- The speaker of House of Reps has said that some people are yet to come to terms with the reality of the pivotal role of the legislature in a democracy
- According to Yakubu Dogara, despite 20 years of civil rule, Nigeria still has a hangover of military rule
- Dogara, however, noted that the National Assembly was committed to protecting and enhancing press freedom within the country
Yakubu Dogara, the speaker of the House of Representatives, has said that though the nation has experienced about two decades of civil rule, some are yet to come to terms with the reality of the pivotal role of the legislature in a democracy.
Channels TV reports that Dogara stated this in Kaduna at a retreat organised for members of the House of Representatives press corps.
Legit.ng gathered that Dogara, while giving his address, also highlighted certain factors responsible for the seemingly insufficient understanding of the roles and duties of the legislature, such as the long period of military rule.
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He said: “Almost two decades after Nigeria returned to civil rule, it still appears that we are still having a hangover of military rule as some are yet to come to terms with the reality of the pivotal place and role of the legislature in a democracy.
"We urge the media to help in sensitising Nigerians on the powers, functions, and responsibilities of the legislature in democracy."
He urged the media to partner with the National Assembly in order to correct the situation. He further called for fair, balanced reportage and constructive criticism of activities' of the National Assembly.
According to him, the legislature represents and protects democracy without which we will have a dictatorship.
While making reference to the impact made by the CNN expose on the Libyan slave trade to highlight the importance of investigative journalism, Dogara assured that the House is committed to strengthening liberties such as freedom of speech and expression.
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The speaker further restated the commitment of the House to providing a conducive environment for members of the press corps and expressed appreciation for their efforts towards deepening democracy and good governance.
He also called on proprietors of media organisations to pay salaries of their staff promptly saying, “it is the only ethical and proper thing to do. Yes, you are watchdogs of the society. That also places a huge burden on you to act in an exemplary manner.”
The retreat was organised by the House committee on media and publicity, the Policy and Advocacy Centre (PLAC) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).
Dogara surmised that the National Assembly is committed to protecting and enhancing press freedom within the country.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that Dogara said the leadership of the ninth National Assembly should be allowed to emerge from elected parliamentarians.
The speaker said any leadership that is forced on the National Assembly would fail.
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