CACOL Lampoons National Assembly, Over Reps Rift On Committee Appointments And Senators’ Disagreement Over N5, 000 Stipends For Unemployed Nigerian Youth
The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders CACOL, has lashed out at the Senators over the rejection of the motion for the payment of N5, 000 stipend to each jobless Nigerian and on the honourable members of House of Representatives over the reported ongoing rift that is almost tearing the lower federal legislature apart in the past few days.
Media information has it that the disturbing development has led to mass resignation by a good number of appointed members of some standing committees while many others are threatening to follow suit. The cause of the rift, according to reports, is not unconnected with the disgruntled honourable members’ dissatisfaction with their appointment into certain house committees. They were alleged to have protested against the manner with which the appointments were made by the honourable speaker, The Rt. Honourable Yakubu Dogara.
Led by the House Leader, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, the protesting members had faulted the lopsidedness in the appointments. Honourable Gbajabiamila particularly faulted the speaker for not consulting him as expected before the list was forwarded – an action he considered as a clear deviation from the normal practice and disrespectful to his office as the House Leader. Those who resigned had complained that the speaker had deliberately sidelined them from those committees they described as ‘juicy’.
Senators of the All Progressives Party and their Peoples Democratic Party counterparts were also reported to have disagreed on the payment of N5,000 monthly stipend to each unemployed Nigerian youth. The motion which was raised by the Peoples Democratic Party senator representing the Federal Capital Territory, Philip Aduda, urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to fulfill its campaign promise, without further delay, the N5 ,000 monthly allowance to every unemployed youth nationwide.
Debo Adeniran, the Executive Chairman of the Coalition lamented over what he described as “a shameless display of sheer opportunism by our ‘honourable’ law-makers. It’s disturbing seeing the frequency at which these people fight for issues bordering on their selfish gains. How very impressive it would have been if they take issues of national interest with the same zeal and seriousness.
“Thanks to members of lower legislative chamber; at least, we are now being made to know that certain committees are ‘juicier’ than the others. Are we not now beginning to understand better that all the claims by these people that ‘the driving motive behind their contesting for legislative positions is basically to serve the nation and to loyally represent their respective constituencies’ have been nothing but mere lip service; otherwise, why should they be selective and not just take whatever was given and get to work for the nation, in whatever capacity they find themselves? It’s getting clearer by the day that Nigerians still have to continue the long wait for that time to come when people seeking political offices would be doing so, strictly altruistic, out of the desire to serve the nation and not to please themselves.
Commenting on the senators’ rejection of the monthly allowance to the unemployed youth, Adeniran opined that “since the authorities know the number of graduates of different higher institutions in the country, they would have considered it as a burden to carry and should have created workplaces for them.” This he continued, “is the more reason why we want the government to create business friendly environment, encourage cottage industries for those with requisite capacity and establish more industries and central vocational centers that would absorb the unemployed graduates and competent artisans.”
Speaking further Adeniran stressed, “The fact that all these promises, the monthly allowance for the unemployed inclusive, were voluntarily made by the APC during its electioneering campaign makes it incumbent on it to honour the promises without any further excuses whatsoever, now that it is in power. No excuse will be good enough.”
As for the monthly allowance, the CACOL boss asserted, “all that is now expected of the APC-led government is to begin to collate necessary data with a view to determining the accurate population of potential beneficiaries of this and all other of its campaign promises and the cost implication and commence the implementation without further ado. However, giving such paltry sum of money to Nigerian youths will not solve their problems outright. Government should be reminded that it has to create the enabling environment for employment generation and ensure that business set-up, maintenance and sustenance are enhanced by government policies, which will include provision of micro-credit, reduction in taxes and rates payable, and moratorium for new business loans.” He concluded.