By Henry Umoru
ABUJA – SENATE President Bukola Saraki, yesterday inaugurated an Adhoc Committee for the establishment and development of the National Assembly Museum and Archives, just as he stressed that a Museum for the National Assembly, remains a vital legislative history for lawmakers.
Speaking yesterday while inaugurating the joint Ad-Hoc Committee on the Establishment and Development of the National Assembly Museum and Archives, Saraki said that the newly inaugurated National Assembly Museum and Archives would aid the knowledge of legislative history of lawmakers from both chambers.
The Senate President however quoted Edmund Burke as saying that “those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it”.
Saraki said, “Museums and Archives play an important role in preserving legislative records for posterity. This becomes even more critical in a fledgling democracy such as ours.
“It would be best if we are able to draw on the deeds and records of past National Assemblies, to enable us cross the bridge of memory that was broken by the military years. This way, we will not keep re-inventing the wheel in our quest for nationhood.
“There is also the need for greater intellectual depth in our public life. A Museum and Archives would give a leap to intellectualism in our legislative activities. It also promises to be an invaluable repository of knowledge that would be of untold benefit to scholars, historians, students and citizens in general.
Saraki recalled that the NASS Museum and Archives project was first mooted during the 6th Senate and that the bulk of the work was done in the 7th Senate and comprehensive reports prepared, adding that “we are inaugurating this ad-hoc committee today, to bring a fitting conclusion to these endeavours, for posterity”.
According to him, the Committee is charged with “the task of advancing our quest to establish a National Assembly Museum for the purposes of immortalisation of the proceedings, processes and procedures of making laws in Nigeria – as a means of institutionalising democracy in Nigeria”.
He said this is with a view to the realisation of a museum and archives which would be a national monument in its own right, and one fit for the digital age that we live in.
Saraki, who said Parliamentary libraries, can be found all over the world, explained that “the proposed museum and archives demonstrates that we can indeed build on the gains of the past if we are determined”.
Earlier, the chairperson of the joint adhoc committee, Senator Fatima Raji-Rasaki (PDP Ekiti Central), said “the National Assembly museum will serve as an insurance against forgetfulness and memory lost about the citizens of the Assemblies from the first to the present and also for the coming Assemblies”.
Senator Raji-Rasaki further said that, “It will provide a great storage of information for contemplation and reflection that will build capacities within the young and old. It will nourish hopes of would-be contestants in politics; strengthen democratic processes and the art of making laws”.
She, however, pledged the commitment of her members to do all their best to deliver the expected desires of the National Assembly.
Members of the committee include Hon. Ogbeide-Ihama Omoregie (co-chairman), Senators Matthew Urhoghide, Babajide Omoworare, Victor Umeh, and Obinna Ogba,
Others are Hon. Joseph Edionwele, Hon. Sam Onuigbo and Hon. Chille Igbawua, Yahaya Danzaria, Ms. Cerie Jogai (FCT), Aminu Waziri Mohammed, Abbas Mohammed (Secretariat) and Moyo Adeniran.