Wednesday, 27 November 2019

C'River lawmakers oblivious of happenings in the House

Cross River State House of Assembly 

Ukorebi Esien | 28 November 2019

The screening of three commissioner nominees by the Cross River State House of Assembly that took place few days ago validated the claim that some members of the legislative arm of government in the state are operating in total oblivion of activities and happenings taking place right under their nose within the complex.

A typical example of such legislators is Hon. Chris Njah, member representing Etung in the hallowed chamber of the assembly. It could be recalled that three notable online platforms, (NEGROIDHAVEN, TDN, and Voplink) had reported that governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State had forwarded only three names as Commissioner designates to the House of Assembly for confirmation.

The story which was first published by Efio-Ita Nyok of NEGROIDHAVEN was greeted with a discrediting comment from Hon. Chris Njah, who ignorantly described the report as "Fake News" when he saw it on Facebook. 

Suprisingly, the same honorable member who out of ignorance struggled to discredit the report of a professional blogger was found days later seated in the hallowed chambers where the screening of the three commissioner nominees as reported by the blogger took place.

Being a fresher in the House, Hon. Njah's action and disbelieve of the blogger's report could be pardoned on reasons that his ears are yet to clued to the ground as such some vital information and happenings may elude him. He is yet to understand the politics, shady deals and circulation/hoarding of information that takes place on regular bases in such an environment he has found himself. 

I am tempted to also believe that Hon. Chris Njah has allowed his new found office make him believe he is the custodian of information in Cross River State. This goes to question the credibility and scalability of the two controversial bills currently before the the 9th Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria: Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulations Bill 2019 (Social Media Bill sponsored by Senator Muhammad Sani Musa) and National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speeches Bill (Hate Speech Bill sponsored by Senator Sabi Abdullahi). 
Hon. Chris Njah 

While I attempt to pardon his deeds for being a greenhorn, I am tempted to go otherwise for the singular reason that as an Honorable member, he has access to verified information even more than the common man on the street. What stops Hon. Chris Njah from putting a call across to Mr. Speaker or any of his colleagues to verify the information before displaying his ignorance in public? 

In my thinking, the hate speech bill and the social Media regulation bill is more or less a scam from the legislators to hunt some perceived enemies as well as gag the press and suppress the masses from expressing their disappointment on government illl, as such the bill should first be tested on our legislators and public office holders before it gets to the masses. If the first two set of persons scale through the bill, then it can be passed into law.

Such show of pride, arrogance and ignorance is not a viture for a lawmaker. Ordinarily, one would have thought that after Hon. Chris Njar realized that the blogger was correct, he would have also tendered an apology or a rejoinder. That would have shown maturity and humility on his part.