We are concerned when those we elected to stand-in for us begin to misrepresent us. We get confused when those we choose as torch bearers, begin to walk in darkness. We know things have fallen apart when Caesar’s wife, who is supposed to be above board begins to attract genuine and consistent reproach.
We are pained to know that those we put in as our representatives in the Imo House of Assembly are engaging in “unparliamentary conduct,” leading to gunshots being fired in the hallowed chamber. Coming when the State is still recovering from the activities of so-called unknown gunmen, this is sad. We totally condemn it. What sort of representation or legislative business can we expect from gun totting parliamentarians or a place where guns can be fired just like that? Are our legislators now licensed to carry guns to work? “Unparliamentary conduct” whatever that is, jars the ears.
Imo State has been in the news for some time now for the wrong reasons. Just when we think things are getting back to normal, gunshots are being fired from – not under the bridge, roundabout or prisons, but from a place where it was least expected: legislative house!
We have seen videos of members of parliaments shouting and heckling one another in a heated debate. We have seen fights break out among law makers even in advanced nations. But a gun! We know too well about stray bullets in this country – Only the living can work or make laws.
State Houses of Assembly are established to make laws, consider matters brought by the state governor, approve state budget and perform general oversight of the actions of the executive. It is sad that we hardly see any of these being done in any meaningful way. Even vigorous, energetic and informative debates are sadly lacking in our parliaments. What we get often is news of parliamentarian jumping from one party to another like a pack of hounds, primarily for selfish gains.
We have lawmakers who instead of holding the executive accountable become the Governor’s stooges, spokespersons and errand boys. We need to emphasize that lawmakers as representatives of the masses are the master. The governor is responsible to them and not the other way round. The six suspended parliamentarians will now probably look for ways to jump back to their original parties. This drama must stop. We urge our elected members to stop cheapening the office and stop embarrassing us. Their small theatre of the absurd may benefit them for now but some day, they will have no hiding place. Imo State has suffered a lot, it is time for men and women of honour, not those driven by untold degree of selfishness, to arise and start the process of rebuilding the tattered state.
The strategy of getting up the ladder by fooling and sacrificing the people’s interest, will expire some day.