Shehu Sani, a former senator representing Kaduna central, says having a subservient legislature leads to dictatorship.
Speaking at the 2021 national conference of the Nigerian Progressives’ Coalition in Abuja, Sani said that a submissive legislative will only enable a governance style in which the whole nation will bow to the whims of one person.
Although he made no mention of the current national assembly, the comments come amid the criticism against the leadership of the legislature which has remained silent on the government’s decision to suspend Twitter’s operations in Nigeria.
At the conference held over the weekend, Sani spoke against a legislature that is “afraid to speak truth to power.”
“The legislature is supposed to have the duty of oversight on the activities of the executive. When you have a placid and subservient legislature, you’re going to have a dictatorship,” he said.
“When people are elected into office and are afraid to speak truth to power, and afraid to stand by their conscience and belief, then the whole nation will be under the rule of one person.”
The former senator added that the Buhari administration abhors criticism, saying that the government should welcome thoughts from outside its political bracket.
He also criticised the government’s decision to suspend Twitter indefinitely in Nigeria.
“People in authority today are averse to criticism and the truth. And it is ironic, that people who protested years ago are against protesters, and people who spoke the truth years ago are also against people speaking the truth,” he said.
“Government should learn to adapt to the unstoppable current of information technology, and not go against it.
“Government should learn to tolerate criticism and ideas from people who are not necessarily from within the class of their own loyalists. Solving the problem of this country is beyond partisanship and parochial interests.”