When President Bola Tinubu presented the 2023 budget, lawmakers caused an uproar by singing “On your mandate we shall stand” – a praise dedicated to impressing the President.
This action has polarized opinion, with some condemning it as excessive sycophancy that undermines the Assembly’s oversight role. Others argue predecessors showed similar displays of deference.
Quotes from analysts characterize Godswill Akpabio’s leadership as the “most sycophantic and irresponsible”, rendering the chambers a “lap dog” and “extension of the executive.” Comparatively, the 9th Assembly maintained studied silence during such presentations.
While supporters point to past incidents of lawmakers challenging or praising leaders, critics counter Nigeria’s democracy differs greatly and such shows are unsuitable for budget presentations addressing all citizens.
As observers debate where to draw the line between respect and rubber-stampism, the song overshadowed scrutiny of economic policies, with Nigerians left wondering about priorities in the hallowed chambers.