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Frankly Speaking With Jola Sotubo Common sense has finally entered the Senate

Despite the predominance of change-screaming senators, the Senate has continued to rub Nigerians the wrong way.

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Legislators in Nigeria's Senate building play

Legislators in Nigeria's Senate building

(Channels )

The Nigerian Senate has made a reputation of doing more wrong than right.

The lawmakers have frequently embarrassed the country with their brawls and extravagant lifestyles, but many expected the situation to change when the All Progressives Congress (APC) took control of the legislative chamber.

However, despite the predominance of change-screaming senators, the Senate has continued to rub Nigerians the wrong way.

The legislators first of all startled the country with their N8.64 billion wardrobe allowance despite the economic crisis in the country.

After that was the purchase of cars worth N330 million for Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the planned purchase of 469 vehicles worth N47.5 billion for the National Assembly as a whole.

“The waste that has gone into cars, furniture, housing renovation in the past was mind-boggling and these were veritable sources of waste and corruption. That was why they were abolished. Bringing them back is inimical to the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians,” former President, Olusegun Obasanjo said in reaction to the legislators’ plans.

More recently, the Senate has attracted criticism for refusing to approve the Gender Equality Bill, for buying new vehicles at N36.5 million each, for shutting down so that senators can escort Saraki to his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), for summoning the CCT Chairman, Justice Danladi Umar to appear before it and for attempting to amend the CCT/CCB Act.

However, two events which occurred on Wednesday, April 20, 2016, have made it seem that some amount of common sense has begun to seep into the senate.

On April 20, the upper legislative chamber suspended plans to amend the CCT/CCB Act and withdrew the summon it had issued to Justice Umar.

The Senate was obviously forced to reverse its decisions, in both cases, due to the mass outrage they had elicited.

However, before now, the Senate would have stuck to its guns no matter how much criticism it received, so the reversal is a step in the right direction.

Nigerians have in recent times realized that changing the country will take more than just the right president, the Senate has to be involved as well.

Hence, this little breath of common sense which has entered our Senate is a much needed breath of fresh air.

Is the Nigerian Senate an embarrassment?»

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