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Uchechukwu Ugboaja

The indecorous and shambolic display of federal lawmakers at the lower chamber of Nigeria’s legislature is said to have attracted global attention to Nigeria once again, and the White House is no doubt closely watching this unfortunate development especially against the background of a planned visit of President Muhamadu Buhari to the United States in July.

An unnamed staff of the U.S embassy revealed to our correspondent that this development may force the White House to review the proposed visit of PMB if this show of shame persists.

The Nigerian presidential system is said to be modeled after the presidential system of the United States, however in practice there seems to be a lot of disparity considering the cost of maintaining both the Executive and Legislative arms of government. It is a fact that the Nigerian Legislators are the highest paid in the world and the presidency remains the most expensive for a developing country.
The United States have had a history of protecting its leaders from close affinities with countries who have poor record of democratic values or human right issues as a way of registering her displeasure over such inhumane stance. But the Nigerian government headed by the former army general knows that the Americans won’t bend their foreign policy easily.

The embassy staff who pleaded to anonymity berated the fact that Nigerian lawmakers could throw caution to the wind in their unfortunate behavior over leadership tussle in the legislature. “A country which is faced with insecurity, dwindling economic fortunes resulting to unpaid workers’ salary in different states, massive unemployment, infrastructural underdevelopment amongst many other issues”, she stated.

Observers remain hopeful that all the issues in the legislature would be resolved before this visit so as to avoid another diplomatic row between the two countries even though experts have called for a review of Nigeria’s foreign relations especially with the U.S.
In a related development, the Peoples Democratic Party has however condemned what it described as a national embarrassment, Thursday’s fracas in the House of Representatives thereby blaming the president who is unarguably the leader of the ruling party whose members are currently in the eye of the storm.

The PDP also claimed that the ugly development brings to question President Muhammadu Buhari and his party’s commitment to democracy, unity and the stability of the country. “The disgraceful act” was a direct consequence of President Buhari’s lack of democratic credentials to respect the independence and sanctity of the legislative arm of government, the very citadel of democracy, as enshrined in the nation’s constitution.

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in a statement in Ahuja on Thursday said “the barbaric attempt to physically assault a duly elected Speaker, seize the mace, the authority of the House, is a direct attack on the Nigerian parliament which embodies the supremacy of the people and our freedom as a democratic nation.”

The Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisah Metuh said what Nigerians witnessed in the House on Thursday clearly underscores the fact that the All Progressives Congress has exhausted its excuses and has now imported its internal contradictions into an independent arm of government as a way to further cover its lack of ideas for governance. We state unequivocally that the onus lies on President Buhari to ensure that all democratic institutions are harnessed for effectiveness, a responsibility he has apparently abdicated by allowing his personal interest to instigate division in the parliament, a tendency that poses great threat to the survival of our democracy and the stability of the nation.”

Metuh said the continued confusion in the APC-led government was a confirmation of its earlier stand that the APC “lacks the capacity and democratic discipline to effectively steer the ship of the nation and face the challenges of governance at the center.”

He applauded the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, for “his comportment, especially his statesmanly remarks after the unfortunate incident and urged him to continue to display maturity and not yield any ground in his duties to protect the independence of the legislature.”

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