Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara yesterday, identified the National Assembly as the ‘stabilising force’ that saw to the end of the third term ambition of former president Olusegun Obasanjo, saying, that singular act saved Nigeria’s democracy, The Sun reports.
Dogara, who took time to enumerate the contributions of the legislative arm of government to the sustenance of democracy since 1999, said even with the outstanding display of bi-partisanship which ensured increased funding for the Niger- Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the passage of the Pension Reform Act, the enactment of the 2002, 2006, 2010 Electoral Acts which led to the recently commended effectiveness of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the outright rejection of tenure elongation remained the legislature’s finest hour.
Dogara spoke at the inaugural edition of National Political Summit organised by the Save Democracy Group headed by former Speaker, Alhaji Ghali Umar Na’abba.
The summit had as its theme, “2015 General Elections: Consolidating the Gains and Building Positive Political Culture for Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria.”
He said: “Perhaps one of the greatest achievements of the Legislature in Nigeria and its biggest contribution to democratic consolidation in Nigeria is the rejection of the third term bid of the former president Olusegun Obasanjo.
“Both chambers of the National Assembly, in a historic vote rejected the proposed amendment of the Constitution to extend presidential tenure from 8 to 12 years. Perhaps that singular decision ensured that our democracy survived.”
The Speaker, who delivered the keynote address at the summit entitled “The Legislature and the Stability of Nigerian Democracy,” stressed that despite being the least understood arm of government due to the long stay of the military in power, the legislature rather than promoting or glossing over graft has fought corruption.
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