Published On: Mon, Aug 13th, 2018

Political Science students caution against frequent defections

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By Umar Puma

The Nigerian Political Science Association has warned that the raging executive/legislative feud could endanger the nation’s democracy.
The body, which also noted with dissatisfaction the interference of security agencies in the affairs of the legislature, said defections and counter-defections among politicians are manifestations of constitutional lapses.
NPSA’s positions were contained in a statement issued by its President, Professor Aloysius-Michaels Okolie, and Secretary, Dr. Gerald Ezirim, yesterday in Abuja.
NPSA spoke against the backdrop of the recent invasion of the National Assembly by operatives of the State Security Service, a development that drew flaks from within and outside the country.
As a first measure, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo had sacked the Director General of the SSS, Lawal Daura.
Also condemning the development, after a meeting at the weekend in Abuja, the NPSA expressed worry over the synergy between the executive and the legislature.
It said: “The association views with great concern the raging and deepening Executive-Legislative distrust and intolerance which, in our view, portend grave danger to the survival of democracy especially in the provision of common good to Nigerians. This lack of collaboration regenerates crisis of development and sustains poverty and pauperization of the already traumatized citizens.”
“Defections and counter-defections are largely manifestations of defective Constitutional Provisions and beleaguered Electoral Act which urgently needs to be addressed through legislative instruments and processes,” the statement further added.
“Added to the bizarre show at the National Assembly on Tuesday, 7th August, 2018, the law enforcement agencies have once again exposed fundamental governance deficits especially on the synergy between the Presidency and management of security in Nigeria.
“The hard lesson learned from this, points to the direction that the relevant authority does not appear to have control of the operational activities of critical law enforcement agencies and by extension, perhaps, other institutions of the State.
“Recall that the Association had on 19th April, 2018, in a press briefing at the National Assembly, expressed our concern over the overt invasion, intimidation and banditry exhibited by few Senators and the complicity of the law enforcement agencies in the ill-fated ‘legislative coup’.
“Less than four months after, yet another bizarre incident played out. This time the operatives of the DSS claiming to be ‘acting on orders from above’ virtually invaded, denigrated and occupied the National Assembly for several hours,” they added.
Furthermore, “the association condemns in very strong terms the meddlesomeness of the law enforcement agencies in the constitutionally assigned roles of the Legislature and the Judiciary.”
“The association observes that in the contestation for power among the various political actors, the security agencies quite unfortunately have been seduced and made part of the contestation at the expense of providing security guarantee for all Nigerians irrespective of their party affiliation, religion and creed.”

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