House of Representatives Speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, yesterday expressed fears that the nation’s democracy cannot continue to thrive if it fails to make life better for majority of Nigerians.
Tambuwal, who stated this yesterday in Kaduna at an on-going retreat for Sokoto State Assembly members, added that “one of the most damaging aspects of our democracy is the way corruption has been allowed to thrive.
“The truth is that democracy cannot succeed unless each arm of government knows exactly what its functions are and how best to carry out those functions without trampling on the rights of others.
“If each arm knows the limits of its powers, there will be less friction in the system.
“Democracy is particular not just because it allows for mass participation in governance but because it is best able to respond to the needs of the people.
“There is no doubt that if we practice this system the way it should be done, we shall succeed in reducing poverty and despair among our people.
“It is naïve and dangerous to assume that democracy can continue to thrive if it fails to make life better for majority of our people. There is only one way of making sure that our people continue to support democracy and are willing to fight to defend it; and that is by proving that democracy works.
“The proof that people need these days is not in words, no matter how well articulated. Our people want to feel more secure; they want to see more basic amenities; they want to be treated more respectably. Promises are no longer enough.
“It is sad that matters have been allowed to deteriorate such that instead of associating politics and democracy with growth and progress, people think of waste and grand theft.
“It is therefore clear that if we must make any progress as a nation, we must make transparency and accountability our watchwords. We must be accountable for everything we do in office.
“And accountability is not just about how monies are spent, it has far wider application. In fact, everyone elected into public office is accountable to the electorate and God,” he added.
Speaking earlier at the Kaduna State Government House when the members paid a courtesy visit to Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, the Speaker of the Sokoto House of Assembly, Hon. Muhammad Zayyana, said the 30 members of the House were on a retreat aimed at enabling them practice more on legislative procedure and practice.
Zayyana emphasised on the past relationship between the state and Kaduna, adding that, “Despite challenges, Kaduna is our second home and a home to all Northerns.’’
He said the retreat would enable them interact with the host members on their responsibilities and retrain them on the procedures and practices in the legislative arm of the government, which would enable them dispense their duties diligently.
Responding, Governor Yakowa stated that despite all the challenges, Kaduna remains the most attractive city not just in the North, but the country at large.
He said that despite the challenges bedeviling the state, the image of the state was not dented, as it was still the most sought after state with various potentials deeply rooted in it.
He called on the visiting House members to share ideas with their counterpart from Kaduna on developmental issues that would be beneficial to the people in the state.
The governor also advised the members to collaborate with the executive members of their state towards achieving the set goals and to enable the people benefit from the dividends of democracy.
“As members of the legislative, you have the responsibility to work with the executive to enable the people enjoy the dividends of democracy,” he said.
Yakowa tasked them not to betray the confidence reposed on them by the people, who elected them into power.