Dependent Legislature Smacks Danger For Nigeria's Democracy - Mark
ABUJA, July 20, (THEWILL) - President of the Senate, Senator David Mark today declared that the nation’s democracy risks certain danger unless the legislature is granted full financial autonomy.
Mark spoke against the backdrop of reports that the State Houses of Assembly may have collectively blocked the financial autonomy clause in the revised 1999 constitution, which was presented to the National Assembly leadership last week by the Speakers of the state legislatures.
As he bemoaned the matter, Akwa Ibom State Governors, Obong Victor Akpabio, however cautioned his colleagues and all executive branch against negating all the resolutions passed by the parliaments, and therefore asked the executive to always comply fully with all the resolutions passed by the legislature.
Speaking in the same vein, former Senate President, Ken Nnamani said that it was the fear of impeachment that made governors to block the approval of financial autonomy for the legislature by the State Assemblies, but added that there is no basis for such fears as impeachment is not an easy process for any governor that is sure of his worth.
Speaking at the public presentation of the book; "Independence of the Legislature in Nigeria", written by the Senate Services Committee Chairman, Senator Effiong Dickson Bob, in Abuja, Senator Mark, declared that unless the legislature becomes autonomous and financially independent; "we are going to run into trouble in this democracy’.
"Though I have not gone through the entire resolutions presented by the State Houses of Assembly to know whether they passed the clause that provides for the financial autonomy of the legislature, but it would be dangerous if the legislature is not independent for this democracy", he said.
Apparently speaking against the backdrop of reports that majority of the state Houses of Assembly voted against the financial autonomy clause for the legislature based on pressures by their respective governors, he declared that; the Legislature remains the soul of democracy. The power of the people is vested in it, and it is our sacred duty to wield this power in a manner that sustains the rights of the people to representative’s service.
"We are aware that the independence of the legislature in Nigeria can only be achieved by linking democracy with good governance. This can be embodied in the effective functioning of the parliament and promotion of human rights as specifics of consolidative policies, supported through capacity building, education and a vigorous civil society", he said.
However, he stated that the book; "is yet another milestone contribution to the advancement of democracy in Nigeria through the intellectual channel."
However, Governor Akpabio said that it is the legislature that shows the presence of democracy all over the world; "That means whenever democracy is truncated, it is the legislature that falls the victim of being scrapped while the executive remains.
"It is therefore imperative that we in the executive must cooperate with the legislature by complying with all their resolutions.
"Effiong Bob the author is a child and a child of destiny and his book is most explanatory on the place legislature in a democracy," he added.