Adebayo Shittu, former Minister of Communication under President Muhammadu Buhari, has labelled Nigeria’s legislative arm as “impotent.”
According to Shittu, this has resulted in the failure to hold the executive branch of government accountable.
Shittu insisted that Nigerian legislators had failed in their duties and that they were now at the mercy of the presidency.
He spoke at a lecture he delivered at an event organised by the Ogun State Government to mark the 2022 International Students’ Day celebration at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta, the state capital.
Speaking on the topic: ‘The role of Students In Ensuring Accountability And traYnquility In Public Office’, the former Minister said the failure of the legislature should spur the youths to engage in active politics so as to hold the leaders accountable.
His words: “The main reason for having the legislature, either at the national level or at the State level is for this legislature to play a role of check and balance.
“Unfortunately in Nigeria, we always have very strong executive arm of government, but very impotent legislative arm.
“If our legislators have been doing their jobs very well and very effectively, you students will not have a job to do in terms of holding the leaders accountable.
“But, what we have found is that, more often than not, most legislators are only interested in what they can get from the executive by a way of personal aggrandizement. And what is being pilfered is the commonwealth of all of us. It is not the property of the governor or the president, it is the property of all of us.
“So, if the legislators have failed in their responsibility to bring about accountability, then it behoves on all of us, educated youths in particular who still have a long way to go to take up the role that our legislators have refused to perform.
“The solution lies in educated youths who must try to do things differently. The youths must be well equiped for them to take over the mantle of leadership.
“The people (legislators) there now are already enmeshed in corruption and it is only the youths now who can really challenge the status quo by way of committing to do things differently if they have opportunities”.
Earlier in his welcome address, Adeyemi charged Nigerian students who are eligible to vote to actively participate in the forthcoming general elections.
He also called on the youths to shun all forms of violence before, during and after the elections.