I was taken aback when someone shared a video clip on a mutual school alumni platform, where our present legislators, in a joint session of the National Assembly, “replaced” the national anthem with a party campaign song and slogan of the ruling APC and President Bola Tinubu when he visited with the hallowed chambers to present the budget recently.
It was a daring assault on our sensibilities as much as an open display of ignorance of what the doctrine of separation of powers means on the side of this crop of lawmakers.
It was the French political Philosopher, Montesquieu, who in his wisdom, as encapsulated in his theory, thought that the three departments of government ( Executive, Legislature and Judiciary) must be managed by a separate body of persons such that no one of them should have a controlling power over either of the others. This was to allow for checks and balances in the daily operation of government and governance. And this has become the cornerstone of modern democracies all around the world ever since.
He must be turning in his grave by now with what has been in existence in our clime, which advertently or inadvertently allows for a congenital arrangement that makes the other arms functionally subjugated and conquered by the head of the executive arm.
Watching that video clip makes one wonder if Nigeria still operates a multi-party democracy or is this one-party convolution? Or else, how can one describe the overwhelming hypocrisy that made elected representatives of the people from different political platforms suddenly jettison reason, and appropriateness to kowtow the line of infamy and mediocrity?
Our level of hypocrisy and hero-worshipping in Nigeria is worrisome and therefore, a threat to public morality and trust by the remaining few who took the risk of believing in our political elites despite their recurring shortcomings. The Senate of Godswill Akpabio should kindly apologize to Nigerians for this show of shame.
While one may not advocate for witch-hunting and crass administrative red-tapism and unwarranted bottlenecks in the name of checks and balances, the hero-worshipping displayed by these honourable and distinguished members of the National Assembly, to say the least, was dishonourable and didn’t distinguish them from the pain we have witnessed in that chambers over the years. And this is painful.
Austen Akhagbeme, Abuj