This week’s plenary session that held on Wednesday, December 19, at the National Assembly took the whole game of pettiness to a different level. It was a joint session of both chambers, as the President, Muhammadu Buhari, approached both houses to present the budget for 2019, and all of hell’s fury flooded the hallowed chambers.

The budget presentation is not a light matter of national interests. It is one of the fewest times that the National Assembly truly prove their mettle as effective representatives. It is an arduous and assiduous process of legal back and forth that the legislatives prove their worth. The budget presentation is such a hallowed duty of the president that he is not permitted representation at such meetings. So he must face the ignominy of defending himself and his ideals before 469 gladiators (that is assuming they all come to work) and if he comes unprepared, he would be eaten raw; bones, blood and sweats. In my opinion, this is the fewest times the executive arm of government legitimately dread the powers of their legislative counterparts.

The National Assembly has the prerogative to reject a budget as she deems fit. She may decide to reject the budget wholly or in parts and fragments. Usually, no matter how great and apt the budget is, it is never accepted as presented, never. The power play is simply too exciting to allow the budget pass through uncomplicated and their egos not well furnished. The National Assembly has the prerogative to do throw banters back and forth with the Presidency. However, this Tuesday they did the only one thing that they were not given legalities for. Although, it is not so much about the legal rightness of their actions on Tuesday but much more about the moral and ethical standards of their offices.

The Saraki led joint session was reduced to a circus ring and the clowns wore their agbada long and their faces forlorn. The National Assembly is not alien to some theatrical acrobatics and strange comics. We have had distinguished members of both chambers scaled fences and big gates to gain entrance into the complex and their sycophants clapping for them. We have had distinguished senators and house members throw chairs, microphones and punches at each other and claimed they were fighting for our democracy.

We have had maces taken away by cronies of aggrieved members, whose mandates they claimed were stolen. We have had the Department of State Services barricade the National Assembly complex in a bragaddo fashion with face masks and still motions to prove the clownishness. We have had really low moments in our hallowed chambers televised for the world to laugh at our naked dances. But this time around, we really went below sea level. They outdid themselves this time around.

The budget presentation while it was going on witnessed a great deal of cheers and jeers. The president had to be muted intermittently by both sycophants and detractors in the audience. Senators and house members of the opposition would jeer and boo the septuagenarian from Daura each time he mentioned the achievements of his administration. Not to be undone, his cronies and towncriers in both chambers present also proved that they came with their voices. So they would cheer and applaud. And the nuances were great that it drowned the feeble voice of the old man. He was forced to speak louder and caution them that they were riding the wave to national disgrace if they continued. In his laboured voice, he said: “The world is watching us and we are supposed to be above this.”

The red chamber was not different from a playground of nursery kids. It was as though the members of the ruling party and the opposition took a bet to establish among themselves the craziest person in the chambers.

After the whole episode of the who is craziest contest, distinguished senator Shehu Sani, representing Kaduna Central, had this to say about the show of shame: “The Budget Presentation was a theater of the absurd, one side of the opera occupied by the oleaginous and obsequious choristers craving for the attention of President Buhari, cheering even a sip of water, and the other occupied by unruly bands of impudent hecklers and discourteous objectors.”

What Shehu Sani means in simple English language is that his colleagues took a piss on our collective sanity and established us as a nation of clothed mad people led by the really mad ones that aren’t afraid to dance naked. And on Wednesday, December 19 2018, they did dance and naked was the dance before the world.

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