The Buhari Presidency And The Inactivity Of NASS -By Dele Awogbeoba

Filed under: Political Issues |



The Euphoria that enveloped Nigeria’s development to a truly two party state have begun to recede into the background. We now have a new administration that is charged with the responsibility of governing the country through some of the most significantly adverse challenges any in-coming government (other than President Obama) has ever had to face.

A country mired by economic challenges of low revenues, low savings, high debts, end market challenges for its oil exports and averagely low oil prices is still being led by an aging president devoid of an officially appointed finance minister or an economic management team.  Whilst the current economic challenges cannot be said to be the fault of this administration, the job of this government is to confront and deal with the challenges now thrown up.

What is particularly worrying is that the current administration (Buhari and Osinbajo) are operating a country in crisis as if they inherited a stable government devoid of major military and economic challenges.  Buhari is effectively acting as the minister in charge of all ministries in the country. Nobody appears to know who is influencing the day to day decisions being made by each ministry and which individuals (yet to be officially appointed by Buhari) are exercising decisive influence on this government.

Additionally, even if the Buhari presidency has gone AWOL, this does not excuse the Senate and House of representatives from appointing people into their various committees thereby allowing them to carry out their crucial function of executive oversight! It is now time for the senate and house of representatives to start to force Buhari (as the minister of every ministry) to answer critical questions on how the ministries that he currently overseas is being run (especially at this time of economic and military challenges). There is no good reason why the Senate and House need to go to sleep because an aged president is seemingly negligent to his responsibilities.

It is no coincidence that every party that Buhari joined had become factionalized. His hands off aloof approach tends to exacerbate internecine crisis than limit it. The NASS should be concerned to ensure it investigates how decisions are being currently made and how its ministries are being overseen. If Buhari is comfortable being a one man Federal Executive Council, then he will have to bear the personal burden of explaining the direction of government activity (as it relates to all ministries under his control) to various committees of the Senate and house of representatives.

The executive is but one of three arms of government. The NASS is itself a powerful and essential counterforce in a democratic system of government. There is no better (or more important) time to ensure Executive oversight by NASS than this time of economic and military challenges. APC needs to start working. At the moment, it seems to have forgotten that winning an election is just part of the process. It needs to start governing!

Dele Awogbeoba

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