Senate 2019: The search for excellence is on!

National Assembly Complex Abuja.

Sir: The search is on! With more senators being beaten and attacked by aggrieved constituents, allegedly for poor representation and crude legislative malpractices, Nigerians have no choice but to begin an early search for credible and competent replacements in 2019. The early search is not unconnected with the growing realisation since 2015, that a mistake was made when misfits rode on the ‘Sai Buhari’ train to the National Assembly in 2015! The result has been catastrophic.

From the look of things, 2019 is going to be different and Kwara State, the famed State of Harmony, stands to gain from the wind of change! For residents of the state, poor quality representation at the federal level has assumed a frightening proportion and the people could hardly be faulted for wanting to effect a change. It is, perhaps, in furtherance of the search that opinion makers and prominent and not-too-prominent residents of Kwara south have turned the searchlight on Architect Isa Oyelola Ashiru!

What began as an isolated campaign immediately after the 2015 election took a new twist few months ago when more communities, youth, women and professional groups joined the clamour for Ashiru to run for Senate in 2019. For now, however, the subject of the draft campaign says he is cementing old alliances and building new ones. Much of the credit for the upswing in support for Ashiru’s candidacy must be attributed to the great work being done by the Lola Ashiru Foundation.

To achieve low-priced but high-quality representation at the National Assembly, Ashiru suggests that legislative duties and remunerations be on part-time basis or, as is the practice in some emerging democracies, for legislative seats to be reserved for professionals. This, he believes, has the dual advantage of enriching the legislative process and deepening the nation’s democracy as well as checking misfits who see the National Assembly as a milking cow!

History beckons! Aside being a welcome feather to a colourful cap, a senatorial ticket for Ashiru in 2019 provides him another opportunity to do more for Kwara south.

The search for a proactive and people-oriented Senate in 2019 is truly on!

Abdulrazaq Magaji is based in Abuja.



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