Akpabio Seeks UK Collaboration to strengthen Nigeria’s Democracy

By Paulinus Nta, A’IBOM

The President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio has said that Nigeria has a shared history with the United Kingdom and would value their input in strengthening democratic practice not only in Nigeria but Africa as a whole.

Senator Akpabio stated this when the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, His Excellency, Dr. Richard Mongtgomery led a delegation to pay a courtesy visit on the leadership of the Senate at the National Assembly in Abuja on Tuesday.

A statement by the Special Assistant to the Senate President on Media/Communication, Anietie Ekong quoted Senator Akpabio to have said, “We are delighted to associate with you, to learn from you and also to strengthen democracy in our country. We need your advice, your counseling, your input in order to enable that to happen.

“Ours is a nascent democracy, we are still at a learning point. Even the advanced democracies are still grappling with some challenges. We are learning to run. And we can assure you that standing on the shoulders of a giant like the United Kingdom, we can only get better.

“The 10th Senate has a very robust legislative agenda that is people-centered. Whether it is in the area of the economy, whatever laws we will make must have the welfare of the people of Nigeria in mind. Whether it is in the area of infrastructure, it must be to the benefit of the people.

“We also believe strongly in collaboration. We must exchange ideas in the best practices of democracy. We must bring most of the anachronistic laws and acts of parliament in tandem with modern realities.

“We have taken a look at our Constitution and find out that we still have military type edicts and decrees embedded in the Constitution. We have inaugurated the Constitution amendment committee which we believe will ensure that most of those things are eliminated to have a peoples centered constitution. We need your collaboration in that respect,” he said.

Senator Akpabio decried the high turnover of lawmakers at the National Assembly and said they would need training and retraining and also intimated his guests that the National Assembly was also working on the amendment of the Electoral Act to make sure that every vote counts.

The High Commissioner, Mr. Mongtgomery said he was at the Senate because the British High Commission had a long-standing relationship with the National Assembly and had in the past supported various issues that had to do with democratic practice in Nigeria.

“We came to share ideas with the Senate and to understand the vision and priorities of the 10th National Assembly. The UK and Nigeria have a longstanding relationship and we have incredibly strong people to people links between our countries.

“We have very significant connections between our democracies and our democratic institutions. We have many Nigerians working in the UK and many of our people working here. We are bound together by families, friendships, business and people to people links. That is why the UK has a large diplomatic mission here.

“In the first year of my tenure as the British High Commissioner which coincides with the first year of the new administration under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, that first year has seen a significant elevation in the relationships between my Government and the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said.

About Paulinus Nta

Check Also

Federal Workers Demand Unpaid Wages, Issue 72-Hour Ultimatum to Government

Federal workers in Nigeria have issued a 72-hour ultimatum to the Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *