Elected Senators and members of the House of Representatives have been advised to remain undaunted in doing what they were elected to do even in the face of insecurity, unemployment, underemployment, poverty and others that may overwhelm them when they take office.
Making the call during a dinner organised for the members and senators-elect in Abuja, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, advised the new lawmakers that the most effective way of doing that was through a knowledge-based legislative practice that would yield desired results effectively.
He charged the lawmakers that they could not afford to lose sight of the important job they had been elected to do, which was to make a difference that would break the suffering Nigerians were undergoing.
He also asked them to clear their minds of any impression that by getting sworn-in as members of the National Assembly they were being inducted into an exclusive club of some kind of elites in the country, as they are “merely ambassadors of our different constituencies, and by extension, the nation Nigeria.”
According to Dogara, “We cannot afford to go to sleep as elected representatives of our people in these very challenging environment that our people have found themselves,” he stated, adding that, “Whether we are talking of insecurity in the country, or the challenge of unemployment, as a matter of fact, underemployment is as grave a challenge as unemployment in this country now. Whether it is the struggling economy or the description that is now ascribed to Nigeria that we are the poverty capital of the world that was said to us here in this same venue, but in a different phrase.
“Let me remind us that very soon, after this orientation program, we are going to get the oath of office into the chambers and by that, we shouldn’t deceive ourselves that we are getting inducted into an exclusive club of some kind of elites in this country, but merely ambassadors of our different constituencies, by extension, the nation Nigeria. No ambassador brings dishonour to his own country, those that have served in embassies know that very well. If you bring dishonour to your own government, the remedy is for you to be recalled back home, but I hope that we’ll not bring dishonour.
“So, it therefore means that we cannot afford to fail the people who sent us, the only thing we require to make a difference is knowledge. Our parliament must be a knowledge based parliament. If we have no knowledge; we cannot do the work, or succeed in the task that is before us.”
Dogara also charged the lawmakers to not spend any time idling as they take up their representative duties on assumption of office, but to ensure that they begin by focusing on those things that will fulfill the promise of democracy to the citizens, which include liberty and the pursuit of happiness.