NANS Declares Support for Dogara, Says Legislative Institution Must Be Guarded
The National Association of Nigerian Students has declared support for Speaker Yakubu Dogara's leadership of the House of Representatives. The association made this known in Abuja on Sunday during a world press conference during which the four zonal coordinators stated that Speaker Dogara has engaged students and young people in a way that no other speaker had.
Speaking on the current crisis in the House of Representatives, leaders of the association, led by Comrade Prince Miaphen, said that: "the legislature is the nerve-center of any true democracy that has the people as her centerpiece on all spheres of governance. To this extent, the legislature as an Institution must be guarded jealously and any attempt to upset the train of progressive voyage must be resisted by all and sundry."
They also stated that the Speaker has "placed a high premium on masses-oriented legislation and inclusive governance", and cited examples with the recently held engagement with students and his support of legislation seeking to enhance youth participation in politics, as examples to support their stand.
"Mr. Speaker has not lost grasp of the fact that our democratic voyage as a nation can only be sustained if the successor generation of leaders are properly groomed in the art of governance particularly I the aspects of inclusive legislation - which Rt. Hon. Dogara epitomizes. This much informed the highly celebrated National Assembly/Nigerian Students Interactive Summit, a novel and unprecedented program which incorporated Nigerian Students (as stakeholders) into the nations legislative activities. Two different bills that will allow youths participate in government both in elective and appointive offices has received the support of the House and is being championed by the Speaker Yakubu Dogara", they said.
They went on to list Dogara's other achievements, including the introduction of sectoral debates and the high volume of bills and resolutions which were passed within a year of his tenure as Speaker.
"In the light of current happenings regarding the Office of the Honorable Speaker and other Principal Officers of the House of Representatives on the issue of 2016 budget process, Nigerian students herein state that we have x-rayed the leadership lifestyle, charisma and character of Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara and found him worthy as a well-trained and roundly groomed leader best fit to steer the affairs of the House of Representatives in the best interest of our rapidly advancing democracy. He is well placed to begin a holistic reform of Nigerian budget process which is already stated in the legislative Agenda of the House", they said.
When asked if the Speaker should resign due to the budget padding allegations, the NANS leadership dismissed the demands, saying that accused persons are innocent until proven guilty, and asked if the Speaker would be reinstated in the event that the allegations are found to be false.