June 28, 2017
2017 BUDGET DEBACLE
At this stage, there is no denying the reality that the Nigerian ruling class remains in a commitment that is oppositely proportional to the basic bearing of the majority of Nigerians, particularly, the oppressed class in terms of the succor they yearn for toward the amelioration or the assuaging their pains and pangs.
The overplayed tomfoolery of the ruling class elements in assaulting our collective intelligence as a people has certainly becoming overbearing, obnoxious and must be discountenanced.
The truth is that, a government ought to be a government, and it is that simple! There are no corners to cut, if a government has failed, it has failed, regardless of the arm or like we seem to be witnessing, the ‘harms’ of government projected as being the stumbling block/s in the regular blame-shifting game of our oppressors and exploiter. They are simply culpable in process and processes that have led to the catastrophic situation of co-existence in our country.
As ‘inadequate’ as the book called the Nigeria constitution may be, it defined and put forward the role of government in its’ encoding. A peep at Chapter 2 of the constitution belies what the ‘harms’ government has continually shoved down the throats of the governed.
Government is instituted by the government for the basic purpose of harmonizing the collective resources of society for the socio-welfare well-being of all and sundry. As such, as government worth its salt is expected to guarantee to a very considerate level, equity and access to a socio-political, economic and cultural co-existence.
It is from the foregoing that as a people, as Nigerians must become circumspect in relating to the present so-called frictions among and between 3 arms of government in Nigeria. The Executive, the Judiciary and the Legislature combined is the body called government whether at Federal, State and Local levels; this is what exposes the futility of the attempt by the ruling class to resort to blame-shifting while the vast majority wallow in penury.
The masses must not take this consciously orchestrated fallacy of the ruling class who remain hell-bent on sustaining a status quo that have constantly failed and that is responsible for the present unpalatable social living conditions and relations.
At CACOL, we have always maintained the imperative essence of circumspection in relating to the antics of the ruling class so as not lose the focal and collective concern of ordinary Nigerians who are the majority.
From the orchestrated frictions between and among the arms of government however, it could be clearly pointed out that the most notorious ‘rivalry’, ‘muscle-flexing’ is the one between the Executive and Legislature. The Judiciary unfortunately is also in the same sack even with serious effrontery in the ugly picture staring us in the face as a people.
The present scenario where the Legislature and the Executive seem to have abandoned their primary purpose of existence over the 2017 Budget is appalling, irresponsible and unacceptable given the grievous consequences of the mis-governance that Nigerians are being subjective to’
We at CACOL however cannot shy away from pointing out the prodigality of the 8th National Assembly, NASS, with regard to the unprecedented ugly and painful situation Nigeria has been made to pass through to sustain the self-aggrandizing ends of a tiny few who are apparently incurably corrupt, greedy and insensitive to the pains of the majority.
The present picture is not really about frictions between the arms of government or disrespect for the principle of separation of powers; it is about a connivance of the ruling class elements to perpetually sustain a system of corruption. And without any doubts, the fight against corruption has been the main achievement of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government since the inauguration of the present regime.
This is the crux of the matter, even when pro-corruption campaigners retort that the ‘Executive or the Presidency’ is also soaked in corruption, and that for that reason, the parliament and judiciary could just be allowed to continue to be pampered for their corrupt ways.
We do not share the belief that any arm of government can be extricated from the blame for the perpetuation of corruption in our country, however, we hold the belief that the NASS has been more of a stumbling block, a clog in the wheel than any other arm of government as far as combating corruption is concerned. Within the present tenure of governance we had even had the cause to call for the scrapping of the Senate for its savory of inanities.
In its first year of existence, the present NASS has introduced a hitherto strange terminology called ‘budget padding’ which have evidently shown that our so-called representatives prioritizes their gluttonous desires above the abject penury that ravages the land.
What is presently being played out as frictions are actually fictions designed to distract the determination of Nigerians to salvage their country as demonstrated in the electoral-quake that butted the past regime out of government in the 2015 general elections. The ominous mission of the beneficiaries of this so-called change government is obviously diametrically opposed to the change Nigerians want in their country.
We believe that in governance, the buck stops somewhere, and that is the Presidency, thus it becomes ridiculously embarrassing for the NASS to be handling an important National planning document such as the Budget the way it is.
We are aware that it is probably only President Buhari in his apparent class suicide that is committed to the fight against corruption. We must also state that, at the very core of the present unfolding is the demon called corruption which has been the bane of our collective socio-economic and political development. This is why there is the unnecessary friction among the arms of government.
It is time for Nigerians to see through the fog, there is a clear divide between those who truly believe in ridding our country of corruption and those that want to sustain it. It is clear that their mode of governance is predicated upon corruption; the oxygen it breathes in to perpetrate the exploitation and oppression of the vast majority.
Nigerians must ignore the blackmail and narratives by those who push the bankrupt position that ‘after all the Executive and Judiciary’ are also corrupt to justify the present NASS. We must be vigilant in putting all the arms of government in check but the NASS stands out in terms of being ‘put in check’ as we collectivizes our efforts in rescuing our country from the abyss the ruling class is taking us down to.
At the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL we have watched very closely the character of the present NASS right from the very day it was inaugurated, just like that of the Presidency, the Judiciary and other superstructures of governance under All Progressive Congress, APC-led ‘change’ government of the Federation. The intrigues; melodrama, insensitivities, horse-trading etc. still point to our postulations that governance has basically been directionless and that ‘distractions’ has been the mode of governing being practiced since the commencement of the present administration.
It is now clear that the NASS as presently constituted may succeed in finally destroying the country on platter of idiocies, incurable greed and lust for power, if we, as Nigerians who can see through the present fog fail to take back our country from the bunch of desperadoes occupying our esteemed hallowed Chambers.
It is time for Nigerians rise in unison to take back their country; we must halt the ongoing speedy degeneration to the abyss as being championed by the corruption tainted NASS and their counterparts in the Nigerian political class before they impose socio-political and economic anarchy on us as people via political intrigues, inanities and self-aggrandizement.