Home Politics Dependent legislature, “cancerous tumor to democracy”, says Dogara

Dependent legislature, “cancerous tumor to democracy”, says Dogara

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Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara has said that any
legislature that is dependent and subservient to the executive, is a cancerous tumor to democracy.
He said unless state legislatures have the capacity to performs their oversight functions effectively and hold the executive responsible to the people, the masses will not benefit from the dividend of democracy.
Speaking at the 9th meeting of clerks of the National and State Houses of Assembly on Friday at the New Senate Building, Abuja, Dogara maintained that there is a mark difference between an independent and a dependent legislature.
According to him, “Over-dependent state legislatures are a cancerous tumor on our democracy.
“This cancer reveals itself in the massive hemorrhage of humongous resources accruing to states and local governments in most states of the federation”.
He said the National Assembly was committed to deepening the nation’s democracy and to ensuring the independence of the legislature at the state level.
“Although negative responses from state legislatures on this subject in the least, have been a source of disappointment, it must be understood that even this, is a consequence of the dependency virus.
“A dependent legislature, the one that relies on the executive for crumbs cannot do the work of democracy.
“No wonder democracy has been the casualty of the over dependence of state parliaments on the executive.
“Anywhere in the world, where democracy suffers, it’s always the people that ultimately pay the price” the speaker said.
He maintained that until state legislatures posses the capacity to effectively perform their oversight functions and make the executives at state levels accountable to the people, the masses “will continue to totter on the hinges of the promise of democracy.”
Dogara said further that, “you cannot have an effective legislature without an informed, experienced and strong bureaucracy, more so that the turn-over rate of members of the legislature in Nigeria is too high while the same cannot be said of the bureaucracy”.
He blamed the poor performance of any legislature to an underperforming bureaucracy.
“That’s is why it is absolutely important to regularly bring yourselves together in this kind of atmosphere to help sharpen each other, push the frontiers and invent new vistas of legislative governance” the speaker told the clerks.
“As managers of the legislature, I appreciate the fact your work is not any easier either, because most times when public analysis or critique of the legislature is being undertaken, you are altogether countenanced or at the very best grossly under-appreciated.
“I am confident that this meeting will afford you greater understanding of the system, which should place you in good stead as managers and advisors of Nigeria’s legislature” he said.

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