Senate Urges Public Figures To Help Nigerian Democracy Prosper

Senate Urges Public Figures To Help Nigerian Democracy Prosper
Senate Urges Public Figures To Help Nigerian Democracy Prosper

The Nigerian Senate has urged members of the public who have access to the media to help democracy to prosper in the country by saying the truth.

President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan, made the appeal in his keynote address at the Conference of Presiding Officers of the Nigerian Legislature taking place in Abuja this weekend.

The theme of the conference is Public perception of the role of Legislature: Post Legislative Scrutiny and Independence of the Legislature.

Senator Lawan was speaking against the backdrop of attack on lawmakers and misinformation that followed the recent leakage of the roof of the National Assembly complex.

He said it was unfair to assume that the Lawmakers had embezzled the 37 billion Naira that was initially budgeted for the rehabilitation of the National Assembly complex, even though it was later slashed 9.2 billion Naira, and the money actually domiciled in the Federal Capital Territory budget.

“This is one demonstration and testimony of wrong perception of the legislature. As I speak, this is still going through the procurement process. 

“But you know what, when there was leakage, some of these critics and haters and traducers of the National Assembly said the National Assembly had spent the money. They have finished the rehabilitation. Look at what is happening. They didn’t even care to find out what really happened. So they went to town. 

“Without this legislature, there is no democracy. The National Assembly and legislature across the country are people’s institutions. Not members of the National Assembly’s institution or State Assembly members’ institution. Its the public. It’s the people. 

“So, I will always advise that members of the public, especially those minority who have access to media should please help our democracy prosper. Tell the true story. Inform correctly. Publicise rightly. We welcome criticisms,” Lawan explained.

The Senate President also advised the outspoken members of the public to give credit to the legislature when there are evidences of good performance.

Demons of Legislature
“It is only in this ninth National Assembly that we defeated the demons last year for the first time (PSC Bill), and we defeated them this Thursday again (PIB). These demons are people but majority of Nigerians who are not hard are happy with what their legislatures across the country are doing,”
 Lawan said.

The Senate President said the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) that was passed on Thursday was so central to the Nigerian economy and the lives of the people particularly the host community in the oil producing states.

“I dare say that the legislature in Nigeria, both the National Assembly and across the states, are the ones that maintain and sustain the polity in Nigeria – I’m going to marry, somebody will call you. My wife is pregnant, he will look for you. Either state Assembly member or National Assembly. My son is sick. My son is going to school.

 “Everything is about the legislator. This is the role that the legislator performs informally because these are not supposed to be our roles but we do them so well and more than anybody else. I believe it’s something that we have to live with but it’s something that we need to continue to enlighten the people about,” he added.