11 December 2020 by Julian Osamoto
Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr Ojo Olatunde has called for the inclusion of legislative studies in tertiary institutions curriculum that will be distinct from political science.
Mr Olatunde made the call at the 2020 Legislative Internship Programme, organized by Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre PLAC, in Abuja.
Represented by his Senior Special Adviser on Media and Labour, Mr Adesoro Austen, the Clerk said this would familiarize them with the workings of the legislative arm of Government .
He congratulated the newly inducted interns and urged them to put into practice all they had learnt during the program and also educate other young Nigerians on the proceedings of the legislature in the Country .
Clerk of the National Assembly also called on the media to brace up as partners in progress to advance the course of parliamentary democracy.
“In trying to report the legislative proceedings, the media should exhibit high level of professionalism in their reportage without bias”.
“A case in point is the recent issue of renovation of the National Assembly, which regrettably was blown out of proportion and misconstrued by some Nigerians”.
“You will agree with me that the place needs renovation since it was opened for legislative business far back in 1999 when this new face of democracy began.’’
The Spokesman for the House of Representatives, Mr Benjamin Kalu, who said the survival of any democracy is hinged on the legislative arm, commended PLAC for the internship program organized for young Nigerians.
Kalu urged the interns to utilise the knowledge gained to run for political office or serve as resource persons to help revive the legislature in the future.
The Head of Delegation, European Union in Nigeria and ECOWAS,
Ambassador. Ketil Karlsen, maintained that a good legislature would impact the lives of millions of people in their day to day dealings.
“The Not-Too-Young-To-Run campaign was an excellent piece, the Persons with Disabilities bill was another piece, and the Violence against Persons, Prohibition Act were examples of such laws”.
“that is the essence of democracy and the very reason the EU is such a staunch supporter of democracy in Nigeria.’’
The Executive Director, PLAC, Dr Clement Nwankwo, said the aim of the internship was to equip youths with the relevant knowledge of the National Assembly to enable them effectively engage in public discussion.
The ten weeks internship program had over thirty five interns in attendance.