Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has said the campaign to put an end to atrocities of banned Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) began in the lower chamber.
Gbajabiamila disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at a legislative conference with theme: “Legislative investigative powers: Expectations, challenges and way forward” organised by Hallowmace Media in conjunction with the National Orientation Agency (NOA).
He said: “The #End- SARS movement started on the floor of the House where we passed a resolution calling on the Federal Government to scrap SARS.”
Gbajabiamila, who was represented by the House leader, Hon. Alhassan Ado- Doguwa, lamented that the legislature has been undermined in the country despite the landmark achievements it has recorded.
“The legislature is the number one institution in a democracy because without legislature, there will be no democracy. I urge you the public to come close to the institution of parliament and know what we do, so that you can have first-hand experience and information.
“Unfortunately, the parliament is undermined here unlike in other climes where it is taken as number one component of government. But we need to strengthen the institution.”
Speaking on the achievements of the legislature, Ado-Doguwa noted that “the creation of the North- East Development Commission (NEDC) was made possible by the legislature through its resolution and subsequent legislation.”
“The establishment of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management is also a product of the agitation from the National Assembly, precisely from the Senate,” he stated.
In his address at the occasion, the director general of NOA, Dr. Garba Abari, said the legislature was seriously misunderstood in Nigeria. Abari said: “In the course of our sensitization activities in various communities across Nigeria, we have discovered that there exists a serious inadequate understanding of the role of the legislators in our democratic process.
“This inadequate understanding is prevalent in the rural areas where our infrastructure deficit is most predominant.
As a result of this infrastructure deficit, rural dwellers often look up to individuals to provide basic necessities such as borehole for potable water, schools, roads etc.”
According to him, “The performances of members of the legislature are hardly ever measured by the number of bills sponsored or initiated, neither are they judged by the number of motions moved.
The rating is usually in terms of how many schools, hospitals, and roads he has put in place.”
In his welcome address, the chief executive of Hallowmace Communications, Mr. Sunny Osiebe, said until the legislature wakes up from its slumber, Nigerians will never sleep.
“Until the National Assembly wakes up from its sleep, Nigerians will also not sleep.”