•What City People Found Out
This is one of the most terrifying moments in the history of this country. The last 14 days have been tense in every part of the country, especially Lagos, as youths gathered to protest against Police brutality. It’s a moment of sober reflection for all Nigerians, a time we all should ask ourselves very serious questions.
When the #Endsars protests started a few weeks back, it was all well-coordinated, peaceful, and trouble-free. The protest was organised to address the brutality by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS)
During the protests, City People Reporters, went to some of the locations where the protest took place and we found out alot of things aside the #Endsars issue which was the umbrella of the struggle.
A lot of Youths came out enmasse to protest as many of them have been brutalised in the past by Sars operatives. But almost every one of them would tell you that, aside the Sars issue they want to put an end to hunger, bad roads, poor governance, humongous salaries of the National assembly members, etc.
It’s obvious and clear that, without a change in the system of governance and restructuring of the country, all these would probably be a mirage. A lot of our youths still don’t know that for Nigeria to attain all these and hold our leaders accountable, the country has to be restructured.
Let’s break this down for you in simpler terms. Well-meaning Nigerians have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari. In fact, since inception; there have been calls for Restructuring. This is because the current system being practiced in Nigeria has failed the country. The country is on fire. A lot of things are going bad. Regionalism or restructuring is the answer. It has worked for us before, but the only defect is that it promoted ethnic loyalty but on the contrary, regionalism brought development into the country. The three regions were highly competitive and this brought about rapid development.
The West till today enjoys the legacy regionalism gave the country. Majority of the residents of the West are highly educated which has and is still bringing unprecedented growth. The flairs of the type of regionalism practiced during the 1st republic should be worked on and Nigeria should be given an upgraded version.
This current system of governance in practice only makes the politicians lazy. Most of the states are in financial trouble because of the failure of past and successive governments to prepare for the worst. With an improved regional system, the problem of laziness would be curbed to a large extent. It was under regionalism that Nigeria was a pride to Africa. Do not also forget that when Nigeria was practicing regionalism, there was no oil yet discovered. Now that we are in a world whereby oil is falling; regionalism is the answer to Nigeria’s wake up call.
Last week, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, who’s the leader of Afenifere has advised government and youths on its quest for a new Nigeria. How it can be achieved. Below are excerpts.
“Afenifere is not in the least surprised by the, #ENDSARS protests that have rocked Nigeria for several days now as it is a natural flow from the cumulative actions of mindless ruling elites over the years and as the NO time comes often in history”.
“We salute the Nigerian youth who have risen to say ENOUGH to the excesses of the Nigerian state symbolized by the crimes of SARS at this period in history.”
“The Nigerian youth have always shown indignation against state irresponsibility at critical stages over decades.”
In 1961,they shot down the Anglo-Nigerian defence pact. In 1978, they took over the streets of Nigeria in the “Ali Must Go” crisis. In 1986, they had a showdown over the killings of four ABU students by the police and in 1992, it was the anti – SAP revolt.
And at a time the government was thinking that it had removed the spark of protests in Nigeria with organized labor compromise over the hike in fuel prices and electricity tariff, the young people woke up again over the extra – judicial killings and other brutalities of SARS. For decades, and more stridently in recent times, patriotic citizens have ceaselessly clamored for a new constitutional order to arrest the downward spiral of our country into the abyss of political destruction. We have witnessed, over the years, the systematic savaging and plundering of our collective well-being in a mindless frenzy of corruption, bigotry, injustice and social decadence, perpetrated with disdain and impunity. The signs have been clear for some time, that we were approaching the tipping point. Events of the past few days, will appear to suggest that the last straw is nigh.”
This is not the time for long speeches. The message is clear:
Let us NOW rescue Nigeria from imminent disintegration and destruction. Let us RESTRUCTURE our country into a fairer, more just and equitable polity NOW.
To enhance nationwide security, create STATE POLICE NOW
To enhance nationwide development and progress RETURN CONTROL OF RESOURCES TO STATES NOW
To ensure peaceful and harmonious co-existence DEVOLVE MORE POWERS TO THE STATES NOW.
To reduce corruption and cost of governance REDUCE THE SIZE OF GOVERNMENT NOW
NOW is the time. Tomorrow may be too late.
Savaging and plundering of our commonwealth in a mindless frenzy of corruption, bigotry, injustice and social decadence, perpetrated with disdain and impunity, selfishly unmindful of dissipating our assets and wealth; without any compunction in leaving massive Infrastructural deficit and mounting indebtedness for the younger generation.
The demands contained in the #EndSARS are all reasonable demands for good governance, better security for life and property and a stable economy.
We call on the President, the National and State Assembly and Governors to heed to the patriotic demands of our youthS and be willing to absorb the financial consequences by reducing their own salaries and expenses; as well as the costs of running government. The economic implications will boost employment, stimulate demand and pull our country out of depression. The government has to act now, tomorrow may be too late.
We appeal to the protesters to avert a breakdown of law and order as we warn the government to avoid any precipitate action that can escalate the tense situation.
No amount of threats and unleashing of violence will get these young people off demanding a better deal.
It is not helpful blackmailing the protesters instead of looking into their demands and establishing a better livable polity.
The spirit behind these protests will rise again and again to demand a better and fairer deal.
We cannot afford to continue running Nigeria in the old ways.
Nigeria’s federal legislative body, the National Assembly, consists of two houses—the House of Representatives and the Senate. All members of the National Assembly are elected directly every four years”.
FOR MORE CLARITY
Although, as the consequence of being a former British colony, Nigeria started out with a parliamentary system of government at independence in 1960, it switched to a presidential system modeled after that of the United States in 1979. This was done primarily to achieve a more enhanced separation of powers, and checks and balances, among the three branches of government. To that end, in addition to its legislative mandate, the current Constitution accords the National Assembly extensive oversight powers. These include control over the spending of federal funds, the authority to provide advice and consent for appointments to key executive positions, the power to approve all treaties negotiated by the executive, and the power to impeach the President and his deputy.
Various elected and unelected officers are instrumental to the functioning of the National Assembly. Key members of the National Assembly leadership include the Majority Leader, the Minority Leader, the Chief Whip, and the Minority Whip. Among the unelected officers of the National Assembly are the Clerk and the Sergeant-at-Arms.
Also crucial to the proper functioning of the body are the various committees. While the Nigerian Constitution requires each house of the National Assembly to form two committees—a joint committee on finance and a public accounts committee—it permits each body to form as many other committees as it deems fit. The National Assembly may establish various forms of committees: special committees, standing committees, ad hoc committees, and committees of the whole.
The legislative process in Nigeria involves both houses of the National Assembly and the President. Typically, once a bill (executive, private, or member’s bill) is introduced in the National Assembly, it goes through a rigorous process before it is enacted into law, which includes three readings of the bill, scrutiny by the relevant committee where amendments may be made, and presidential assent.
– Isaac Abimbade