As government students in those days, we were taught that the Nigerian legislature is bicameral in nature. This meant that the National Assembly consisted of two houses – the Upper House (Senate) and the Lower How (House of Representatives). And, in fact, the Senate was supposed to be more powerful than the House of Representatives. Following recent developments in the country, one wonders if this last statement is really true.
Is this current House of Senate really as powerful as it is supposed to be?
It is true that the House of Representatives has recently been hit by a wave of corruption related allegations. Yet it is also a known fact that this same House has taken daring steps towards acknowledging that they have responsibilities towards the welfare of Nigerians. The first of such actions taken in this year was the emergency sitting held on the 8th of January (a Sunday) by the house in order to seek a solution to the fuel subsidy removal crisis.
The most recent of such actions by the House is the summon it has made to President Goodluck Jonathan concerning the current state of security in the country. This move can only be seen as a positive and timely one, considering the ongoing rampage of the Boko Haram in the Northern part of the country, not to mention the fact that the elephant share of this year’s budget has been diverted to security. Jonathan has questions to answer and the House of Representatives has rightly summoned him to come and do just that. We hope he honours the invitation.
On the other hand, the Senate has been missing in action when it comes to the goings on in the country. Yes they have been talking. But what concrete actions is this Upper house taking? Have they forgotten what they are there for? Or perhaps some of them do not even know what it is they are supposed to be doing as Senators! Maybe, since they are farther ahead of the House of Representatives in the corridors of power, they have interests to protect. Nigerians are need you now Senators. What are you doing?