Saturday, June 21, 2014 6:02 pm
Uyo- Speaker, House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, on Saturday advised legislators to perform their oversight functions diligently to ensure stability of democracy in the country.
Tambuwal said this in a keynote address delivered at the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria in Uyo, entitled: “Legislature as an instrument of stability in democratic governance”.
The speaker was represented by Mr Muktar Ahmed, Deputy Chief Whip of the house.
He said the legislature had a crucial role to play in governance to ensure the survival and growth of democracy in the country.
“We are constantly faced with the need to defend our functions, especially when it comes to performing oversight duties as entrenched in the constitution.
“The legislature has three fundamental roles in the society – legislation, representation and oversight.
“While there are those who wish that we forget the last role altogether, the truth is we cannot really do one well without the other,” he said.
He, however, said that the legislature could not allocate money to various sectors and segments during budgets without knowing how the monies were spent.
He explained that by doing so, the legislature would not be representing the people who voted them into power.
The speaker said that it was only by executing all the roles assigned to the legislature that there was hope to expand the democratic space and protect the democracy.
Earlier, Gov. Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom said the theme was apt and revealed the determination of conference of speakers to further entrench the principles of democracy.
Akpabio, who was represented by his Deputy, Mrs Valerie Ebe, called for synergy between the executive and the legislature, adding that this was template and model of good democratic governance.
He implored the conference to replicate this synergy in their different Houses of Assembly.
According to him, this will not only transform their states but the entire nation and in the long run entrench democratic principles and stabilise democratic governance in Nigeria.
The governor said the legislature, as an arm of government, was crucial to the development and sustenance of democracy.
In a welcome remark, the Chairman Conference of Speakers in Nigeria, Mr Samuel Ikon, sought for financial autonomy for state assemblies.
Ikon, who is also the Speaker, Akwa Ibom House of Assembly, called on Nigerians to rally round President Goodluck Jonathan to solve the current security challenge.