[The Legislative Blog] The Senate’s meningitis “intervention” is too reactionary for us to be impressed

The outbreak of meningitis in Nigeria became a viral topic last week, a time when the 8th Assembly was too busy with verifying Senator Dino Melaye’s certificates, suspending Ali Ndume, trying to teach the President how democracies work and generally just doing everything else but the more pressing issues directly related to legislation.

But they finally made some time for the outbreak that has affected 90 LGAs in 16 States in Nigeria since 2016 when the first set of cases were reported in Zamfara last year.

In a motion titled:“Outbreak of Meningitis and the Urgent Need to Curb its Spread & Stop Further Deaths”, Lagos State’s Senator Gbenga Ashafa, supported by 16 others tabled the need for increased coordination and funding for regular and specialised healthcare in the 2017 budget.

They suggested that meningitis vaccinations be made free across all public hospitals in Nigeria.

Our problem is not that the Senate’s suggestion is not valid or important but that it is too reactionary for them to even be proud of it. The outbreak has been a problem since last year and they have now just made time for it.

Same reactionary attitude with which they responded to the Custom’s new vehicle duty verification policy; the killings of Nigerians outsde the country; the threat to Nigerian students in Turkey; and almost everything else anyone can think of.

It’s high time the Senate realised that if they took their jobs more seriously, then maybe they’d actually make a difference by making legislations that will help us avoid crises as opposed to hustling to deal with them after Nigerians’ lives have been negatively affected.

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