By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, has said despite the enormous challenges, Nigeria’s democratic settings are blossoming, saying this is unconnected with robust and diligent participation and strict observation of stipulated functions of the legislative members.
He stated this at the opening of a three-day Induction Course for Honourable Members and Management Staff of the Kano State House of Assembly, (KNSHA), with a theme: “The Role of the Legislature in Evolution of Democracy in Nigeria” held in Kaduna on Monday, October 7, 2019.
Ganduju who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Nasiru Gawuna; said democracy would never be such vigorous and exuberant without profound display of commitment of legislature in all the three tiers of government.
According to him, it was the legislature who made the popular overture which led to the introduction of constituency project; and appreciated the current members of the 9th Kano State House of Assembly for their cooperation, understanding and valuable support given his administration.
“I could recall that before the advent of this dispensation, during the military era, most of our rural areas are extremely regressive with no sign of any government activities. This is because governments at that time were much focused on urban and city areas. As it is a government without representation.
“Another role played by the legislature in the development/evolution of our democracy could be noticed in the honourable members’ doggedness and sheer tenacity in protecting the supremacy of our constitution.
“You could vividly recall that in one time during the administration of one of the former presidents, an attempt was made by some unscrupulous element to scuttle and defile the sanctity of our constitution through introduction of a third term to the incumbent.
“However, with the commitment and resilience of the then legislature, the obnoxious agenda was overpowered and defeated democratically,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the Speaker of KNSHA, Rt. Honourable Abdul’Azeez Gafasa, while welcoming Members to the 2019 Legislative Retreat, urged his colleagues to set aside political partisanship and embrace political partnership in its place.
According to him, the major preoccupation, as elected Honourable Members, should be the quality of governance and how well they are able to discharge their legislative responsibilities of law-making, representation and oversight, among others.
Hon. Gafasa explained that the Retreat aim to, among others, build members’ capacity to begin to rely less on the Executive for the initiation of bills; and called on the Members to note that the practice of legislation should no longer be shrouded in secrecy and undue exclusion of relevant stakeholders.
“Without public participation, the legislative outputs lose credibility and, therefore, do not capture confidence and trust of the people for whom the processes are meant.
“We in the legislature need serious capacity to be able to keep pace with the level of expertise acquired by the executive and judicial arms of government. This is more so as the 9th Kano State House of Assembly aspires to surpass its predecessors especially in the area of sponsorship of private-member bills,” he said.
Also, Chairman of Legis 37 Nigeria Limited, Alhaji Ibrahim Salim, noted that the KNSHA is reputed for its continuous search for knowledge and experience, hence, the increased quality of Legislation in its parliament, which consequently has impacted positively on the lives and well being of people of the state.
Salim who was represented by the Director, Admin and Finance of Legis 37, Mallam Musa Yisa, said the content of the induction course was carefully prepared to acquaint first timers and refresh the memories of ranking members of the historical relevance the Legislature has played in the development of democracy in Nigeria.
The event is organized by Legis 37 Nigeria Limited in conjunction with the National Assembly, (NASS).