Insiders: Senate-Executive confirmation row – The Senate is taking the right action too late a time

Insiders air their opinion on the protracted disagreement between the executive and the legislature on the issue of confirmation of nominees. Many of our Insiders are of the opinion that the executive should be more circumspect in her relationship with the legislature and should uphold the principle of separation of powers.

Most Insiders believe that there is nothing wrong in the action of the Senate.

“As regards the issue of confirmation of appointees of the government, the executive must not undermine the National Assembly. The separation of powers needs to be tactically managed to ensure it does not stand as a cog in the wheel of Nigeria’s development.”

The constitution is explicit on this issue said an Insider with the Labour Party, “The President appoints or nominates and seeks the approval of the Senate in as much as such body the nominee is being appointed to was established by the constitution. The President can always re-present to the Senate, but in a case where the report the Senate cited as the reason for its non-confirmation of Magu originated from a unit in the Presidency, the DSS, it simply shows the Presidency can’t put its house in order. The Presidency should respect the decision of the Senate if it does not want its office to be dragged in the mud. If the Presidency will not regard the Senate, then I believe it will not be out of place if the Senate declares a showdown against the Presidency until the needful is done. There is nothing wrong in using your constitutional power to demand for what you want. It’s just unfortunate that on the long run, the poor masses will bear the brunt of this power tussle.”

“I believe the NASS is within its right to consider suspending nominees. However, with the Magu issue, there may be a need to get proper legal clarification on the issue from an appropriate court. We need to understand the importance of upholding the institution of NASS, even though we may not like the current players. The executive must ensure that it does not set wrong precedents in an attempt to get its way,” said another Insider.

But another question we should ask ourselves is when exactly does this become a controversy? Prior to this time there had always been a robust relationship between both arms of government so that when it comes to appointment of nominees sent to the National Assembly, you are almost certain that the result would be an outright approval. This is probably the reason why there seems not to be a precedence to this, hence the controversy of who exactly has the power of confirmation. But this present quagmire could mean two things, our democracy is rapidly growing, or that the executive has lost its usual characteristic proactive demeanour of peacefully lobbying support for its nominees before sending them to the Senate.

“It is disingenuous on the part of the executive, especially the Acting President to continue to dance to the tune of people like Prof. Itse Sagay on some issues generating conflict between the executive and the legislature,” said an Insider with the PDP.  He further stated that “It is a global democratic governance standard that once the Congress has rejected a nominee, such person stands rejected. We need to put aside this military orientation of flexing muscle and develop our democracy based on international best practices. The Senate is right at insisting that its ratification in line with its constitutional power must be respected.”

An Insider with the Labour Party surmised that “The Constitution which provided for us the three arms of government knows what it is doing. This is more of a constitutional matter. The Supreme Court should be the one to settle this issue; I would add that either of the two arms of government should approach the court to clarify this issue.”

Another Insider with the PDP who also did not go otherwise believes that “The Senate is right but it’s taking the right action too late a time. Right from the inception of this government, the Buhari led administration has shown to everyone that it is not ready to play by the book, to respect the constitution. When they started, the Senate should have risen up in defense of the constitution, they indulge this government, now the executive does not see them as being important. No other government has been this arrogant to the legislature, hence the National Assembly needs to put its foot on the ground. The executive needs to know that a government such as ours, there are separation of powers, and if the law says ‘pending confirmation of the Senate’, that means it is only a government that is irresponsible that would also want to keep such a person in office. It is not about Magu, it is about setting precedence, if another government comes, they might actually follow this precedence. Does it mean that the EFCC would fold up if there were no Magu, is he the only one in Nigeria who can fight corruption? This goes to show how insensitive the executive is.  If the Senate says they are not confirming, to keep the relationship with them, why not sacrifice Magu? It is not about the Buhari today, it is about the kind of democracy and institution that we are building, are we building strong men or we are building strong institutions. The Nigerian People (Senators) have insisted that they are not confirming Magu, if you are insisting that it must be Magu, that means there is an ulterior motive.”

An Insider with the PDP said that “The continued frosty relationship between these two arms is not unwarranted in a democratic setting. However, due to the rising tension across the land and the deepening hate threats, these contending two arms should show some circumspection in the overall interest of stability, peace and the nation in general. At this point, there should be a back-end meeting between the leadership of the National Assembly and the Acting President to urgently resolve grey areas. We don’t need tensions at their level. All of them should be involved in helping to address the huge challenges on the nation. Each side should cease public comments on all raging issues.”

This would perhaps continue to remain a controversy until we understand why it is coming at such a time like this, without this, not even the decision of the Supreme Court on this would put a lid to this power tussle.

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

Bukola Ogunyemi (NA), 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 Akabua (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), 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)

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail