The Majority Leader of the Senate, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba has advised the incoming lawmakers of the 8th National Assembly to carry out their assignments with all seriousness, in order to enable them meet the expectations of the people they are going to represent.
Ndoma-Egba, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), highly respected for his enormous contributions to the advancement of the country via the manifold motions and bills he sponsored in the last 12 years of his sojourn in the Senate, gave the advice to the newly elected federal legislators during a media chat in Abuja.
The Senator who will soon be quitting the National Assembly upon the winding down of the current session, said there is no room for indolence in the legislature, as lawmaking, according to him, entails hard work.
“They (incoming lawmakers) should take their assignments very, very seriously. Like I said before the biggest honour any people can bestow on you is the honour of representing them. And for me, I see representation as a sixty minutes per hour, twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week, fifty-two weeks per year job. It is a full-time thing and they must be fully committed to give quality representation. Law making requires plenty of work. It requires hard work. So, they should come with no illusions at all about what is required of them. And they should come prepared to serve. At this point in our national life, Nigerians expect much more from government and they should be able to deliver what Nigerians expect,” Ndoma-Egba remarked.
On what the high turnover of lawmakers portends for the strengthening of National Assembly as the main symbol of democracy, he said: “It will slow down its growth. It will slow down the growth of the institution. It will not grow as fast as it could possibly grow. That is because the institutional memory of the parliament is determined by the aggregate memory of its members. And the more members you have returning the larger the institutional memory. The fewer members you have returning, the institutional memory will be to that extent. So, it is a direct correlation. And the memory of the parliament is very peculiar. It is not like the judiciary or executive. A parliamentarian is just like a snail or a tortoise. He carries his house, that is, his shell with it. It moves around with everything it has – his memory, his knowledge, his contacts. And it is one institution where you don’t have handing over notes. So, as a parliamentarian leaves, he leaves with everything he has. There is no handing over note. So, it will have very significant negative effect on the growth of the institution.”
According to the legal pundit turned politician, “Political parties must see the advantages to democracy that experience brings. And they must as a policy try to protect experience even in their own internal processes.”
FROM MICHAEL JEGEDE