citizens can engage the various committees of the National Assembly in their pursuit for transparency and accountability in governance. This interview was conducted under the auspices of SPACES FOR CHANGE’s PGI (Project Get Involved) program which seeks to inspire the youth to embrace new ways of thinking and acting by helping them understand the significance of their contribution and participation in public decision-making.
We must also take advantage of the recall process enshrined in the constitution and we must be guided by the Burkian apothem that “evil men progress only when good men fold their hands and do nothing”.
S4C: Sir, what do you mean by ‘national gangrene’ and how do you think this can be dealt with? For example, what can Nigerian people do about the situation?
S4C: Is there a programme of induction in place that seeks to bring ‘non legal’ members of the honourable house (lower and upper chambers) to speed on the components of the constitution. For instance: How laws are written; Why laws are written; How to understand and interpret the laws. It does appear that majority of those elected come across as ‘bench warmers’ as quite a number of them have been caught sleeping, ‘chatting away on mobile phones’, ‘exchanging pleasantries’, ‘chewing gum’, and the like.
There is no serious program of induction to get non-lawyers to acclimatize with the nuances of parliamentary work. Little wonder most parliamentarians are like fishes out of water.
S4C: The National Assembly asked the Executive Arm of Government to reverse the pump price of petrol to NGN65:00/litre and this was not done. What further actions is the National Assembly doing about it or is just gain saying to show to Nigerians that you people are working?
S4C: Can you now help us out with what we can do the make the National Assembly do exactly what the people want, and not what their political parties or godfathers want?
Patrick Obahiagbon: Maybe we should be hostile to zombie parliamentarians rather than indulging them. Yes it has reached that level.