There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a great competition and rivalry between the two.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah
The Late Michael Jackson sang, They Don’t Care About Us
There has been a spate of Xenophobic Attacks on Nigerians by South Africans in recent times.
Understandably, Nigerians are concerned about this, and government thinks a trip to South Africa to personally lodge their complaint and find a lasting solution (this is not the first time) – would be proper.
Whether a trip made up of another entourage in this era of paucity of governmental funds is wise, is another matter entirely. Can’t this be diplomatically resolved without necessarily travelling over there? Doesn’t Nigeria have an embassy in South Africa, and is there no South African embassy in Nigeria?
But this is tangential…
The newspaper headline screams, Xenophobic Attacks: Senate, House Fight Over S’african Trip
You may want to wonder what the fight is all about?
The Senate eventually canceled their planned trip, allowing the adamant House Of Representatives members to proceed.
Hear Ekweremadu, the Deputy Senate President :
On our trip to South Africa, we noted that the House of Representatives insists on going to South Africa independently.
We thought we could lead a single and harmonised delegation of the National Assembly to avoid the embarrassment of multiple delegations.
The Senate, therefore, decided to pull out to allow the House delegation to proceed.
The power play / competition that is often seen between the two Houses cannot be good for our democracy. It also lends credence to the call for a Merger Of The Two Houses , as they often appear to have duplication in functions.
You can only have so much oversight.
If the single House deliberations are also made to be part-time, then it would attract only those who truly want to serve, and not just because of the humongous perks currently attached to being a Member.
Merging and simultaneously trimming the membership size would save the country monumental RECURRENT costs. Why fund two Houses when there is often confusion and rivalry as to who should do this, and whose duty it is to do that?
The jostle for appointment into committees, the hustling to be selected for foreign trips (because of dollar denominated allowances) gives the impression that they are mostly after feathering their own nests, and doesn’t paint them in a good light.
Despite the crippling recession, we have not heard of any move by the House Members to trim RECURRENT costs by cutting down on their emoluments, or slowing down on reckless spendings (and their approval – like the ₦250 Million approved for the Gate House of the Vice President) in this period of governmental cash crunch.
But the interesting problem is, the only way to effect a change like this merger is through the House Members themselves.
A vicious cycle.!
Since they obviously won’t do anything detrimental to the status quo, it would take an external force to effect a change in the the parasitic burden these two Houses constitute.
How to to do this is the head scratcher.
Do these people really care about us?