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When The Senate Turns Into A Retirement Home Of Ex-governors

Turning the senate seat to a retirement home. After spending the heyday of one’s life working, it is only reasonable to at some point take a bow and have another feel of life. Most politicians in this part of the globe, particularly past and present state governors, disagree action-wise.

The senate, upper house of the National Assembly, is the highest law-making body in Nigeria. Enormous power wielded by this hallowed chamber is not in question. The uninspiring and unpleasant trend of outgoing two-term governors seeking refuge in the senate mostly for political relevance is just nauseous. Hints which reveal that they see nothing wrong with it solicits some clarification, one that this piece tries to provide.

Holding office of state governor for eight years is a privilege that comes with many privileges while in or out of office. This arms its occupant with substantial powers in the state as well as his/her political party. With such room, a number one citizen can engineer an enduring revolution that considerably meets the needs of people within the state; the resources, legislature and judiciary are there to support, so there is no excuse for under-performance. Yet, most governors in this democratic dispensation have been a disaster, even after governing for close to a decade. Embezzlement of public funds, collection of billions of naira in security votes, and giving peanuts as dividends of democracy to their respective states are commonplace. Instead of burying their heads in shame, they crave to carry over their incompetence to the Senate.

Often, their leadership passiveness becomes obvious in the red chamber where cluelessness leaves them helplessly silent, most times, as bills and national issues are debated on. Monthly collecting millions of naira as a senator and pension as a former governor seem enough. Currently, there are over ten senators in the National Assembly who are former governors and the number is set to increase in 2019, as outgoing governors claim to be purchasing senatorial election forms based on the people’s prompting–a white lie. This quest to remain a power broker at all costs denies other qualified Nigerians in a senatorial district capable of doing a better job the chance to emerge. Rather than be without a political office, turning the senate to a retirement home is in their reckoning prudent.

To a great extent, underlying governors rush to the Senate is insecurity. If a state governor performed satisfactorily well while in office, enhancing the living standards of his people with needed infrastructures, avoiding the siphon of public funds, and paying benefits to workers regularly, his political influence would be long-lasting. Widespread loyalty would thus be earned. The frog doesn’t run in the afternoon for nothing; fear pursues this one. To discourage this political habit that is in disfavour to the masses, overlooking inept former and current governors while voting in the coming elections is what you and I must do, no matter the incentive.

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