Tinubu wants the Senate scrapped

Channels Television  
Updated September 19, 2012

Former Lagos State Governor and leader of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Bola Tinubu, has made the call for the upper arm of  legislature to be scrapped.

Mr Tinubu, who disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday at the 2012 Annual Conference and Awards ceremony of Leadership Newspapers, said that the House of Representatives is better placed at representing the people since its members are  closer to the grass roots.

The opposition leader who is a former Senator, claimed this will go a great deal in addressing the nation’s huge cost of governance and recurrent expenditure.

“We have kept complaining about the cost of governance and the recurrent expenditure, but we have never examined the structural problem of even the constitution that we are operating” he stated.

“Why do we need two Houses of the National Assembly,  whereas  the House of Representatives representing the smaller constituencies is enough in the same number of population.

“Why not get rid of the Senate for a slim and better legislative activity? Let us start examining that” a fiery Mr Tinubu suggested.

Mr Tinubu’s call is coming just as the Senegalese parliament passed a law, last week to scrap its Senate and the office of vice-president, as both are considered too expensive for the West-African nation’s budget.

President Macky Sall last month announced emergency legislation to scrap the Senate and turn over its annual budget of almost $16 million to dealing with the impact of deadly floods that recently inundated the country.

Mr Tinubu also expressed his support for moves by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, to take total full control of the commission by asking that he be allowed to pick the Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC).

Absolute power for Jega

The opposition leader  stated  it was wrong for the RECs to be appointed by the President, who he said, belongs to a political party.

He noted that it was bad for President Goodluck Jonathan, who is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, a party he said had vowed that it would rule for 60 years or more, to be the one appointing the RECs.

Since Nigerians had given Prof Jega  permission to act on their behalf, he should be allowed to pick his lieutenants.

“Once you say somebody is Chairman/Chief Executive of a corporation, you have given him all the powers and authority to act on behalf of the people” he stated.

“We gave INEC the power and authority to act on our behalf, to be an institution that will be transparent and independent and the commission is being funded directly from source, from allocation, from tax and expenditure from our commonwealth and the wealth of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Why would we not allow the buck to stop on the table of INEC Chairman so that if he messes up, we have somebody to blame.

“Why will an INEC chairman not be able to appoint those in the branches in the states – the Resident Electoral Commissioners who are representatives of IEC in the states?”