by Stanley Azuakola
Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) leader, Bola Tinubu, used to be member of the Senate. Presently, his wife, Remi Rinubu is a senator representing Lagos State. Yet, Tinubu has made a call for that body to be scrapped, so that Nigeria would be left with a single house in the legislative arm.
Tinubu made this known in Abuja on Tuesday at the 2012 Annual Conference and Awards ceremony of Leadership Newspapers. He stated that the House of Representatives, which is closer to the grassroots, is more suited to representing the people, and that taking the step would help in addressing the huge recurrent expenditure the nation services yearly.
“We have kept complaining about the cost of governance and the recurrent expenditure, but we have never examined the structural problem of even the constitution that we are operating.
“Why do we need two Houses of the National Assembly, whereas the House of Representatives representing the smaller constituencies is enough in the same number of population.
“Why not get rid of the Senate for a slim and better legislative activity? Let us start examining that,” said Tinubu.
Tinubu also used the occasion to voice support for the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega. He wondered why Jega cannot be allowed to assume total control of the electoral body by being given a free hand to pick the resident electoral commissioners (REC).
Tinubu frowned at the situation where the RECs are appointed by the president, who he said, was partisan and belonged to a political party.
“Once you say somebody is chairman/chief executive of a corporation, you have given him all the powers and authority to act on behalf of the people” he said.
“We gave INEC the power and authority to act on our behalf, to be an institution that will be transparent and independent and the commission is being funded directly from source, from allocation, from tax and expenditure from our commonwealth and the wealth of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Why would we not allow the buck to stop on the table of INEC chairman so that if he messes up, we have somebody to blame.
“Why will an INEC chairman not be able to appoint those in the branches in the states – the resident electoral commissioners who are representatives of IEC in the states?”