Friday, December 7, 2012
Engage Your Lawmakers, They Are Indebted To You!
Since the return of democracy in 1999, Nigerians have been hearing of the House of Assembly and the Senate but only very few know their functions. Even during the 2011 polls, only a few voted during the house of reps poll because to them it is not useful to them. If only Nigerians know how important their representatives are, maybe things would have been a little different in Nigeria today. If Nigerians knew how to deal with their reps then then the FG wouln't have the guts to insult the house of representative by saying their resolution is just a "mere expression of opinion". To me that's a slap to the face of Nigerians.
Away from the problem, now the solution: we as citizens need to start holding our reps responsible. There are supposed to be the closest to the grassroots but instead they build or buy houses in GRAs and live very far from their constituencies hereby becoming disconnected, this needs to stop. How many people know that they can sack their lawmakers and even their local government chairman? Very few, sadly just a few.
Every representative is supposed to have a constituency office, visit yours, preferable in groups so the pressure can be felt. Another failure on the part of the reps is the ban on okada by the Lagos state government. An executive bill was sent by the governor to the state house of assembly and reps did not bother to discuss with their representatives, I'm so sure of this because if they did then the residents of Festac town and other residential areas would never allow the ban of okada since that is the only source of transportation in those areas.
It is amazing many people don't even know the representatives, their senators and their local government chairmen. Activism/criticism shouldn't only be towards the presidency and governors, those lawmakers also need to feel that want of the people, complains and rantings should should be forwarded through the representatives, only then can we say we have democracy