By Egufe Yafugborhi & Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo
The Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima, has said governance is a collective responsibility and not a personal endeavour.
Shettima made the assertion on Friday in Uyo during the 2-day Retreat for the leadership of the 10th national Assembly organised by National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies in collaboration with Konrad – Adenauer-Stiftunh e. V, held at Four Point by Sheraton hotel, Ikot Ekpene LGA.
His words: “Governance is collective responsibility and not a personal endeavour. Our most significant achievement will be attained through cooperation and harmony. This is what we take from you because we are brothers and sisters in pursuit of a country that has all of us.
“For the first time in our history, all the elected heads of branches of our government and produced by the hallowed halls of the National Assembly come together for the common good of the nation. All the Chiefs of Staff and Deputy Chiefs of Staff to the President are all proud allumni members. The First Lady of the Federation and the Secretary to the Federation are all members of allumni.
“Certainly what this means is that we cannot afford to go to war, not because we are going to overlook each other’s transgressions but because we are going to engage with those who know the gravity of their work and will never take you for granted.
“Let us fight the stereotypes of our differences . The burden of managing a diverse nation has ensured that we cannot afford to trade the path of division
“The 10th National Assembly is unquestionably the richest we have had so far. You( National Assembly) have president and vice president who was one of you and recognize the sacrifices you make.
“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has reassured us with a heart of certainty that we are not in government to go to war with the National Assembly, we are here to collaborate and match towards shared prosperity.
“Our journey as a democratic nation has been marked by trials and triumph, set backs and progress, but through it all the National Assembly has remained steadfast in it’s commitment to our collective wellbeing.
“It is there within the Chambers the the voices of our divers constituencies find its expression. While the aspirations of our people are transformed into legislative action, and while the foundation of our democracy are continuously fortified.
“The trajectory of global growth is facing Africa and Nigeria will make or mar that transition. By 2050, Nigeria will be the third most populous nation on earth. Our population will hit 440million and we will surpass the United States of America, and the end of the century Nigeria will be most populous nation on earth and what are we going to do with the demographic growth?
“We can turn the demographic growth into demographic dividends. I believe, with the quality of leadership we have it will not turn into a demographic disaster that will consume all of us” the VP said.
In his remarks the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio , underscored the importance of collaboration between the two arms of government, stressing that Nigeria could not move forward unless the various stakeholders and groups saw the need for effective Collaboration in the country.
He said it an error to blame the All Progressives Congress or the People’s Democratic party or any other party for Nigeria’s problem, adding that the country faces a collective action problem because relevant groups and stakeholders have failed to collaborate
“My friends and colleagues, let us not make the mistake of thinking that our problem is APC or PDP or LP or SDP or any other party. That is an error.
“We face a collective action problem because relevant groups and stakeholders in our country fail to connect, cooperate and collaborate.
“But if we, the leadership of the Tenth National Assembly, can properly understand and effectively use collective action processes in the official conduct of business, we would achieve positive outcomes for our country’
” We can lead the charge in our country. Let us be united in purpose. It does not matter which political party you used to get to the Red or Green Chamber, right now we are in the Nigerian boat. If we all put our hands on deck, the Tenth Assembly shall surmount every challenge” Akpabio he said.
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Dr Tajudeem Abbas expressed delight for the retreat, noting that it would create an opportunity for the legislators to contribute immensely to the attainment of the 8-point Agenda of President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
He admonished his colleagues in both chambers to think first of the national development of the nation, emphasizing that all three arms of government must be in symphony to ensure that the current administration delivers on its promises to the people.
Host governor, Pst Umo Éno, who was represented by his deputy Senator Akon Ayakenyi, in his good will message expressed happiness over the federal government’s bipartisan and inclusive approach to governance.