The Africa Leadership Forum (ALF), recently sent interns to both the National and State Houses of Assembly to develop their interests in legislative activities as the basis for sustenance of democratic ideals. PEMBI STEPHEN-DAVID writes.
Engineered by its vision to acquaint young Nigerians with parliamentary structures and processes, the Africa Leadership Forum (ALF), Africa’s premier civil society and not-for-profit organisation, empowered by the Norwegian Agency for Development Corporation, organised a 2-day briefing/orientation workshop last week.
The briefing, held in the ALF Plaza, Ota, Ogun State, is in the words, of the participants, ‘‘immeasurably educative and satisfying.’’ 45 participants, covering the six geopolitical zones of the federation, made up the workshop.
Speaking to LEADERSHIP INTERVAL at the end of the workshop, the executive director of ALF, Mr Ayodele Aderinwale, MFR, said that, ‘‘ the LIP is a three-phase programme consisting of a 2-day briefing and orientation, a 21-day attachment within 60 days with legislative assemblies and a 2-day debriefing/experience sharing workshop.’’
Aderinwale explained that, ‘‘the 2-day briefing/orientation season is designed to provide the interns the theoretical understanding of the evolution of parliament, its functions, structures and processes.’’ These, he said, is to provide a base knowledge for them before embarking on their internship.
Aderinwale added that, ‘‘after the briefing, the interns are attached to the National and various state Houses of Assembly, depending on the residency of the participant, for 21-day attachment training. During this period, interns are engaged in all aspects of the work of the Assembly under the tutelage of a ‘‘legislative mentor’’. Upon completion of the attachment, interns submit a report and activity log book.’’ He said another 2-day debriefing/experience sharing workshop terminates the internship programme on an annual basis.
The ALF, according to the executive director, is ‘‘ expected to deploy six LIP programmes over the next three years with an estimated 180 young Nigerians to be engaged in a robust, educative, interactive and informative sessions in order to groom and provide them with the platform that will deepen their understanding of the parliamentary understandings.
Speaking to LEADERSHIP INTERVAL on the objective of the workshop, the image maker of ALF, Mr Atom Lim said, ‘’ the programme is designed to encourage and develop the interest of the successor generation in legislative activities as the bases for sustenance of democratic ideals, facilitate a more coordinated approach to training of parliamentarians in Nigeria.’’
LIP, he explained, ‘‘offer interns the opportunity to sharpen their skills in participatory democratic governance, expose them to the workings of the parliament and encourage them to consider a parliamentary career as future parliamentarians or support staff.’’ Lim explained that participants wrote an easy of not more than three hundred words and the 45 best were chosen.
Participants were treated to a pot-pourri of sessions that treated every aspect of the workshop objectives. The highlight of the briefing workshop was a Mock Parliamentary Session which was led by Hon Vidiyeno H. Bamaiyi as speaker and participants played all the other major roles as majority leader, minority leader, Clerk at Table, Sergeant at Arms and Honourable members all debating for or against the governments renaming of University of Lagos to Moshood Abiola University.
The faculty for the briefing workshop was made up of erudite scholars in the field of Political Science, Public Administration, Academics and management consultants. Facilitators included Hon. (Barr) Vidiyeno H. Bamaiyi, legal/legislative consultant, Abuja, Hon. Kayode Samuel, visiting fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London and Hon. Dr Wale Okediran, former member, Federal House of Representatives, National Assembly, Abuja among others.