OrderPaperToday– A bill seeking to provide for principal officers of the National Assembly to partake in security council meetings has been passed for second reading in the House of Representatives.
The bill, which is for an Act to amend the third schedule of the 1999 Constitution to allow for parliament (principal officers) to be part of the National Security Council was sponsored by
Mr. Odebunmi Olesegun (APC, Osun).
Mr Olusegun argued that the inclusion of the presiding officers would enable lawmakers to be well informed about national security, especially as they are the closest to the people.
Stressing that the legislature is the most important arm of government in a democracy, he stated that it is important and strategic for it to be included in the deliberation of the country’s security.
In his lead debate, he said, “Securing our country is one of the major responsibilities of any government in Nigeria and any other part of the world. However, among the functions of the legislature is to make laws for good governance of the country, wherein good governance itself has security of life and properties as one of its determinants.
“Information, they say is power, hence the parliament needs to be well informed in the area of security. That is why this bill is seeking to amend the third schedule of the 1999 Constitution if the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) to include the presiding officers of the National Assembly, that is the Senate president and the speaker of House of Representatives, in the composition of the National Security Council.”
The lawmaker further explained that the parliament needs to be well informed and properly guided so as to make laws that would be “practically realisable”.
He continued, “This practicality is not an attempt to infuse legislatures into the executive responsibilities in the spirit of the principle of separation of powers. It is, rather, an attempt to put the legislative arm of government in such position that it will through its leadership, be well informed to be able to guide legislative activities in the direction that conforms with what is either happening or has been planned for, in the security circle. It will also encourage executive – legislative collaboration to collectively secure Nigeria and Nigerians, as well as preventing the two arms from working at cross purposes.”
Supporting the motion, Mr. Tahir Mohammed Moguno, said the bill was apt and important because the legislature is the closest to the people and could have useful information for such council meetings.
“My argument is against the backdrop of the fact that National Assembly representatives would be very key to this security meeting because for instance, where I come from, my constituents call me and say boko haram is matching towards their communities and in any such case, I can pass such information to the principal officers who will in turn pass same at such meetings,” Mungono disclosed.