June 15, 2019

Minority Leader of the eighth Senate of Nigeria, Senator Biodun Olujimi, one of the thirty-five representatives to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, has said the outburst of Speaker Mustapha Cisse Lo against his first Deputy, Sulaimon Lasun Yussuff for absenteeism and blocking his per diem was too personal.

According to her, plenary and Parliament is not a place where you attack individuals especially, “if you are a leader you should be able to manage issues in close doors”.

She made this remarks at the closing session of the first ordinary session for this year held in Abuja Nigeria.

“It is not everything you put up on the floor of the House, Parliament should be a place where you distil information, and you formulate policies, it is not a place where petty personal issues would be brought. I am not in favor of anyone not attending to business in the House, however, Sulaimon Lasun Yussuff is the Deputy Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representative, he is a busy person”.

She further argued that the Speaker Mustapha Cisse Lo was put there so that he can over see affairs when there is overlap once a while, and pointed out that the last time, the first Deputy Speaker Sulaimon Lasun Yussuff came to the House, he was not allowed to chair affairs of the House.

“The Second Deputy Speaker was asked to sit and chair affairs, you saw him, he took his book and walked away. If you treated him that way were you going to expect him to come back? I believe the Speaker should be a little more receptive with information and should be able to call people and ask questions either than come and vituperate in the Parliament”.

As to whether Parliament has fulfilled its mission, she pointed out that there is the need to look at the curriculum once again which would make it better; the way we are going “if we do not have quality leadership we would lose truck of what the founding fathers envisaged”.

She further added that elections of lawmakers in the community Parliament would have been better because they would go back and ensure whatever decision are taken are affirmed, Parliament itself has not arranged itself in a way for ideas to be taken out of here so for us to be able to domesticate everything we agree upon.

On the issue of Nigerian lawmakers taking per diem and walk away, she questioned, “have you ever come with us to any other country apart from Nigeria?”

“What happens is simple, when you are at home as a legislator say you would not attend to a bill being taken on the floor of the House, better to call the community lawmakers and ask them what the problem is. That is the mark of a leadership and you have to attend to ECOWAS Parliament it is not possible, rather than vituperate it is when you want to lead you should be able to make allowance to see peoples fault help in making it better”.

The best is brought to ECOWAS Parliament and these are people who are always having things to do. In my case, I am the Minority Leader, I sit in Parliament every morning, so what I do is I go to the House of Representatives early and I come back here latter. If you are at home it is a different thing all together, when we visit other MPs in their home countries it is like that, she explained.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ghanamps.com/Abuja