Nigerians are beginning to question the power and capability of the nation’s legislature. In the face of major insecurity, lawmakers were unable to hold the president accountable for the mismanagement of things. In fact, Members of the assembly had called on President Muhammadu Buhari, he did not show up, and they eventually resigned to ‘apologising’ for daring to do so. If they can’t, who will?
Still, there were some lawmakers who did commendable things over the past two months. We have compiled the best, worst and most unexpected performers from the legislature for the month of November and December.
10. Desmond Elliot
Desmond Elliot is still suffering the residue of the backlash he received following his comments surrounding the #EndSARS protests. The filmmaker cum politician had argued the need for a social media regulation. He also took it a step further by calling Nigerian youths ‘children’.
He emerged to shed a few tears and apologise profusely but it seems as though the public would hear nothing of it. His legendary status as an actor is also not doing him any favours. The trust relationship between him and his constituency has now been badly severed.
9. Mojisola Alli-Macaulay
The Lagos Assembly member, Mojisola Alli-Macaulay, had made some truly insensitive comments during the #EndSARS protests that warranted a lot of backlash.
“We need to begin to orientate our young people. They are high on drugs all the time, most of them.
“They go to social media and do all sorts of things. I’m even scared to give my young children phones because I am scared of what they may see on social media. It is that bad,” she said.
To add kerosene to an already blazing fire, it was reported that the lawmaker had shared palliatives as gifts for her birthday celebration.
Thereafter, the Amuwo Odofin Stakeholders Consultative Forum called for her immediate recall. However, the campaign was recently reported to have been stalled due to some intervening factors. Yet, the incident is one Nigerian youths won’t be so quick to forget or forgive.
8. Senate President Ahmad Lawan
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, was recently awarded the 2019 Zik Prize in Political Leadership. Lawan’s Chief of Staff; Dr Babagana Muhammad-Aji received the award on behalf of the Senate President. Despite the accolades, Lawan’s actions have not bred much confidence in his ability to lead effectively.
The Senate President recently announced that he had sponsored the wedding of over 300 indigent citizens of Yobe, his home state as some form of empowerment incentive. This incentive is very perplexing. How is the sponsorship of wedding ceremonies going to truly empower his constituency? The money infused in that venture could have been used to buy vocation tools or build noteworthy infrastructure.
7. Elisha Abbo
Why Elisha Abbo still holds a place in power is genuinely beyond us. The official proved how unfit he was for government when he got embroiled in the sex shop assault incident. A CCTV camera had caught him battering a young lady. Despite the enormous backlash, Abbo still wields his position as the senator representing Adamawa North Senatorial District in Adamawa State at the Nigerian 9th National Assembly.
He was slammed with a 50million naira fine but it was apparent he hadn’t learnt his lesson. He was caught yet again on camera brutalising another woman. He’s built quite the reputation for beating up and slapping people on a whim.
6. Akin Alabi
Akin Alabi is one of the few lawmakers to take up an active presence on social media. This, often time, makes him the centre for backlash regarding some comments he might have made flippantly. It also makes him relatable and accessible.
The House of Representative lawmaker representing Ona-Ara/Egbeda Federal Constituency of Oyo State bagged the award as the Federal Legislator of the year. Alabi received the Award from the Nigerian Students Merit Awards 2020.
The Egbeda/OnaAra community has seen developments brought by the lawmaker in areas such as Welfare programs, community support, infrastructure, and Human capital development.
The lawmaker, however, recently came under major attack over photos he posted on social media. Alabi had posted pictures of a rather small health centre project. The minuscule scale of the project caused people to bite; stating that this was not worth celebrating. Alabi explained to the best of his ability that the community was a small community and he also took the feedback from the people and promised to work on them.
5. Senator Basiru Ajibola
The Senator representing Osun Central Senatorial District at the Senate, Dr Ajibola Basiru, empowered over 600 of his constituents with vocation tools and other items.
Beneficiaries received items like grinding machines, hairdryers, motorcycles, generators, freezers, computer tablets distributed to over 200 constituents; as well as N8 million to 400 traders under the trade support initiative and many more.
In his remarks, Senator Basiru stated that the empowerment programme which started with three-day intensive capacity building training of 100 Co-Operators in August under the Zonal Intervention Programme (ZIP) and his personal contribution was geared towards fulfilling his electoral promise of putting the people first.
“The aim of empowering our people is borne out of the dire state of the economy and the attendant strain and the need for the people to be able to fend for themselves without recourse to begging or waiting on the government and political office holders for handouts. It is also to make our people to be self-reliant and encourage productivity which will contribute to the growth of National Gross Domestic Products while the effort will also allow for rural development both in capital and human resources,” he said.
4. Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko
In February, Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, representing Sokoto North Senatorial District, disbursed of over N 317.7 million in assistance to 1,176 Orphans provided by the International Islamic Relief Organisation.
Over the past few months, the Senator empowered 1,000 of his constituents, with various items and cash. The items distributed were two hundred pieces each of water pumping and sewing machines, as well as bags of maize while some of the beneficiaries each got N20,000 and a bag of rice seeds, while others were given N10,000 each and a bag of rice seeds.
He also donated a 300KVA electricity transformer to the Dundayen Gumburawa community, Wamakko Local Government of Sokoto State. The giving nature of this politician is quite admirable.
3. Hon Dennis Idahosa
Due to the pandemic and the economic recession Nigeria as a nation is currently facing, citizens truly need all the help they can get. The member representing Ovia Federal Constituency, Hon Dennis Idahosa, donated food items to members of his constituency to also help ease people’s struggles. Among the food items distributed by the lawmaker includes 500 bags of rice, 18 cows, 25 Rams and cash.
According to him, the incentive was to help people celebrate Christmas festivities.
“Christmas is a season of love and sharing, particularly with those who don’t have,” he said.
2. Alhaji Sani Musa
Earlier in the year, Alhaji Sani Musa donated over 900 bags of rice to each of the nine local government areas of Niger state. He also made available some condiments including vegetable oil and salt to his constituents to help mitigate the hardships during the start of the pandemic.
Musa, the senator representing Niger East senatorial zone, is no stranger to giving. The Senator empowered nothing less than 500 youths including women drawn from the Niger East Senatorial zone of Niger State. Some of the beneficiaries got tricycles, motorcycles, sewing and grinding machines, deep freezers, and barbing clippers, among others.
The Senator is also set to establish Information and Communication Technology (ICT) centres in the nine local government areas of the senatorial district where youths would be trained on “New Technology Skills”.
- Senator Abiodun Olujimi
There are very few people in our current Nigerian political sphere that are bold enough to speak truth to power. Senator Abiodun Olujimi is one of the scarce few.
Recently, the national assembly Joint Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) emerged to propose that married underage girls be recognised as eligible voters. The abhorrent recommendation, which should have never seen the light of day, was met with great resistance from Senator Olujimi.
She said, without mincing words, “The idea of capturing underage married girls in our electoral system by recognising them as voters doesn’t make sense.
“Only the adult, as defined by the Nigerian constitution should be eligible to vote. Why should we be proposing a law that would suddenly turn our young children to adults?”
She also called out the President on the way he’s handling the issue of insecurity in the nation. Speaking on the abduction of the Kankara boys, Olujimi, who represents Ekiti south, said the office of the president is not an award but a call to duty.
“This government has failed us and there is no doubt about that. The presidency is not an award, it is a call to duty, a man should be dutiful to when the bulk stops at his table. The bulk, as far as security is concerned, stops squarely on the table of Mr President,” she said.
She was also one of the few politicians to boldly speak out in support of the #EndSARS protests; recognising that the government had indeed failed youth.
The formidable woman also sponsored the bill that seeks to legalise the activities of various hunter groups in the country. Olujimi stated that the law when passed, would enable hunters to provide community policing, maintain law and order and offer community service to citizens.
The YNaija Legislators’ Effectiveness Ranking is a perception index by our special editorial programme as determined by correspondent assessment, news reports, and opinion surveys. It is graded on the following parameters: quality of representation, social impact, and national development.
Toluwanimi Onakoya is a spirited writer, creative and videographer. Her biggest drive is to connect with people and depict tales using various forms of media.
Toluwanimi is available on Instagram and Twitter @nimi_onaks