By Akanimo Sampson | FEDERAL lawmakers in Nigeria who are not in the good books of their governors are currently fighting the political battles of their lives as horse-trading for the 2019 elections hot up behind the curtains in the 36 states of the federation.
Some of the governors are bracing to abort the re-election bid of legislators who have been a pain on their necks. The legislators on their part, are scheming to curtail the control of the governors on their parties.
Since the inception of the current democracy in 1999, governors have been controlling the structure of the political parties at the state level. They also programmed their loyalists into elective offices by virtue of their hold on their party structure. They equally zombie ‘delegates’ to do their biddings at party primaries, congresses and conventions.
Some of the legislators perceived by the respective Government Houses as ‘’recalcitrant’’, are already pushing for a new political system that will free the parties from the unbearable control of the state chief executives.
In the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) for instance, except the leadership of the party does something very urgent to guarantee the return of the ‘’performing’’ lawmakers, the party would head to the rocks.
There are subdued unease from virtually all the constituencies in the National Assembly (NASS). The two chambers of the parliament are making efforts to shore up their performance profile in a seeming bid to earn them the support of the electorate as 2019 approaches.
Apparently jolted, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, one of the key legislators suspected to be having issues with his governor in Bauchi, says the NASS is driven by the zeal to perform and impact on the overall betterment of Nigerians as true leaders, and not for re-election purposes.
Dogara specifically said that the 8th House of Representatives has been consistent in putting the interest of their constituents first above personal interests and working to create an environment in which they can flourish.
Hear him: “It is important to ask ourselves some hard questions. Have we always placed the interest of our Constituents and Nigerians first in all our endeavours? Have we always placed national interest above self, regional and other interests? Are we patriotic or partisan? Have we used our legislative authority to expose corruption, inefficiency and waste in government activities? Have we made laws for the peace, order, and good government of Nigeria? Have we shown fidelity to the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy enshrined in Chapter two of the Constitution?
The answer to these posers, according to him, is the criteria and yardstick to assess who they are. Are Nigeria’s federal lawmakers leaders or mere politicians? For Dogara, the difference is that while politicians are just interested in the next election, leaders are cultural architects because they create the environment by which others can grow and flourish.
“On my part, I will answer the above posers with qualifications. Yes, we have done reasonably well in most of the indices indicated. But there is a very large room to do even more’’, the Speaker said.