LAWANGATE: Angels and Demons

John Owubokiri

02 July 2012, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – Members of the National Assembly are among the few privileged Nigerians who live well above the ordinary concerns of their compatriots. Thanks to a stupendous budget they approved for themselves, they do not have to worry about groceries, transportation, gas, malaria, air fares and the cost of inflation on our daily existence.

Apart from making laws for the order, peace and good governance of Nigeria, they also play supervisory roles over industrial sectors, the executive arm of government, its agencies, parastatals and corporations, in order to ensure through their oversight jurisdiction that the executive arm is implementing the laws, regulations and social rules in accordance with legislative expectations, past and present.

It is by its performance of this secondary role that the House of Representatives gave us Lawangate, having constituted an ad hoc committee to investigate the prosecution of the former Oil Subsidy policy of Nigeria.

To play these roles effectively the leadership of both houses constitute them into committees. It is no news that Senate and House Committee members are patronised heavily by the sectors and industries they supervise. What appears to be news is that these folk who enjoy a welfare budget that is a quarter of the whole country’s budget no longer connect with the concept of limits.

It appears they would go to any lengths to sponge and scrounge out the least penny they can eke out of the system to augment what is already an annoying package of remunerations. Let us not think otherwise, these people work in groups to undermine our common heritage.

They give approvals to airlines that are unqualified, companies that have not demonstrated pre-qualification and keep out qualified investors who do not do their bidding. By these acts alone, they send Nigerians to their early graves; those who manage to stay alive are impoverished, their dreams scuttled. Men, women and children have been murdered by companies granted pre-qualification licenses by unscrupulous Nigerians whose only motivation was to live above the stations apportioned them by their intellect.

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