Monday, May 25, 2020

Did The National Assembly Attain The Objective For Which The Extraordinary Session Was Convened?

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

The answer to this question is simple.The extraordinary session was convened to meet the request of the executive for consideration of four major items, namely, extension of the declaration of a state of emergency by 45days, revised estimates of expenditure and revenue, public appointments and a supplementary Appropriation Bill. Only the appointment of the Ombudsman was confirmed. Appointments to the Armed forces Council was referred to the Public Appointment Committee of the National Assembly. All the other objectives were not attained. The cost benefit analysis of parliamentary sittings should be assessed from henceforth to determine whether the sitting is an asset or a burden to the Nation. Things have been proceeding very smoothly as national Assembly members put aside partisan interest and focus on national interest, in good faith . What the future holds after what could accurately be described as a divisive and unguided performance is still uncertain. A parliament without convergence criteria in decision making would be an indecisive and ineffective parliament, wasting time and resources and straining nerves. This would transform it from a working organ into a talking shop at national expense.

The Assembly is now adjourned. The executive is left to exercise power to declare a state of emergency when the current one expires that could last for 21 days without Parliament having any power to revoke it or affirm any regulation made under it, until the 21 days lapses . Comparatively if parliament negotiated with the executive for extension regardless of the number of days , it would avoid unilateral declaration from the presidency and further retain the power to revoke its resolution of extension, any time it deems fit , before the lapsing of the number of days given and by so doing revoke the regulations. The members of Parliament and the public at large should call a spade a spade. A decision without foresight tends to yield the opposite of what is intended. This is the verdict of truth and common sense and it is incontrovertible. Hence such method of decision making should never be allowed to reoccur.

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