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LAWYER URGES PDP TO RAISE PERFORMANCE TEMPLATE FOR SENATORS

By NBF News
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A MEMBER of the International Bar Association and senatorial aspirant on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dennis Ude Ekumankama, has called on the National Working Committee of the party to raise a performance outline for legislators elected on its platform, especially senators, saying that that would help to evaluate their performance.

Ekumankama, who is running for the Ebonyi-South senatorial seat, told journalist in Abakaliki yesterday that the need for a performance evaluation index is informed by public outcry against legislators, adding that most Nigerians would want to know the job outline of the legislators since, according to him, the general impression is that legislators idle about and consume the nation's resources with low productivity.

The former executive secretary of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) noted with dismay that after election, most legislators avoid their constituents and carry on as if they are in Abuja just to earn a living, stressing that any legislator who does not hold constant constituency consultation with his constituents is not fit for office.

'Such legislators are mandate snatchers because they ought to know that they hold the mandate in trust for the masses who voted them into office. So, in addition to raising the minimum qualification for legislators, I expect my party to articulate a performance rating scale to keep legislators accountable to their constituents and the Legislature. An up and doing Legislature should tackle the fundamental legal impediments to credible elections and set the stage for good governance', he said.

Ekumankama's aspiration to pick the Ebonyi-South senatorial ticket received a boost recently when traditional rulers from the zone accepted him and prayed that his elevation to the Senate would make a difference in the lives of the people. He pledged to ensure that a legislative framework for voters' participation in governance is evolved if elected into the Senate.

He argued that the input of constituents during constituency briefings should be factored into legislation, insisting that a legislator should not only be interested in supporting or opposing bills and motions but also bringing up issues that affect his constituents so as to canvass solutions and attention.

While describing the directive by PDP that senators who performed credibly should be returned as nebulous, Ekumankama argued that in the absence of any measuring template, it was hard to scale those who performed below average.

Ekumankama also pointed out that in the circumstance, the constituents, whom the legislator represents in the Legislature, should become the ultimate arbiters of legislative competence and performance.

The legal luminary stated that he was going to the Senate to bring the social science approach to lawmaking, stressing that his years at the Bar and membership of international organisations and civil society groups, equipped him with the requisite capacity to make innovative contributions in the Nigerian Senate.