Once again these "experienced" Nigerian PDP senators are invoking United States of America as their guide int he argument in support of continuity but fell shy of elaborating the process that ensures it. They fail to mention that no United States senator gets decreed automatic ticket of his/her party except where unopposed by any challenger . They were coy at not mentioning that in the United States, no senator automatically wins his seat or even party's ticket without fighting for it based on justifiable account of what he accomplished for their constituents with their previous electoral mandate. They forget to mention that "democracy dividends" in the United States are visible unlike those in Nigeria which merely exist as splashed on newspapers and billboards but never on the grounds of their constituents. Icheoku says such high representation is usually earned and not bequeathed as a gift, so these PDP senators ought and should fight for return to the senate based on provable accomplishment and not on any entitlement as of right, 'experience and continuity' not withstanding.
Icheoku says these PDP senators also failed to tell Nigerians that the United States, as many as they are - over three hundred million people, have only two senators per state each; while Nigeria with about less than half of the United States population has three senators per state each? Icheoku asks what then is the need for this many senators in a country with equally very high number of representatives, if not for avid profligacy? What then is the real use for this duplicity of peoples' representatives in both the upper and lower houses with these many people, each drawing on the government's coffers for supposed constituency projects, allowances, overheads, salaries and staff? What matter of state is that too onerous which after the House of Representatives finishes deliberating on, that fewer number of senators cannot vet? Icheoku says may be in the interest of saving the taxpayers some money, this PDP senators should instead fashion a way to prune down the number of senators in line with efficiency and existing practice to a more manageable number.
Icheoku asks instead of canvassing for automatic ticket to ensure "experience and continuity,' why not just stagger elections to the senate through the states and in such a way that at any given time, some states would have some incumbent senators to help train and orientate the incoming freshmen newly-elected senators coming to join the hallowed chambers? But this is just playing the devil's advocate since there is no way in hell none of these senators would return to the senate in an open election. Some would definitely return and some will not; but those more likely not to return are at the tip of this sword trying to derail the boat if they are not boarded. Icheoku queries, what if a cataclysmic event happens and all those "experienced" senators perish in one fell swoop, does it mean that Nigeria will not survive or stop existing because all their "experienced" senators are no more? So what if these "experienced" senators are defeated in an election by the "inexperienced" senate candidates of the opposition party? Are these PDP senators telling Nigerians that in such event, that they would not allow or refuse the victorious opposition senators from being sworn in or seating because they are green-horns? Better still, Icheoku asks are these PDP senators telling Nigerians that getting automatic tickets of their party is tantamount to winning the general election except of course they have already rigged the result and merely waiting for formalization of the process?
Icheoku laments that this latest twist by these PDP senators and their threat to impeach the president if he does not cede to their demand, amounts to hostage-taking of both the PDP and the president. This PDP senators' shenanigan is akin to then President Obasanjo's third term tenure elongation bid on the ground that without his Messianic-presence, Nigeria will go to hell in a hands-basket. Icheoku says these PDP senators are so full of it - complete bull crap; and their seat-tight gimmickry will not work as it does not in anyway do the country's democracy any good. Icheoku says if these PDP senators are not afraid of their performance, they should be the advocate number one of their expiring mandate and tell their electorates why they deserve to be sent back to Abuja and not try to muscle a timid president into granting them their wish through automatic tickets.
Icheoku says no senator is irreplaceable and in as much as experience is good, it should not be the only benchmark to hand these guys automatic tickets without more. Icheoku asks what if they die? What if they resign? What if they retire or are forced out of office? What if they stopped functioning as "experienced" senators due to the occurrence of any so preventing act? Are they telling Nigerians that Nigeria will come to a grinding halt because they are no longer there to steer the ship of state with their "experience?? Please give Icheoku a break as US Tom Daschel, former Democratic Party majority leader, was once defeated by a first time candidate and the business of the senate as well as the Democrats continued. Likewise were so many other top United States of America senators from both parties, who have at one time or the other, lost both their party's tickets and/or general election without consequence to the American democracy. Even the recent US midterm election saw President Obama's party losing both houses to the republican party but it will not stop the wheel of democracy from turning. Icheoku says the argument of automatic ticket because of "experience and continuity" is stupid at best as its rejection will not cause any far reaching adverse effect to Nigeria's democracy.
Anyway, like the wheel-dealing of politics, anything and everything is possible. But should the president naively accede to this unreasonable request, the PDP as a party will reap the whirlwind. The opposition APC will cash their windfall rain check as they would lure all those disenfranchised governors, who want to become senators, with offer of the very senatorial seats they are now being denied; and then lets see how the PDP will navigate the troubled waters thereafter. What a knee jerk presidency that is being unseasonably inundated by senators with a very inordinate ambitious request. This makes Nigerians long for the days of Baba Iyabo's "do or die" politics when no senator dared open his mouth once Baba has decided, settled and literally decreed on an issue. But for Jonathan, every person is turning him into a pinata that they can beat anyhow and anyway they please? Icheoku says with the days of banana peels now over, senators have turned themselves into demigods and now have the effrontery to hold the president and the PDP hostage to their gluttonous greed. But hey, it is Nigeria, the land of everything and anything goes, especially when willed by a bully, which these PDP senators are now turning themselves into. Icheoku warns that 2015 is heavily laden with a very difficult ectopic pregnancy and no one knows what it will deliver, "experienced" senators or not; and "continuity" or no continuity", for crying out loud. May God help Nigerians IJN.