By Abdullahi Alhassan, Kaduna
Transparency International in Nigeria, and Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre CISLAC) mourn the demise of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ghali Umar Na’Abba.
In a Press statement signed and issued to newsmen in Nigeria by the Executive Director, of CISLAC and Head of Transparency International in Nigeria, Mallam Auwal Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani.
“We in the spirit of commiseration, recall his dogged struggles for legislative autonomy and firm positions to defend Nigeria’s nascent democracy during his tenure as Speaker from 1999 to 2003.
Just as we commend his selfless fights for legislative strengthening, sustainable democracy and respect for the sanity and sanctity of the rule of law while serving as the Speaker of the House.”
It further explained that “We found as worthy of emulation, Na’Abba’s purposeful leadership and well-intended efforts that secured the legislature from executive control, political interference, suppression of power and power-corrupt politicians, while protecting our emerging democracy from a major setback, executive dominance, and other spirited tendencies to ride roughshod over the National Assembly.
“We recall that the current 13% derivation fund from the federation revenue to oil-producing communities in Niger Delta came to the limelight under the leadership of Na’Abba as Speaker of the House. Through this move, he demonstrated sincere concern for social justice and equity in Nigeria.
The statement maintains that “We further observed in his valued contributions to Nigeria’s democracy, the undaunted leadership capacity to harmoniously mobilise other Members of the House for a united and non-compromised front that commanded respect from the executive arm.”
It further states “Civil Society Groups in Nigeria worked collaboratively with the National Assembly to support legislative transparency, capacity strengthening and constituency accountability. There were regular consultations that helped legislative focus.
“We are hopeful that Ghali Na’Abba’s democratic spirit and leadership principles will be emulated by the current leadership of the National Assembly and States Houses of Assembly and even future legislators in Nigeria.”