Opinion: Why Marafa must accept Saraki’s appointment

by Audu O Audu

Nigerians who believed in the doggedness of the Senate Unity Forum, SUF, are resolute that the Forum’s Spokesman, Kabiru Marafa should hold the Chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream) while remaining resolute to his staunch democratic principles.

A cross section of Nigerians who took to the social media platforms in their numbers on the day that Senate President Bukola Saraki announced the reconstitution of the some senate committees were however worried and hoping that the ‘’ Greek gift” would not silence Marafa’s apt contributions in the Red Chamber.

Although, analysts have averred that recent reconstitution of various Senate committees by the embattled Senate President was to pacify some aggrieved members and also an attempt to sweep the forgery allegation besetting the leadership of the parliament under the carpet.

But the ebullient Zamfara born Senator’s attitude since inception of the 8th senate strongly shows that he cannot be swayed easily even though the reconstitution of the committee was one of the numerous agreements that were tendered by the warring parties for peace to return to the hallowed chamber.

Marafa’s unwavering stance has been clear from the outset; “The right thing must be done and party supremacy must be adhered to no matter your political ambition.”

Recalling Marafa’s statement on the senate forgery controversy recently, he had said: ‘‘if the senate that makes law begins to meddle with our laws it becomes an act of criminality and sets a dangerous precedence for our country.’’

As a core party loyalist, he believes in party supremacy which necessitated his insistence that the outcome of the last year straw ballot election at International Conference Centre, ICC, that saw 36 APC lawmakers queuing behind Senator Ahmed Lawan and Senator George Akume as Senate president and deputy respectively must be fully implemented.

Many political commentators had maintained that Marafa’s fight is born out of respect for his party and President Muhammadu Buhari’s holistic fight against corruption.

Until his appointment as chairman of Senate committee chairman on Petroleum (Downstream), Marfa headed National Identity committee, a position he accepted but refused to function on grounds that the committees be regularised in line with the standing rules of the senate.

This reshuffling is coming barely eight months after chairmen of the 64 Senate committees were announced and his colleagues and friends from the Unity Forum including the Chairman Barnabas Germade has long accepted their supposed juicy committees which has not deterred any of them from taking their stand on the floor of the senate. Therefore, Marafa’s own would not be an exception.
To many Nigerians, rejecting this position would only portray him as being unprepared to truly stand for what he claims he believes.

“Marafa will be heading to “political menopause’’ if he refused to work with Buhari who is the substantive Minister of Petroleum. Remember, Petroleum remains the mainstay of Nigeria economy,’’ a political commentator said.

Accepting it without and launching out to re-position the oil sector would show his readiness to serve his constituency in particular and Nigeria in general.

Recall that the Petroleum Committee(Downstream) was earlier chaired by Senator Uche Ekwunife who was booted out by the court, before a more competent Marafa who has the charisma and ability to perform a thorough oversight function in the petroleum sector that was over the years regarded as a cesspit of corruption was appointed.

Unequivocally speaking, Nigerians having followed his intelligent contributions in the floor of the hallowed chamber which has earned him the name ‘‘Controversial lawmaker ’’ want to see him walk his talk.

“Action speaks louder than words; the time to act is now senator Marafa! The ball is in your court.’’
Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

Audu O Audu is a Political Analyst, writes from Zaria and a columnist for Post Nigeria.

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