President Muhammadu Buhari has come to the support of Nigeria’s lawmakers; stating it is wrong for the citizenry to think they are “highly overpaid for doing little”.
Further, Buhari said the lack of trust in the lawmakers had made their critics not to see the enormous work they were doing for the country.
As a matter of fact, the president made this declaration on Wednesday, February 19; during the launch of ‘The Green Chamber’ magazine; a publication by the House of Reps Committee on Media and Public Affairs.
At the event were the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who represented President Buhari; Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, representing President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; Governor of Katsina State and former Speaker of the House, Bello Masari; Governor of Imo State and former member of the Senate, Hope Uzodinma, among others.
Specifically, Buhari, speaking through Mohammed, said the parliamentarians do not indulge in sharing money without working; as widely believed.
He said, “Hitherto, the public perception of the National Assembly is that of a bicameral legislature; where overly comfortable and highly-overpaid members merely stuff wads of currency notes into their pockets for little work done.
“This wrong perception has resulted partly from the lack of understanding of the enormous work of lawmakers; especially outside the glare of television cameras.
“But with a magazine that will be the authoritative source of anything that goes on in the House; motions being moved, bills being passed, national issues being discussed and constituency projects; the public will be better informed on the activities of the House. This will, in turn, reflect in an improved public perception.”
Meanwhile, a former Director of Kenya’s Anti-Corruption Commission and Director of the Kenya School of Laws; Prof. Plo Lumumba, who was a keynote speaker at the event, asked if the lawmakers were following the footsteps of Nigeria’s founding fathers who, he said, had a clear vision for the country.
Also, in his remarks, Gbajabiamila stated that Nigeria would not have returned to democracy without the role played by the press.
He said, “I can say with absolute confidence; that our democratic settlement could never have been achieved without the noble daring of the press.
“Those unsung heroes who understood the power of the written word and wielded it in passionate denunciation of the tyranny that sought to consume us all.”