In a surprising revelation, the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, declared that legislators, particularly those in the Nigerian Senate, are the most misunderstood and unfairly criticized arm of the government. Speaking at the 100th birthday colloquium of Second Republic lawmaker Senator Kunle Oyero, Akpabio highlighted the prevalent misconception surrounding the role of lawmakers in the country.
Represented by Senator Shuaib Salisu of Ogun Central, Akpabio expressed his concern that Nigerians tend to hold legislators accountable for issues beyond their direct control. He lamented, “The one arm of government that people don’t really understand and is always a subject of ridicule and attack is the legislature. In fact, people sometimes don’t think legislators do anything at all.”
Akpabio went on to explain the discrepancy in measuring legislative performance. While the official syllabus outlines the legislator’s role in making laws, performing oversight functions, and making appropriations, the electorate, according to Akpabio, uses a different metric. He argued that voters often judge legislators based on tangible contributions to their constituencies, such as the provision of infrastructure like transformers.
“The metric for measuring the performance of legislators is the number of transformers and other material things they give to the people they are representing,” Akpabio remarked, shedding light on the challenges faced by lawmakers in meeting public expectations.
In a contrasting view, Sunday Oduntan, the Global President of AGSOBA (Abeokuta Grammar School Old Boys Association), suggested a part-time legislative approach. He advocated for a reconsideration of the current structure, emphasizing the need for effective implementation of laws to address the country’s challenges. Oduntan acknowledged the complexity of Nigeria’s political landscape but emphasized the importance of a more efficient system.