Let me start by saying that I love the 8th National Assembly. It fills one with so much hope just seeing the new set of Senators and members of the House of Representatives who will be in charge of assisting President Buhari take this country to greatness.
Once I saw people like Senators Ahmed Sani Yerima and Dino Melaye, I knew Nigeria would never be the same again. They say God works in mysterious ways and I do not know what we did as Nigerians to deserve this gift. As if it was not enough that he ordained General Buhari and Professor Yemi Osinbajo, he also by the same electoral process gave us agile men and women in the legislature. How do I know they are agile? Take Senator Yerima for example. He may have exceeded the Nigerian life expectancy of about 52 years, but the fact that he is still able to satisfy his teenage wives at is a clear sign than this 55 year old man is not afraid of hard work. We all know how energetic teenagers can be, especially when they are between 13 and 16.
It is no surprise then, that the man responsible for nominating the man who eventually emerged as our new Senate President was no less a personality than Senator Sani Yerima. He will look back on his career one day and say to himself: I nominated the third most powerful Nigerian politician. Good for him! I want to be like Senator Yerima when I grow up.
The selection of the principal officers of the National Assembly was not without drama. In what some have suggested was a revolt against the omnipresent Lion of Bourdillon and Asiwaju of the Universe, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, many members of the APC decided to form a coalition with the PDP and elect persons other than those agreed upon by the APC in a prior meeting.
I think Buhari deserves credit for the boldness and independence of the legislature. Since he pronounced “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody”, Nigerians everywhere seem to have been trying hard to put this into action in their lives. That is what a good leader does: inspire people to action. This is the change we have all been yearning for.
Following what was considered a defeat for her husband, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, as the oath of office and allegiance was being administered, refused to shake hands with one of the architects of that defeat, Bukola Saraki. I totally support her. Why would Bukola Saraki try to shake her? That is like the winner at a World Cup final forcing the members of the losing team to do a victory lap with them. People should be allowed to mourn.
While the APC have been crying over what they call “disloyalty” of their party members in the National Assembly, I think there are certain advantages.
One advantage is that this new arrangement, which has seen some at least one major legislative member of the opposition PDP return to power, has contributed to preventing brain drain. Let me explain. You remember how before the elections, Chief Bode George of Lagos threatened to go on exile if APC won at the federal level? Like many Nigerians, when APC eventually won the elections at the federal level, I worried about Nigeria losing an important personality like Bode George. What would Lagos and Nigeria be without people like him? So when I heard he was (still) in Lagos rejoicing about the National Assembly elections, I was elated. This gives me hope that he will stay. And that I think is a wonderful thing. We cannot afford to be losing our best minds to other countries.
Also, it has contributed to the enrichment of our political lingua. Before now there was the danger that people in Nigeria would go through life without ever hearing the words “coalition government” used in reference to Nigeria. Children would be watching CNN or BBC with their parents and when they heard news about a coalition government in say the UK, they would be discombobulated and their parents would have to explain what a coalition government means. In such a situation they would have no local examples and the child would never really get it. But now that we have a coalition government in our legislature, parents can explain to their children using local examples like the PDP-APC merger. I think the National Assembly deserves commendation for this.
I watch the National Assembly with hope and pride, trusting that exemplary persons like Senators David Mark, Stella Oduah, Sani Yerima, Dino Melaye and Ben Murray Bruce will lead our country to the land of milk and honey. Especially people like Senator Ben Murray Bruce who out of the kindness of his heart and love for poor Nigerians, “introduced electric cars into Nigeria” as a way of solving the fuel crisis. His brilliant suggestion that people should abandon fuel queues and ride in electric cars will revolutionize this country. His detractors might ask how this will help a country where almost 100 million people live on less than a dollar a day. But this is what his detractors don’t know: God works in mysterious ways. A worker who earns the 18,000 naira minimum wage can miraculously afford an electric car that costs several million naira. There is nothing the God of Senator Ben Murray Bruce cannot do.
My electric car is charged by solar. The sun is my energy. That's why I introduced it in Nigeria. With it, I'm not blackmailed by marketers!— Ben Murray-Bruce (@benmurraybruce) May 24, 2015
With the fuel scarcity, I feel for my people in Nigeria. That's why I introduced the electric car. I drive it without bothering about fuel.— Ben Murray-Bruce (@benmurraybruce) May 22, 2015
I'm pleased to announce that after displaying my electric car to a prominent Nigerian businessman, he ordered 300 for his group of companies— Ben Murray-Bruce (@benmurraybruce) May 23, 2015