BY VICTOR AHIUMA-YOUNG
NIGERIA Labour Congress, NLC, yesterday lauded members of the National Assembly for passing the Freedom of Information bill and urged President Jonathan to urgently sign the bill into law.
NLC in a statement by its Head, Information and Public Relations, Comrade Chris Uyot, called on the President to ignore pressures from anti-democratic forces within and outside his administration and stand firmly with the voice of the people by assenting to the bill.
The statement reads in part, “NLC wishes to highly commend the National Assembly for passing the Freedom of Information bill, and urges President Goodluck Jonathan to compliment this laudable gesture of the legislature by immediately signing the bill into law.
This remarkable feat indicates that the National Assembly has come of age. It is prepared, we hope, to shed its public image from that of a parliament of self-seeking individuals to that dedicated to championing the cause of the people, and holding dear the values of liberty and public accountability.
The bill which, among other things, provides the right of access to public information or records, while protecting officers who disclose such information, is a positive step for combating corruption and compelling government to be more accountable to the people.”
“We call on President Goodluck Jonathan to ignore pressures from all anti-democratic forces within and outside his administration and stand firmly with the voice of the people by assenting to the bill. The promise of credibility in governance, which the President advocates, and had promoted in our electoral process, would not be complete without the instruments to advance transparency and accountability in government.
Above all, we believe that assent to this bill into law at the twilight of the regime; will set a standard for the new administration. It will signal its readiness to govern in the interest of the people by running a government based on openness, transparency, and social justice, as access to information is a must for sustainable democracy.”