[OPINION] Senator Tony Nwoye’s Outburst – Matters Arising

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By Dr. Monday Ubani

I have carefully perused the trending video of Senator Tony Nwoye on the floor of the Senate yesterday over the leadership change of the minority parties and my candid assessment is that the outburst was not only childish and unnecessary but an extreme show of immaturity by the distinguished senator.

What was at stake in the matter for God’s sake? The minority parties’s caucus effected changes in their leadership and sent their names and signatures to the Senate President who is the presiding officer traditionally and legally empowered to announce such changes.

What did the Senate President do wrong in the process? Has he no right to announce the decision of the caucus or that Senator Godswill Akpabio must be crucified at all times because of personal sentiments or hatred? Who has enslaved who in the process if I may ask. That some Nigerians are hailing the misconduct of Senator Nwoye is baffling. I don’t get it. It is difficult to understand what makes this wrong parliamentary outburst right? Is it that we as a people cannot follow and address issues rationally again?

The truth of the matter is that Tony Nwoye should be given proper training on the use of parliamentary language and decorum when expressing a grievance or advancing points of divergence. Assuming but not conceding that the announcement by the President of the Senate was wrong, has issue or k-leg as we say in this part of the world, the proper language and objection could have been raised decently by the Distinguished Senator adhering to parliamentary language and decorum.

My verdict is that Tony Nwoye is grossly immature and should be properly tutored on how to behave and address matters of national importance in the hallowed Chambers of the parliament.

Majority of Nigerians who understand the issues and appreciate what transpired yesterday at the floor of the Senate are not impressed at all by Senator Nwoye’s outburst. He decended so low and was rude to the Senate President as an institution. His colleagues in the video that I watched asked him to go and sit down when they approached the Senate President to express their objections decently. You could see that his colleagues were totally embarrassed by his childish outburst. He did not prove any legitimate point except satisfying Nigerians who are already angry over the economic hardship in Nigeria and every politician in Nigeria is culpable in their eyes. No doubt there is anger in the land but it must be properly situated. We cannot banish rationality in our civic engagement in Nigeria. God forbid!

The Senate President after listening to the points of his colleagues put on hold the announcement by differing to their decent objection. He said that he announced what the majority in the minority caucus sent to him as the Senate President as their decision. That explanation has not been faulted by the minority in the Senate.

His Excellency Godswill Akpabio CON must be commended by the show of leadership, majurity in showing how parliamentary proceedings are conducted in a decent and intelligent manner not the motor park type that Senator Nwoye wants to turn the hallowed Senate chambers into. Invoking slavery slogan where non exists is very appaling to say the least. We need to see a National Assembly proceedings conducted with maturity and adherence to their internal rules from now onwards. It is a prayer point.

Dr Monday Ubani is a legal practitioner based in Lagos.

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