By Femi Ogunshola, Abuja.
Speaker of House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila says the quality of political conversations among gladiators will determine the outcome of this year’s general elections.
Gbajabiamila made the declaration at the resumption of the House sitting for the 2023 legislative session in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said that as the country approached the general elections, there had been a marked increase in violence and vicious attacks on political actors in parts of Nigeria.
“We must unite to ensure this dangerous trend does not lead to circumstances that threaten the forthcoming elections.
“The quality of the political conversations in society, particularly in the lead-up to elections is a determining factor in the electoral outcomes and the quality of governance that will result therefrom,” he said.
Gbajabiamila said that when political discourse sought to unite the people behind an agenda of shared prosperity, social development, respect for the humanity of persons, governance would also reflect such priorities.
He said that the security and welfare of the people should be the primary purpose of government, adding that with this, the constitution obligated all to protect the lives and property of citizens.
He said that there was need to adopt politics of accommodation and brotherhood, while the government should ensure that no security challenge was allowed to threaten the country’s peace.
“This is our constitutional obligation and a moral duty from which we must not deviate,” he said.
The speaker said that over the last few appropriation cycles, the dire conditions of the national finance required significant borrowing to finance government operations.
“This requires sustained investments in infrastructure and national security, as well as improved living conditions of the people.
“Just as the 9th Assembly has reformed the appropriation process to ensure timely budget passage, we also intend to leave a legacy of transparency and accountability as a standard for the future.
“Therefore, as part of preparing our reports, we must make a deliberate effort to give a complete account of our oversight activities in the 9th House of Representatives,” he said.
Gbajabiamila commended Nigerian military for taking risks and offering the supreme sacrifice to keep the peace.
“They are the best of us, to whom we owe not only our gratitude but also our continued dedication to the offices we hold.
“As the democratic process leads to continuous personnel turnover, it is vital to have a system that allows future office holders to understand the decisions made by their predecessors.
“In the executive arm of government, it is established practice to prepare handover notes. I wish today to propose to the House that we adopt this practice at the committee level,” he said.
The speaker added that the House Committee on Rules and Business would lead the effort by formulating guidelines to make it possible.