By Hilary Akalugwu
Nsukka – Mr Fabian Onah, the Chairman of the People Democratic Party (PDP) in Nsukka Local Government Area, has lauded the courage and resilience of the leadership of the eighth National Assembly (NASS).
Onah, a former member of the Enugu State House of Assembly, made the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Nsukka on Friday.
He said: “The eighth assembly was vibrant and passed many bills.
“The leaderships of the Senate and House of Representatives ensured that the independence of the legislature was maintained.
“They resisted alleged attempts by the executive at one time or the other to be used as rubber stamp.
“For democracy to strive in any nation, the executive, legislature and judiciary must be independent.
Onah said that maintaining the independence of each arm of government would help to ensure that the principle of checks and balances thrived in a democracy.
He therefore advised the incoming leadership of the ninth assembly to emulate the dedication and sacrifice made by the outgone leadership of the eighth assembly.
“This is the only way the National Assembly can maintain the independence of the legislature,” he said.
He said: “The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and his Deputy, Ike Ekeremadu, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and other principal officers sacrificed much to ensure the success of the eighth assembly.
“The legislature is the bedrock of any democracy because they are the representatives of the people, who expect quality laws that will bring democracy dividend to their areas,’’ he said.
The PDP chieftain said that aside from passing many important bills, the eighth assembly resisted alleged attempts to relegate it to a rubber stamp.
He advised the two chambers of the assembly to work as a team in order to contribute meaningfully in moving the nation forward.
“The next NASS should pay priority attention to bills that will help to solve security challenges and unemployment in the country.
“It should consider national interest first in all its functions and de-emphasise tribal, religious and political party affiliations,’’ Onah said