like ducklings while their families back home are being slaughtered on daily basis by bloodthirsty hounds that are being led to believe they can overrun the Nigerian space and drive the owners of the land into the sea or out of their ancestral lands.
All the eunuchs in the National Assembly and the eunuchs in the so-called rubber-stamp executive council should realise that a time may come, God forbid, when the hungry and angry masses of the people may descend on them individually or collectively and give them the Sri Lanka treatment. And all those who are carrying out unlawful orders like Zombies should realise that the uniforms they wear shall fall off their backs sooner than later even before the imminent collapse of the Lugardian contraption happens.
Lawan must visit Saraki today and learn how the latter stoutly resisted every attempt made to make him a eunuch.
Tola Adeniyi is a renowned veteran journalist, who wrote this piece from Canada
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