“I have never seen disarray like this” | Insiders speak on the current battle between Buhari and the Senate

Insiders expressed their varying views on the activities of the Senate in recent weeks, especially as regards the Custom boss putting on his uniform, Dino Melaye certificate/graduation controversy, the suspension of Senator Ali Ndume and more.

An insider with the APC said: “I can only express sadness that at a period when one party controls the two houses, we are still getting so much drama instead of legislative results. We have seen little progress on key reforms like Energy Reform, Security Reform and Constitutional Amendment. The most we have seen from them is the creation of semi-useless agencies at a point when the cost of governance needs pruning. On the case of Hameed Ali wearing Uniform, the fault lies with Ali as there is a precedence both recently and in colonial times of Army Generals donning other uniforms when asked to serve, Hananiya in FRSC and Trenchard in the Nigerian Colonial Police, he should wear the uniform and allow things to continue”.

Another Insider with the APC contributed to the Hameed Ali issue and said:  “In light of recent revelations about the SUV allegedly belonging to the wife of a Senator, which were all impounded by Customs for failure to pay the appropriate import fees, the issue of Hameed Ali’s uniform, or refusal to wear one in his appearance before the Senate appears to be nothing more than a move to intimidate him and the agency”.

I have never seen the executive arm in disarray like we are seeing in the Buhari government, the EFCC and DSS is supposedly under Buhari’s control, yet they are washing their dirty linen in public. This is a dangerous pointer, almost validating the rumour in town that President Buhari is not in charge of his government, but some so-called cabal. If not, he would have nipped all these in the bud. The fight between several departments in the executive will continue until the President ease out or either of the cabal fighting to have the upper hand in the government overcomes the other”, said another Insider with the APC.

I find Dino’s method of self expression a prerogative of his, as he is a grown man and entitled to his mannerisms as long as they do not harm or offend anyone. My only issue is that this has not been accompanied with a high level of productivity as a lawmaker. Ali Ndume is just enduring the consequence of a failed gambit. I however believe the period of suspension is too long, his people need representation and should not be denied that for too long. The National Assembly needs to be more productive and reduce its expenses as they serve us and not we them” opined another Insider.

On the suspension of Ali Ndume, one of the Insiders said, “The punishment for choosing the lure of power over the will of the people is that when you fall out of favour with power, the people have no sympathy for your cause” He concluded that, “the losers here are the Nigerian people who were promised change and are being served drama and a battle of ego”.

As much as you do not like all that is going on in the Nigerian Senate, you can’t say they haven’t been up and doing” this Insider then went along to state few reasons to justify his assertion, According to him “Don’t you think it is an insult on our collective sensibility for a man who receives all the pecks attached to the office of customs, but refuse to identify with them by simply wearing the uniform as specified in the law setting up the service, which states that Customs shall have a Comptroller General with a similar rank and title? We can fault the Senate for #OpenNASS, but not insisting that a man abide by the rule and regulations of a service he leads. What moral audacity would Hameed Ali have to discipline other officers who also decide to operate in mufti? Sadly, even the literate in Nigeria have joined the bandwagon of condemning the Senate for insisting that it does the right thing. I guess majority of us need to go back to the basics, learn our civics and insist on the right thing per time. Interestingly if the notorious Customs CG had a more cogent reason for not wearing it, it would have been accepted. On Ali Ndume, the punishment may have been too hard. He simply tried to bring his colleagues to note the grave accusation against Saraki and Dino, but as we all saw during the Senate Ethics Committee Hearing, Dino’s VC claims he actually graduated, and Saraki was after all not involved in importing the bulletproof vehicles”.

Providing an opinion on President Buhari’s style of governance, this Insider said”: “The Presidency has either simply forgotten how to play the political game or it simply wants federal lawmakers, many of whom have decades of experience under their belt as political operators to be silent, willing stooges-a role many career politicians will find unfamiliar. If it is the former, it betrays a naïve, clueless Presidency slowly losing its levers of control. If it is the latter, it portrays an administration hell bent on pushing its agenda irrespective of the opinions of political operators. This has important consequences on key aspects of Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda including the war on corruption and passing this year’s budget”.

These are the members of the Political Insiders (not all of whom participated in this issue):

Bukola Ogunyemi (APC), Amara Nwakpa (NA), Cheta Nwanze (NA), Seun Onigbinde (NA), Clarence Onyekwere (NA), Babatunde Ajileye (NA), Mark Amaza (NA), Saratu Abiola (NA), Henry Okelue (APC), Prince Deji Adeyanju (NA), John Paul Akinduro (LP), Ebubedike AkabubUHARIa (NA), Ikemesit Effiong (NA), Saatah Nubari (NA), Chinedu Ekeeke (NA), Abdul Mahmud (NA), Tunji Andrews (NA), Ileowo Kikiowo (APC), Ikenna Okonkwo (NA), Stanley Azuakola (NA), Gbenga Olorunpomi (APC), Rinsola Abiola (APC), Ayobami Oyalowo (APC), Oluseun Odewale (APC), Blossom Ozurumba (NA), Anthony Ehilebo (PDP), Ohimai Amaize (NA), Bimbo Oke (PDP), Abigail Anaba (NA), Tony ‘Pox’ Iribor (NA), Michael Orodare (LP), Henry Nwazuruahu (PDP), Ojugo ‘Ojay’ Onyelukachukwu (PDP), Viola Okoli (PDP), Ariyo Dare Atoye (PDP), Oraye Franklin (PDP), Lai Labode (PDP), Akaebube (APGA), Aziza Uko (NA), Kayode Ajulo (LP)

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