National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu yesterday called for the scrapping of the Senate, saying that it is costly to maintain and that it only replicates functions of the House of Representatives.
Tinubu spoke at the 2012 annual conference and awards ceremony of Leadership Newspapers Group where he also called for laws to allow Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) appoint state electoral commissioners (RECs) for the sake of fairness and credibility of the electoral process.
He said "we have kept complaining about the cost of governance and the recurrent expenditure...but we have never examined the structural problems of even the constitution that we are operating.
"Why do we need two houses of National Assembly when House of Representatives represent smaller constituencies enough in the same number of population? Why not get rid of the Senate? To equip better and effective legislative activities, let us start examining that."
On the call for INEC autonomy "when you say somebody is a chairman and chief executive officer of a corporation, you give him all the authority to act on behalf of the people.
"We gave INEC power and authority to act on our behalf, to be an institution that will be transparent and independent and they are being funded directly from the source; from the allocation, first line charge, expenditure from our commonwealth, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
"Why would we not allow the buck to stop on the desk of the INEC Chairman so that if he messes up, we have somebody to blame. Why would an INEC chairman not be able to appoint those in the branches in the states, REC is the representative of INEC in the state; why would they be appointed by the president who is equally partisan, a member of political party who said they would rule Nigeria for 60 years. How would they not?
"If they are the ones appointing RECs, card carrying members of PDP, how would we have a reliable electoral system? Whether you have executive position or not, power is not served ala carte, it is not like a menu in Sheraton, you have to struggle for it. Let's first of all straighten and strengthen the institution. We are ready as opposition to work together with any other party to wrestle power from this inept government."