Elder statesman and former Head of Service in the defunct Bendel State, Chief Patrick Isioma Onyeobi, Wednesday, took a swipe on the activities of the National Assembly and said the actions of members of the House of Representatives were a disgrace to the democracy of Nigeria, highly regrettable and embarrassing.
Onyeobi, who is the traditional Prime Minister of Asaba, the Delta State capital, said it was unfortunate that elected legislators could degenerate to the level of throwing chairs, inflicting injuries on each other in the full glare of the national and global televisions in the hallowed chambers.
The Octogenarian said though Nigeria’s democracy was still in its developing stage, it was uncalled for lawmakers to demean to the extent of fighting and relegating their exalted positions to the background.
Onyeobi, who was speaking in an interview with universalreporters247.com in Asaba, where he presently resides after serving Bendel State, said “the drama that played out in the House of Representatives on Thursday, June 25, which was televised live to a global audience where some members of the House were carrying chairs and fighting themselves was very unfortunate, embarrassing and highly regrettable.
“One would have liked to believe that with each election in the country, we would have learnt more lessons that would impact positively on our march towards building a viable democratic system but what we saw on Thursday, June 25, with the legislators in the House of Representatives behaving in a very disorderly manner makes one fear for the future of our country.
“This sort of disorderly conduct could unwittingly encourage mischief makers to try to terminate our democracy and history will condemn us if this is allowed to happen. Again, the crisis, if not timely nipped in the bud, would slow down the tempo of legislative activities in the National Assembly for the good governance of the country. I am not pessimistic but what is happening in the National Assembly, if not checked, portends a great threat to our democracy”.
He said rather than fighting and inflicting injuries on each other, the legislators should quickly call themselves to order and work for the development and evolution of the nation’s democracy, adding that in the first republic, “people say that we did not perform well in our democratic effort because many of those piloting the affairs of governance then were not highly educated but with successive changes and elections over the years, more and more educated people are being elected into various legislative houses in the country”.
He called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the National Assembly to fine-tune ways to resolve the crisis engulfing the house so that the job of the legislature would not be truncated.