Nigeria Exchange
About Us Advertise News Business Addresses Nigeria Events Newspapers Newsletter More
Search Nigeria Sites & Businesses Search Tips

News General Sports Business Odd / Funny Tech Entertainment Articles Author Login Comments More Categories Author List
Author Name: Ifedigbo Nze Sylva
Number of articles: 23
Last article added: I Need a Ghanaian visa, fast
I need a Ghanaian Visa urgently. Time is running out on me. Can anybody help? I must be in Ghana next... (0) Comment

Email A Friend  |   Print
Who are the I’s and who are the Nay’s?
Author: Ifedigbo Nze Sylva | February 02, 2009

Presiding officer: âThose in Support say Iâ Member: âaaaayyyeeeeeâ in a noisy chorus Presiding officer: âThose against say nayâ Members: ânaaaayyyyhhhhhâ in a noisy chorus Presiding officer: âThe Iâs have itâ The gavel sounds. That is how business is conducted in the Nigerian Legislature. The question however is, who are the Iâs and who are the Nays? In some other democracies, where political business is transacted based on ideologies, the people know what every of their representative stands for and are equally in a position to know what their position on every issue being argued will be. So for example, before debate and voting on a particular bill, the people already know who will be voting for or against. The lawmakers themselves do not hide their stand, party affiliations not withstanding. It is in truth, not their stand but the true reflection of the opinion of the people of the constituency they represent. Because the people are in the know, they are in a position to hold their representative responsible if he supports a Bill that is unpopular with them or if he fails to do their wishes on the floor of the House or senate. The system itself provides for the legislators to vote individually. Your name is called and you state exactly in what direction you are voting and the records are kept, such that even after twenty years, the archives can be searched and it will be clear what your stand was on a particular issue. Here in Nigeria, all the above can only be wishes. With none of our political parties having any clear cut ideology or manifesto and our representatives (who rigged their way to power in the first place) equally lacking in ideology, what we have is a âwheel barrow, carry goâ legislator, where very vital decisions are reached by voice votes. For this reason, we can not hold our representatives accountable. We hardly even know them and certainly do not have any knowledge of what they stand for. Their constituency offices are hardly functional and they visit once at Christmas, when they reaffirm their popularity-Nigeria style- by throwing money around and having the impoverished people sing their praise. Thereafter, they return to Abuja and continue to do their bidding. It often presents an extremely funny but shameful scene watching the Nigeria legislature voting on any issue. After some members would have gotten up to speak on the matter some essentially repeating what others have already said and some just talking and talking without making any clear point, a vote is called in which the presiding officer decides who wins based on how loud those in support or those against are. In fact, in some cases, he rules to the contrary based on which side of the argument he personally shares. It doesnât take long before the resulting uproar dies down and business continues. It is not uncommon to see our legislators in the kindergarten like display during the âIâs or naysâ vote raising both hands, some even standing and hopping excitedly around when shouting their vote. These are men and women of not less than thirty years, fathers, mothers, titled men, professionals, acting like Motor Park touts. To think that the fate of over 150 million Nigerians is decided in such an unserious manner is to say the least nauseating. Worse still, it denies us the right of knowing who did or did not vote for a particular issue and are thus incapacitated at taking away people who clearly do not represent our interests out of the NASS chambers. For example, the Freedom of Information Bill has suffered severe setbacks at the National Assembly. Clearly, the legislators have consistently ânaaayyyyhhhedâ it down. Yet out side of the chambers, each senator sounds as though it is the âothersâ who are against the bill. Not one of them has come out openly to say, I am against the FOI-Bill for so so so reasons, yet the bill doesnât pass. Who then are those against it? If the people of my district knew for example that our senator does not support the FOI-Bill which we all yearn for, we would be in a better position to reprimand him appropriately. When this happens in all 109 districts, at the next session of the senate, the bill will enjoy favourable passage. On the other hand, knowledge of our senators position equally gives him the chance to explain to us why he thinks the FOI-Bill shouldnât pass and if he is able to convince us, we can sit back relaxed that after all our interest was being well protected. That I think is what representative democracy is all about. I therefore wish to request on behalf of my fellow country men, that this blanket, motor park style vote by screams of Iâs and nays stop forthwith. We are not only interested in knowing who the Iâs and nays are, we also want to know why they took the âIâ or ânayâ stand. Section 56 of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria provides that questions posed in the Senate or House of Representatives shall be determined by a majority (a simple majority) of the members present and voting. It is my opinion that there are other civilized ways of determining a simple majority which shall even help to advance and deepen our democracy, other than by noisy voice votes. Sylva Nze Ifedigbo

(0) Comment

More From Ifedigbo Nze Sylva


NGEX welcomes and encourages reader comments. Permission to post reader comments is assumed, and we reserve the right to excerpt or edit for clarity any comments that are posted. We won't be able to publish all comments. And we can't vouch for the accuracy of posts from readers. Nickname or Name will be used to identify your post.
"The views and opinions expressed in these comment(s) or article(s) do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of NGEX, its partners or its affiliates."

follow NgEX on Facebook
Submit An Article
"Press Releases"    More »
Abiodun Idris | December 22, 2014
Greatest Nigeria students and masses of our dear country. I want to start this write up by saluting...
Submit A Press Release »
News / Comments   More »
Debts: What you should know as a Nigerian entrepreneur
February 25, 2016 | Gary Crenshaw | 1 posts
It is normal for businesses to owe money at the beginning of a business. That's what separates entrepreneur...  Post comment »
10 Lucrative Business Opportunities in Nigeria
December 03, 2015 | OJOMA THOMAS | 3 posts
How can I start a snails business,fairly used clothes and a poultry7071  Post comment »
Article / Comments   More »
Yoruba Origin Of Bini & Da Lagosians
July 29, 2017 |  N/A | 1 posts
This article is full of nonsense  Post comment »
Abani, Emeagwali, Oyibo: Trouble in Nigerian Paradise
April 29, 2013 |  Ojonimi Adegbe | 1 posts
Great article. I think this should be placed more out there for people to read and if possible for the...  Post comment »
Ribadu Remains The Only Saint That Led Anti-Corruption EFCC
December 19, 2016 |  Lawrence | 1 posts
Interesting piece. Let's continue to speak out.  Post comment »
Submit An Article
Copyright © 2005 -2013 NgEX. All rights reserved.