BY PETER DURU
MAKURDI – Senate President, Senator David Mark, has identified the peaceful and successful transition and transfer of presidential powers at the demise of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua as one of the landmark achievements of the outgoing Sixth National Assembly that would forever remain indelible in the heart of all Nigerians.
Mark also listed the successful amendment of the 1999 constitution and similar amendment and passage of the 2010 Electoral Act to enhance democracy within the political parties and to provide level playing ground for free, fair and credible elections as achievements that have deepened democracy in the country.
Senator Mark who spoke in a goodwill message at the induction workshop for members-elec of the National Assembly in Makurdi, noted that the National Assembly had become a key institution for harmonising interest groups for political stability and sustenance of democracy in the country.
He urged the newly elected members to commit themselves to their constitutional responsibilities of effectively representing their constituencies and the making of laws for the good governance of the country.
Mark said the induction workshop for newly elected members was prompted by the need to build cohesiveness among members, adding that the programme would also deepen the process of dialogue on topical national issues in the Assembly.
He said: “The import of this induction programme is to build cohesiveness and to deepen the process of dialogue on national issues in the legislature.”
The Senate President reminded he newly elected federal lawmakers that their victory at the last general elections marked the beginning of a tortuous, rigorous and painstaking journey in the act of lawmaking and nation building.
He added, “And this requires discipline, courage, mutual respect, self_application to the rules, practice and procedure of parliament and the understanding of constitutional powers and privileges”, he added.
He urged all members of the legislative arm of government to set good examples to other arms of government saying “the efficient exercise of oversight function demands no less”.
He also reminded the lawmakers that the responsibility of extending the frontiers of the nation’s fledging democracy rests squarely on their shoulders warning that they cannot afford the nation.