As poverty-stricken as the average Nigerian is, Nigerian senators pride themselves as one of the highest paid in the world.
In accordance with the principles of democracy, the legislative arm of government is supposed to be the people's representative.
They're supposed to have the people at heart in everything they do, which includes decision making and implementation of laws.
The people's needs are supposed to be their needs; likewise the pain of the people. Because in reality, legislators are supposed to be the people in government.
But in Nigeria, it is not the case. And it doesn’t look like it will be so anytime soon.
Upon retrospection, one would realize that not for once has it been recorded that the lives of average Nigerians were positively affected as a result of an implemented law.
Everything they do, including the approval of budgets, seems to be for the elite and a select few.
And when situations compel them (our so-called representatives) to exchange blows and scale through locked gates, it is not for the people’s sake but for their selfish political interest.
When in August 2017, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo described Nigerian senators as “unarmed robbers,” some of them who prefer foolishness to reasoning replied him with insults; without asking themselves if it is ideal, for the so-called people’s representatives to receive a whopping sum of N29million monthly when over 75% of the country’s population gropes in poverty.
Apparently, there's no particular sector in the country that can be said to be operating in accordance with the demand of standard.
Just take a look at our educational sector; does it not seem like a forum of unseriousness? As important as the health sector is, it has always been ministered like it’s nobody’s business. After all, none of the elites make use of the shithole hospitals that are made available to us.
Is there a point to talk about security when the incessant, inexplicable killings of poor Nigerians have been posing questions our leaders have refused to answer? These politicians move with security forces like they're living in a battlefield: They've succeeded in securing their lives so it is left for God to bless the people with security.
The high rate of unemployment in our country is fearful. There is anguish in the land. From the center of power to other parts of the country, disorder is the order of the day.
Yet, amidst all these, the representatives of the people in government choose to enrich themselves without thinking of those they claim to represent.
Of course, it is not the senators but the ineptitude of the Executive (coupled with corruption) that has brought us to this state where nothing seems to be working.
Nevertheless, one is forced to ask what the legislative arm of government is doing to curb this abnormality.
What law have they passed to bring an end to this senselessness? What move have they made to show Nigerians that they are not part of this evil we like to call corruption? What resistance have they made … what hope have they given?
And if they're not playing a huge role in this game of democratic fraud, how come it has become impossible for them to move a motion of "Death Sentence" for corrupt politicians?
Because as it stands, laws like that are the needed resolutions that can help save this country from its ill-fated end.
But they will not do such and they’ll never make an attempt. You know why? The coffer of Nigeria is like a "National Cake" to them: Let those who have the opportunity to cut, satisfy their greed with loots.
And from 1960 to date, the goal has remained the same.
According to Professor Itse Sagay, a Nigerian senator earns over three billion naira per annum. Why? To represent a people that is poverty poverty-stricken.
Here is a breakdown of a Nigerian Senators monthly salary as stated by Professor Itse Sagay
- Basic salary N2,484,245.50
- Hardship allowance 1,242, 122.70
- Constituency allowance N4, 968, 509.00
- Furniture allowance N7, 452, 736.50
- Newspaper allowance N1, 242, 122.70
- Wardrobe allowance N621,061.37
- Recess allowance N248, 424.55
- Accommodation N4,968,509.00
- Utilities N828,081.83
- Domestic staff N1,863,184.12
- Entertainment N828,081.83
- Personal assistant N621,061.37
- Vehicle maintenance allowance N1,863,184.12
- Leave allowance N248,424.55
- Severance gratuity N7,425,736.50
- Motor vehicle allowance N9,936,982.00