BE GUIDED BY YOUR OATH OF OFFICE
We at the Nigeria Labour Congress would wish to congratulate the members of the 10th National Assembly for seamlessly electing the leaderships of the two chambers ( the Senate and the House of Representatives).
That the process was competitive and yet rancour-free attests to the quality of membership of this Assembly.
Yet, we believe, electing the leaderships of the two chambers is just the beginning of the task before the members of the National Assembly.
Without demeaning the initiatives of the past Assemblies, there is a lot of work ahead.
For instance, we need laws that will deepen and strengthen our democracy, especially in relation to elections, governance, accountability and citizen participation. Similarly, quite a number of our laws/statutes are in need of review. There are serious issues needing full and transparent investigation just as we have institutions and organistions in need of honest oversight.
The Nigeria Labour Congress and other Nigerians have great expectations of this Assembly and there is cause for this, its diversity as a source of strength.
While expecting great things of or from this Assembly, we however find it necessary to sound a note of warning…that the National Assembly is not an extension of the Executive. Its role of law-making, investigation and oversight been defined and cut for it by the constitution.
The loyalty of the National Assembly should be to the nation or those who elected the members and not to the party or the Executive.
Other interests should be surbodinated to the National Interests at all times.
In the course of time, an impression has been created that the National Assembly is an Assembly of Deals neither in the interest of the people nor the nation but the members. We expect the 10th National Assembly to work assiduously to correct this impression.
The Parliamentarians must learn to be satisfied with the allowances approved for them by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission as a demonstration of lending themselves to checks as well as minimising the cost of maintaining them.
The citizenry are anxious to see the cost of maintaining the parliament and the executive pruned down to a level we can live with.
Finally, we congratulate the new Senate President, Senator Godswill Àkpabio, the Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Tajudeen Abbas and other principal officers.
We urge you all to be guided not by primordial sentiments but by the oath of office you have taken.
Treat your colleagues equitably well and remember power is transient just as we are also mortal!
Comrade (Prince) Adewale Adeyanju