The matter is in court already. I think the House should be wary of running foul of contempt charge. You cannot be a judge in your own court. The House committee should maintain a certain level of neutrality. A House committee cannot say it has suspended him when the case is still in court. It is more of playing to the gallery. Every society that wants democracy should promote due process, respect fundamental human rights and seek development.
Due process and respect for fundamental human rights are critical components necessary to engender development. If any of the three is absent, democracy and development are at risk.
The House just played to the gallery. I don’t think the decision it reached is fair to the young man. •Alaye Moore of Ido-Osun, Osun State, Oba Aderemi Adedapo (Secretary, Board of Trustees, National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria)
I don’t think it is right for the legislature to suspend a former Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Mr. Abdulmumin Jibrin.
The suspension only defines the conspiracy theory of the ruling class against the masses. A man exposed alleged criminal activities perpetrated by some people and what do we have; the man is being hunted by those he exposed. I don’t think Jibrin should be hunted. I think the issues he raised should be properly investigated. The hastiness in seeing that Jibrin is nailed at all cost underlines what I call the conspiracy theory against the Nigerian masses. The leadership of the House has not done the right thing.
It should have set up a committee to investigate the allegations raised by Jibrin. The Speaker and the leadership of the House must come clean in this matter. They must prove to Nigerians that they are above board by truly investigating the issues. The allegations thrown up by Jibrin will continue to haunt the House. Rather than try to silence Jibrin by force, the House should have provided a pedestal for Jibrin to prove his case. Doing so would also have provided the platform for those accused to state their own side of the case, leaving Nigerians to judge.
The suspension has turned Jibrin into a hero. He is now being seen as a man, who is fighting against the established order that has kept Nigeria down. Suspending Jibrin is an infringement on his freedom of speech. Is this the change promised Nigerians by the ruling party? •Declan Ihekaire (National Coordinator, Activists for Good Governance)
The House is not right to sanction Jibrin. I don’t like the decision of the House. They should allow investigators to do their job. They are making the whole issue appear as if they have something to hide.
The House is not right because Jibrin has not really done anything wrong to warrant being sanctioned. The issue is beyond the House now because the country’s anti-graft agencies are looking into the matter. The action of the House is tantamount to jumping the gun. They should allow the case to be investigated. •Modupe Oloye (CEO, Dulano Ventures)
The House is being too clever by half. The truth of the matter is that the problem wouldn’t go away by suspending Honourable Abdulmumin Jibrin. At the end of the day, comprise would be the solution. Our legislators should come to terms with the fact that they can no longer sweep anything under the carpet. Democracy calls for openness. This is the righteous way for those in public office. Openness is the acceptable way.
The case against budget padding has now put on the front burner the argument against constituency projects. The concept of constituency project is anachronistic. Legislators are representing Nigerians across the country. It is an indictment on the sense of judgment and planning acumen of the executive arm when lawmakers are to dictate where projects are to be located. In any case, constituency projects have become an avenue to enrich many lawmakers, albeit corruptly. •Tajudeen Kareem (Chief Consultant, Proedge Ltd)
Nigerians deserve true representation. Our leaders must, at all times, seek the collective good of the citizenry. When we sing discordant tunes, our progress would be arrested. Our leaders should be selfless and sincere in bringing the dividends of democracy to us. We elected our leaders so that they could make life more meaningful; when they fight on materials things, it shows that they are not serving our interest.
Also, it is not wholesome when we hear rumblings in our legislatures resulting from the sharing of materials things among members.
The fight in the House of Representatives was most unbecoming. It shouldn’t have happened at all. Suspending Jibrin did not answer the posers he raised in his various petitions. It’s like sweeping the whole issue under the carpet. The hoonourable thing to do was for the House to conduct an open investigation into the allegation and bring culprits to book. •Chief Felix Ojo (Olumose of Igede-Ekiti)
Although the suspension of Jibrin is unfortunate, it is not surprising. What has played out is a classical case of solidarity of the oppressors. This clearly shows how far gone we are from redemption from the forces that have held us down as a people. The good thing, however, is that the young man’s courage in speaking out has won him plaudits and all men of goodwill should rally support for him in order to ensure the triumph of good over evil. •Stanley Adiele (Advertising practitioner)
The development is most unfortunate. What is at the root of the crisis? What is the cause of the dirty fight? Neither of the two parties to the crisis is honest, decent or selfless. Greed is at the root of the crisis. Jibrin openly admitted that he and some principal officers committed some startling misdemeanours. He admitted that he had soiled his hands and that some other members of the House had soiled their hands too by taking money that doesn’t belong to them. He admitted that the House of which he is a member padded the budget. What do we have in return of these gory revelations? A passive nation that has lost her sense of morality; a nation that wallows in corruption and self-pity looked on, unperturbed.
In a saner country, the revelations of Jibrin would have provoked protests of immense proportions. The whole House would have been consumed. Every principal officer of the House would have lost their positions. Nigeria’s democracy must be rooted in honesty, fairness, truth and godliness. We cannot continue to run our country like this and expect development. Greatness would continue to evade us if corruption, bloodshed, deceit, selfishness and greed remain the foundations of our democracy. •Victor Peterson (A pastor)
The crisis in the House of Representatives underscores the rot in our political system. It shows the rotten underbelly of our legislature. The suspension of Jibrin was not done in good faith. This, however, does not make Jibrin a saint because he is part of the rot that has characterised our politics. Nigeria is the only country I know where public servants and politicians are stupendously richer than the masses who are the wealth creators.
It is high time we took our collective destiny in our hands. We must strive to evolve a system that protects the weakest in our society. Nigeria is a country where the weak struggles to survive. Nigeria is a country where it is a sin for you not to be rich or connected. •Funmi Abegunde (A retired banker)
Compiled by: Tunde Odesola