OrderPaperToday – A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Umar Ghali Na’abba on Thursday urged lawmakers to avoid visiting Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) for oversight.
He said the lawmakers should rather invite the agencies to meet with them.
The former Speaker stated this while delivering a goodwill message at the valedictory ceremony for the 8th Assembly. He led a delegation of former principal officers of previous assemblies to the green chamber. In the delegation were immediate past deputy speaker and Governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa state, and former Speaker, Patricia Etteh.
Na’Abba in his speech noted that the lawmakers are not auditors and as such they should endeavor to invite members of the executive instead of visiting them.
It would be recalled that there are several reports of allegation of lawmakers demanding for bribe from MDAs they are over-sighting.
Recently, the Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Enforcement Agency (NAFDAC), Prof Mojisola Adeyeye accused one of the committees oversighting her agency of demanding for bribe during oversight visit.
Na’abba said: “On oversight, the MDAs must be called to account, the concept of legislators visiting MDAS must stop; MDAs must be invited to visit the House, this must stop. We have democracy that has not grown an inch, or party system that has not grown, our political parties are doing everything to undermine our democracy, politics of vengeance is taking over our democracy.”
The former lawmaker also advised the lawmakers to ensure the independence of the House but however cautioned the lawmakers to work with the executive to tackle some of the challenges facing the country.
He also urged the 9th Assembly to emulate the 8th Assembly in ensuring the House is independent in the discharge of its responsibilities.
Also addressing the House, former Speaker Etteh urged the government to absorb former members of the legislative arm and advised lawmakers who are not returning not to despair, as she explained that the “outside world presents opportunities.”
“The executive should accommodate us, the money they spent on us is much, the country belongs to all of us,” she said, adding “some of our colleagues left this House without no hope of being in government, but today, they are everywhere.”
She also called for increase in quota of women in the House, noting that women in helms of affairs guarantees stability and peace.