Senator Ahmad Lawan, president of the Nigerian Senate, recently said that the National Assembly (NASS) did very well under him. However, an Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has described the claim as an understatement. The human rights group said Lawan’s NASS is the best thing that ever happened to Nigeria in its 62 years of post-independence political experience.
This was contained in a press statement issued on Friday, 20th May, 2022 by the director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
“Senate president Ahmad Lawan said recently that the National Assembly (NASS) performed ‘tremendously well’ under him. We consider this as an understatement. Lawan injected life into the NASS. The 9th NASS is the best thing that ever happened to Nigeria in its 62 years of post-independence political experience.
“Whereas the 8th NASS under Senator Saraki was characterized with motion without movement, regimented stagnance, tabularised controversies, delayed budgets, blocking of nominees and unnecessary friction between the executive and the legislature leading to near total strangulation of governance at the expense of the welfare of the Nigerian hoi polloi, Lawan’s ongoing 9th NASS is noted for progress, dynamism, cordial relationship between the executive and the legislature without compromising the independence of the legislative arm. It is forthright and people-oriented.
“The sarakisation of the 8th NASS led to legislative rigmarole, footdragging and the institutionalization of confrontation between the executive and the legislature. But Lawanisation in the 9th NASS has engendered smooth running of government and uninterrupted law-making process.
“Nobody is trying to demarket anybody. The facts are there if we care to rewind the tapes. We know that many Nigerians are slaves of collective amnesia. But MURIC has not forgotten how the N6.06 trillion budget of 2016 was cruelly delayed till 23rd March, 2016. The N7.441 trillion budget of 2017 was also delayed till 11th May, 2017. The 2018 budget of N8.612 trillion also had to wait till 16th May, 2018 while the N8.916 trillion budget of 2019 was approved on 30th April, 2019. These were budgets which had been submitted in October of previous years.
“It should be noted that MURIC is not saying something new. We are not just confirming what the Senate president said on 8th May, 2022. We issued a full press statement on 17th June, 2021, captioned ‘Kudos to 9th NASS At 2 – MURIC’ on this issue. That was a whole year ago before Senator Lawan made his claim.
“As a critical stakeholder, MURIC continues to observe the performance of the three arms of government in Nigeria, viz, the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. Not even the fourth estate of the realm, i.e. the press, escapes our scrutiny.
“We are surprised to see that those who hijacked the 8th NASS and constituted themselves into clogs in the wheel of legislation have come out again to deceive the people that they can take Nigeria to El Dorado. They want to hijack the reins of power in order to run Nigeria into a ditch. Their desire is to get by the bends what they failed to get by the straight.
“MURIC calls on Nigerians to open their eyes very wide. We must not allow ourselves to be railroaded into the abyss of despondency by any legislative shenanigan.”