HAVING had an off-season governorship election, citizens of the State of Osun must take today’s legislative elections very seriously. The fact that legislatures across the country have not exerted their independence should not be an excuse for inertia.
The quality of representation matters if diligent input is to be provided by the legislative arm for the overall well-being of the populace. To put it mildly, the quality of recruitment and selection into the legislative arm at the moment is very low, nevertheless tomorrow provides the opportunity to begin to ask for better representation. The voters must be more discerning and use their franchise as a quality control mechanism. This is a must and voter fatigue due to a long political season is not an excuse.
Sadly, the electioneering has not been inspiring, on the contrary, it has been a damp squid. The parties have not elucidated clearly thought out legislative agendas for scrutiny by the electors. This in itself is an indictment of the parties’ lack of an ideological framework. For the legislative arm should also be involved in setting the agenda for development in addition to scrutinising the functions of the executive.
Sadly, even the much-touted oversight function is not diligent. The mechanisms are not there! Starting with the national assembly at the center, we have not developed let alone institutionalised the Congressional Budget Offices which are so vital to carry out vital oversight work. They have worked very well in the United States whose system we claim to be emulating. They function as both research departments, forecasters as well engage in forensic audits of public expenditure. The establishment of Congressional Budget Offices must now be given the highest priority.
We urge our readers to go out tomorrow and vote en masse for a pro-people legislature which in line with our mission statement will put the people first.