The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, yesterday, said the legislature is the most misunderstood arm of government and that the perception underscored the need for parliamentarians to educate the people on the functions of the legislature.
Lawan stated this in his remarks to a motion on the International Day of Parliamentarism moved by Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah (YPP, Anambra South).
He said, “We have a challenge, we need to continue to educate and enlighten our citizens to know exactly what our functions are. The legislature is, without any argument, the most misunderstood arm of government that people vote for. It is our responsibility as a parliament to continue to enlighten the people that we represent on what is expected of us.”
Lawan noted that in Nigeria, democracy was largely defined by the presence of parliament and that parliamentarians were expected to undertake the three fundamental pillars of their mandate: representation, oversight and legislation.
He, therefore, urged the federal lawmakers not to take their oversight function lightly, explaining that, “We must track how expenditures are made, and the efficiency and prudence with which the projects are achieved.”
Sen. Ubah, in his motion, expressed concern that the parliament, despite being the most important arm of government in a democracy, was the most vilified and misunderstood.
The senate, in its resolution, urged federal and state lawmakers to use the opportunity to take stock and reposition themselves as the pivots of democracy and nation-building.
Meanwhile, a bill to amend the Administration of Criminal Justice (ACJ) Act 2015, sponsored by Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu (Abia North) was read for the first time on Wednesday on the floor of the Senate.
Kalu and others were in December, 2019, convicted and sentenced for a N7.1bn fraud. He was released after over six months of incarceration at the Kuje Correctional Centre.
While recalling his experience in prison, the Abia senator said his stay at the correctional facility gave him an added perspective on matters of justice and injustice in Nigeria.