On Tuesday November 24, 2015, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki launched his “Suggestion Boxes” in the Conference Room, Suite 0.26, in the Senate New Building of the Nigerian National Assembly Complex.
In his speech before cutting a red ribbon tape held by fellow senators, Saraki beaming with pride said, inter alia:
“Today, the 8th Senate marks another watershed moment in our vision to take lawmaking back to the people with the symbolic launching of the Senate President’s Suggestion Box. Many may ask what we seek to achieve with this launch and wonder the correlation between the suggestion box and making laws. For the 8th Assembly, this event ticks all the boxes in terms of our vision which is to ensure that laws we make impact on our peoples’ lives . . . “
Our vision or his vision? I was aghast at this new development. I couldn’t believe what I was watching on television.
In the 21st Century; in the age of technology; in the age of Information Communication and Technology (ICT); in the age of the world wide web (www) – the solid age of the internet, dot com age and online communication, happening realtime? And our senate president, an educated man, a medical doctor, our chief lawmaker and symbol of the legislative branch of government – the President of the Senate (upper chamber and red chamber) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in the Nigerian National Assembly – is advancing lawmaking through a Suggestion Box?
Wow! I am lost for words.
The Nigerian people are supposed to offer suggestions in boxes on how to make laws? This is the height of legislative rascality.
The Suggestion Boxes were launched by Saraki with fanfare – covered by the media with all the senators in attendance?
The National Assembly is located in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital and Nigeria has 36 states of the federation. How are Nigerians that reside in either Adamawa, Borno, Lagos, Anambra, Imo, Oyo or Cross River states, etc., supposed to make and throw in their suggestions into Saraki’s Suggestion Boxes in the Senate, in Abuja?
They will have to travel all the way from their states of origin or domicile to the National Assembly in Abuja to throw in their lawmaking-suggestions into Saraki’s Suggestion Boxes? Haba!
Even Saraki’s twitter handle is very active but no, he needs a Suggestion Box or Boxes to assist and enable our honorable senators to make correct laws for Nigeria.
This is either a charade or a joke.
The National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria does not have a website where ordinary Nigerians can visit and/or log in to make suggestions – from anywhere in the world.
Now there is a new technology in town. A Nigerian in diaspora, say, in New York in the United States, will have to fly into Abuja, Nigeria in the morning, make and drop his lawmaking suggestions into Saraki’s Suggestion Box or Boxes at the National Assembly in Abuja, rush back to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and catch a late evening or night flight back to the Big Apple in God’s Own Country.
Maybe its time to tell our honorable senators to stop ‘snoozing’ because it’s action time in the 21st Century. Dr. Bukola Saraki has reported himself to Madjack Report.
If you snooze, you lose.
By Nnamdi Ebo