The Senator representing Edo South Senatorial Zone, Neda lmasuen, has urged the federal government to explore all options of diplomacy and dialogue in resolving the unfolding crisis in the Niger Republic following the military takeover some weeks ago.….CONTINUE READING....CONTINUE READING
Speaking in an interview with newsmen in Abuja on friday, Senator lmasuen said that the Niger Republic crisis is a clumsy one because of the affinity Nigeria has with that country.
He said: “You may not know but those who are close to the border with Niger Republic know very well what l am talking about. The second aspect is that Nigeria is not ready for war. We have to be honest with ourselves, we are not equipped today for any kind of external war. We have so many internal issues that need resolution in our country than to now begin heaping on ourselves, other issues that we are not prepared for.
“For me and the majority in the Senate we don’t support military action now. And that is not to say that we do not support President Bola Tinubu’s initiatives on the crisis. We support the diplomatic moves of Mr President and I think there are multiple layers of interfacing and dialogue before arriving at the last option of war.
“ I don’t think we have exhausted all those options yet. So I believe we have to exhaust those options first before opting for war. And in any case, like I said before, war should not be an option because we are not ready for war.
lmaseun also threw more light on the recent ministerial screening exercise and the ‘take a bow and go’ tradition which he said may have been misunderstood by many Nigerians.
According to him, it is the prerogative of Mr President to nominate members of his cabinet and the constitution also empowers the Senate to screen those ministerial nominees.
“The Senate was able to interact with the nominees and see how they stand on issues that affect Nigerians. l, personally was excited over the number of medical doctors that were nominated for screening not just because of their qualification but because of the health crisis the country is facing. Hopefully they will be able to address the health challenges we are facing,” he said.
“We christened the 10th Assembly ‘the Corrective Assembly’ because we are here to do things differently from the past and in doing so we are trying to do things better than it was done before and that is the motivation first of all. We came in with certain ideas of how to move the country forward in line with our campaign manifestos and legislative agendas.
“l am of the Labour Party and we are very people-oriented and so whatever we put forward must have a direct benefit to the people and that is the primary motivation for me and my colleagues in the Labour Party.
“The take a bow and go tradition has been widely misunderstood by many people because even when we screen nominees thoroughly they don’t just walk away, they will still pay obeisance to the Senate by taking a bow before leaving as a sign of respect just like any other Senator who wants to exit the chamber will get up and pay obeisance to the Senate at the aisle.”
According to him, in the case of former NASS members who are ministerial nominees, the tradition to take a bow and leave.
“This 10th Assembly did not establish it, we are only abiding by convention. Because of this misconception, the Senate now says take a leave of the Senate so that people will not hear the words take a bow and go,” he said.
On the fuel subsidy removal palliatives proposed by the federal government, Senator lmaseun opined that: “The issue is very controversial because l don’t believe that the N8,000 monthly payment proposed will have any meaningful impact on the livelihoods of Nigerians.
“lf l were in the position of the President, l will explore other directions like mass transit to make sure that we have enough buses to move people to and fro their homes and offices. Because the hike in transport fares is what people are suffering most from as a result of the fuel subsidy removal.
“In this instance they have proposed N8,000 monthly payment for 6 months and people are not satisfied. As for the Senate, remember that we are in a parliament with all shades of opinions from different political parties. And as l said, the minority have their say, while the majority have their way.”.….CONTINUE READING