By Naomi Sharang
Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, has urged Senators-elect and Members-elect of the 10th National Assembly to engage on discourse that must be unimpeachable.
He made the call declaring the induction of the first batch of the new representives on Tuesday in Abuja.
While congratulating the members on their election victories, Gbajabiamila called on them to justify the offices held by the quality of endeavours in that office.
“For those of us in the legislature, this means that the quality of our law-making and advocacy, the excellence of our constituency services, the thoroughness of our oversight activities and the substance of our discourse in the chamber must be unimpeachable.
“I welcome you at this singular moment in our nation’s history when the talents, perspectives and dedication of all political leaders are required to steer us through present challenges towards the success we desire and hopefully deserve.
“As you enter the 10th Assembly, I urge you to remember that nothing of consequence is achieved by individual effort alone in parliament.
You will either rise together or fall alone.
“Additionally, you have a crucial responsibility of building an effective operational relationship with the executive arm. Your responsibility for overseeing executive actions is not an invitation to conflict for its own sake. “
He further said that the 2023 General Elections were the most hardfought and competitive ever since the return to democratic rule in 1999.
“In this election, assumptions about electoral performance based on historical antecedents proved nought.
“Rooted political parties and interests were dislodged in places where such had proved impossible for two decades.
“Persons who had never aspired to political office or whose previous aspirations had failed, succeeded this time.
“Our national politics have been rewritten. We are in a new age of Nigerian democracy. The Nigerian people have awakened to the enormous power of their votes.
“This election ended the days when membership of a particular political party conferred on an officeholder a virtually automatic guarantee of reelection.”
The speaker also said that Nigeria’s democratic experience was still very young compared to others across the world and even in Africa.
“This dire development imposes on all of us political leaders, an urgent obligation to accelerate the democratic dividends for all our nation’s people or risk the total loss of legitimacy that can only lead to bad outcomes.
“For our democracy to meet the legitimate expectations of the Nigerian people, the institutions of government have to become better than they are.”