It is time again

Daily Trust - - OPINION - By Ahmed Yer­ima opin­ion@dai­lytrust.com Ahmed Yer­ima is Mem­ber House of Reps rep­re­sent­ing Misau/ Dam­bam Fed­eral Con­stituency, Bauchi State

Iwage, and pro­hibit­ing dis­crim­i­na­tion be­cause of tribe, re­li­gion, age or sex. The en­tire crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem needs to be over­hauled with the cor­rec­tional mo­tive be­ing the driv­ing force. In this new be­gin­ning, as I would want to call this time in Nige­ria’s event­ful history, laced mostly with tur­bu­lence, car­nage and above all, the pen­chant for turn­ing things around by truly pa­tri­otic cit­i­zens de­nied, be­cause of the bo­gus re­al­i­ties of the rul­ing class.

Now that the 8th Leg­isla­tive Ses­sion of the Na­tional Assem­bly has been in­au­gu­rated; it is time again, to con­cen­trate on the oner­ous task of qual­ity so­cial leg­is­la­tion. This is the time to sheath our swords and ex­tend hands of friend­ship to each other in or­der to move our so­cial wheel for­ward. n the clime that we live, there are lots of rules. Our bane is the lit­tle re­gard we have for these rules. A rule is a prin­ci­ple or con­di­tion that cus­tom­ar­ily gov­erns be­hav­iour. A law is a bind­ing or en­force­able rule, or a piece of leg­is­la­tion among many other def­i­ni­tions.

Look­ing at Nige­ria’s var­i­ous at­tempts at leg­is­la­tion since colo­nial times to the present; we have made ex­cel­lent and world class leg­is­la­tions. Nige­ria’s bane un­doubt­edly re­mains, the lack of, or very lit­tle en­force­ment of these leg­is­la­tions. Another con­cern will be the “Above the Law syn­drome” or as bet­ter typ­i­fied in Nige­ria the “Big-Man phe­nom­e­non”. This es­sen­tially is the seg­re­ga­tion of laws ac­cord­ing to so­cial class or po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tion. In our quest to make

In our quest to life bet­ter for our­selves and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions, make life bet­ter for laws need to be en­forced

our­selves and fu­ture if we have to make any head­way; Leg­is­la­tions gen­er­a­tions, laws need to be pro­tected need to be en­forced if es­pe­cially so­cial

we have to make any leg­is­la­tion in a nascent democ­racy like ours. head­way; Leg­is­la­tions So­cial leg­is­la­tion is

need to be pro­tected a generic term used to de­note the body of es­pe­cially so­cial laws en­acted in var­i­ous leg­is­la­tion in a coun­tries, chiefly in the

nascent democ­racy 19th and 20th cen­turies, to cor­rect spe­cific like ours so­cial and eco­nomic mal­ad­just­ments. In gen­eral, such laws are de­signed to raise the stan­dard of liv­ing and the cul­tural level of the eco­nom­i­cally de­pressed. In re­cent times so­cial leg­is­la­tion has also been passed to aid seg­ments of the gen­eral public af­fected by such eco­nomic va­garies as spi­ral­ing costs of liv­ing and in­creased un­em­ploy­ment.

So­cial leg­is­la­tion in­cludes laws pro­vid­ing for public as­sis­tance to the in­di­gent and the phys­i­cally hand­i­capped, un­em­ploy­ment in­sur­ance, old-age pen­sions, com­pen­sa­tion pay­ments to em­ploy­ees in­jured on the job, public ed­u­ca­tional sys­tems, and slum clear­ance and public hous­ing. Other ex­am­ples of so­cial leg­is­la­tion are laws pro­hibit­ing or lim­it­ing the em­ploy­ment of mi­nors, es­tab­lish­ing the min­i­mum

Bri­tish stateswoman, Betty Boothroyd said that ‘Good tem­per and mod­er­a­tion are the char­ac­ter­is­tics of par­lia­men­tary lan­guage’. It is time to wake up to the re­al­i­ties of to­day; be­set with a lot of so­cial malaise. Ac­cord­ing to Bil Keane; ‘’Yesterday is history, to­mor­row is a mys­tery, to­day is a gift, which is why we call it the present’’. So to­day is the time to act, by way of qual­ity leg­is­la­tion that will change the face of Nige­ria and the fate of the com­mon man if any such thing as a com­mon man ex­ists. Ev­ery per­son is spe­cial to God be­cause we are all his spe­cial cre­ation.

Ir­ish-born Bri­tish states­man and po­lit­i­cal philoso­pher; Ed­mund Burke in a speech to vot­ers in Bristol 1774 told them that ‘’ Par­lia­ment is not a congress of am­bas­sadors from dif­fer­ent and hos­tile in­ter­ests; which in­ter­ests each must main­tain, but par­lia­ment is a de­lib­er­a­tive assem­bly of one na­tion, with one in­ter­est, that of the whole; where, not lo­cal pur­poses ought to guide, but the gen­eral good, re­sult­ing from the gen­eral rea­son of the whole’’

The so­cial and eco­nomic mal­ad­just­ments trou­bling Nige­ria are quite a lot. There­fore to­day is the time to un­der­take a leg­isla­tive needs as­sess­ment and churn out qual­ity leg­is­la­tion for Nige­ria. We’ve got to make hay while the sun shines on a new Nige­ria.

The eighth leg­isla­tive ses­sion of the Nige­rian Na­tional Assem­bly started off on a tu­mul­tuous note, June 9th is a day never to be for­got­ten in the an­nals of Nige­ria’s leg­isla­tive history. Thank God for the ma­tu­rity and re­silience of the leg­is­la­tors, the bumpy ride is smooth again. The Bukola Saraki/Ek­w­era­madu and the Yakubu Dog­ara/La­sun saga may have best been put to rest. But the al­leged false dec­la­ra­tion of as­sets charges filed against the Se­nate Pres­i­dent, Dr. Bukola Saraki at the Code of Con­duct Tri­bunal, has raised a lot of dust in po­lit­i­cal cir­cles re­cently. Our hope is for jus­tice to be done. For he who comes to eq­uity must come with clean hands.

In a coun­try like Nige­ria where roles over­lap and the peo­ple don’t know the thin line be­tween the ex­ec­u­tive, leg­is­la­ture and the ju­di­ciary. A lot of sen­si­ti­za­tion needs to be done for the cit­i­zens to come to terms with the re­al­ity of the day.

In one of Franklin De­lano Roo­sevelt’s fa­mous speeches, he said that ‘’we look for­ward to a world founded upon four es­sen­tial hu­man free­doms. The first is free­dom of speech and ex­pres­sion, ev­ery­where in the world. The sec­ond is free­dom of ev­ery per­son to wor­ship God in his own way, ev­ery­where in the world. The third is free­dom from want, ev­ery­where in the world. The fourth is free­dom from fear, any­where in the world.

Nige­ri­ans want to see them­selves as ben­e­fi­cia­ries of democ­racy and the cen­ter­piece in the leg­isla­tive busi­ness of the 8th leg­isla­tive assem­bly, so help us God!

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