The National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, (NILDS) wants Nigerians to have attitudinal change and contribute to issues that will strengthen the nation’s democratic parties.
The Director General, Prof. Abubakar O. Sulaiman made the call at the opening of the three day training for National Assembly Clerks of committees on standardization of legislative report writing.
While reiterating the need to ensure continuous enlightenment for legislators and their staff, whose functions include oversight, investigative hearings, research as well as interactive sessions, Prof. Abubakar explained that democracy does not end with the conduct of elections, noting that committee reports are key to the workings of policy development and constitute archival documents that serve as reference materials in future
“It is evident that maintaining democracy, even for countries with long standing democratic traditions, requires education, sustained vigilance and active support. In Nigeria, after just twenty years of continuous democratic governance, it is safe to say that we have recorded substantial progress. However, we must continue to reform and deepen our democratic tenets by institutionalizing the imperatives of good governance and ensuring that government works for the people”, he said.
On her part, the Chairman, House committee on Electoral Matters, Hon. Aishatu Dukku pointed out that electoral process stands as one of the major aspects of democracy. She emphasized the need for equal representation of gender, a requisite voter education to ensure that credible candidates emerge.
“It is time we truly probe into the violations of voting rights in our efforts to establish and as well to sustain credible elections”, she posited.
Former Counselor, United States Embassy Public Affairs, Dr. Atim Eneida-George maintained that for a healthy democracy to be achieved, all citizens must be fully involved in the processes.
The training, aimed at building the capacity of parliamentary staff on ways to contribute effectively to the legislature attracted over fifty committee clerks of the National Assembly.
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