SENATE 2023: EDO SOUTH AND THE POTENTIAL COST OF BLISSFUL IGNORANCE
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SENATE 2023: EDO SOUTH AND THE POTENTIAL COST OF BLISSFUL IGNORANCE




 By Chris Ojeikere

 Much Ado About Nothing-- Williams Shakespeare.


The political molten magma of blissful ignorance erupting from Edo South's political earth crust lately, has left the Zone's, enlightened, sophisticated and elitist class blushing with vicarious embarrassment. The Governor of Edo State himself, must now really be at his wits end, observing some citizens from his Senatorial Zone talking with frenzied animation about a No Third Term for Senator Matthew Urhoghide, the incumbent Senator representing Edo South in the Upper Chambers of the National Assembly.

Who ever heard of tenure limitation in the legislative arm of our form of Democracy in the entire world? It is trite knowledge in Nigeria, that our Constitution explicitly limits the tenure of the Executive arm of government to two terms of four years each. But, there is no such limitations for the legislative arm at all. It would definitely have been counter productive and against universal best practice to insert such limitations.

All over the world, political pundits and theoreticians are at one, that institutionalizing the legislative arm of government, by entrenching the culture of informed experiences, got from regular repetition of mandate for legislatures, robust capacity building on legislative best
practice, and exposure to expanded nuances of legislative culture and nitty gritty, are indispensable safeguards to sustaining democracy in the world. These quantum of imperatives are not things you acquire by being a "waka pass" Senator. They are a culture to be developed from experiential participation, which, in itself, is only possible by regularly returning the legislature, as a Senate or House member.

This invaluable knowledge made General Ibrahim Babangida rtd to build a School for Legislative Studies in Abuja for our legislatures, during his regime as Head of State. And guess who would be found to have enough distinction to head the School then? The inimitable Prof Omo-Omoruyi and later, Dr Abel Guobadia. Both Edo South citizens of enviable repute. It is a situational irony of sorts, that Edo South children are the ones pithing themselves against legislative institutionalization today.

Pray, what is the sound syllogistic rationale, or inspiring reasonability that precludes Senator Urhoghide, who is already positioned and poised to return to the senate as a RANKING Senator from doing so? Why do these 'third termers' think it is a more sagacious thought process to deny their senatorial zone, the unquantifiable benefits of graduating their influence and position in the Senate from that of a lay Senator presence, to a principal Senate authority? Senator Urhoghide will be returning to the Senate as a RANKING Senator. What that means is that as a senior Senator so to speak, he becomes eminently qualified to end up as a principal, and, or presiding officer. Apparently, with so many Senators leaving to contest other political positions, the head of the position pyramid in the Senate has fewer and fewer ranking Senators; leaving the few remaining ones, like him, greater scope of opportunity to clinch beneficial positions for Edo people. These blissfully ignorant termer jingoists, may just be denying Edo South and the South South region by extension, the Deputy Senate President, or even the Senate President as the case may be. Why? Just to satisfy a Fief, whose political mercantilism is being threatened by progressivism! As Dr Miromiro would say in Hotel de Jordan, it is preposterous! 

As a principal or presiding officer of the Upper Chamber of the nation's law making body, a RANKING Senator's sphere of influence enlarges to attract attention to his people and therefore, attendant infrastructural development that follows. Also, his reach into the national front expands to providing greater job opportunities for the youth of the zone. Additionally, the size of his constituency projects is also fully increased to be reflective of his new status. This means greater constituency projects for Edo Southerners. Already, the Senator is a record holder in the provision of constituency projects, which, in his natural and touching empathy, have been much directed at life- saving welfarism in the rural areas especially.
 What is the opportunity cost, or should we say, cost of ignorance to deny a zone these privileges for mere sentimental attachment to accustomed oppression? The current Deputy Senate President is contesting for the Governor's seat in Delta State, South- South region. If he wins and the zoning remains the same, who do you think will be qualified for it, by the Senate's own rules? A "Johnny just come"? Who be de person wey de lead this third termers campaign for Edo south self?

All over the world, communities push their legislatures towards institutionalizing themselves for the benefit of their communities. Popular names like late Senator John Mccain, who served over 40 years, I think, in America Congress, present House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, etc come to mind. I'm surprised that what a military general was well apprised of as far back as 1985 or so, supposedly intelligent men are blissfully ignorant of, in 2022. There is indeed a painful cost for excitable exercise about nothing really!

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