National assembly the only institution of our democracy, says deputy senate leader

Bala Na’Allah, Deputy Senate Majority Leader, says the National Assembly is “the only institution” of Nigeria’s democracy.

He also said the framers of Nigeria’s constitution decided for a bicameral system of legislature in order to ensure that the country’s democracy is not abused.

He said this in response to critics who feel the Senate should be scrapped on the argument that maintaining a two-chamber legislature only depletes the nation’s resources.

Na’Allah explained that if there was no Senate, then democracy in Nigeria would be one-sided as the House of Representatives has more northerners due to its population and land mass.

The Senate, on the other hand, is made up of three members from each state, thereby ensuring that there is equality.

“If the senate does not exist, technically, more than 67% of the members of the National Assembly are from the Northern part of Nigeria,” he said.

“Democratically, if everything is going to be put to vote, it means the north would always have its share of whatever it wants in this country. This is not the intention of the framers of our constitution.

On the need for a two-chamber legislature, Na’Allah said: “Bicameral means that no one house can override the other, but that the two houses must agree on one thing.

    “The Senate is not bigger than the house of representatives in terms of power. But you see, people who have no idea about how we came about our constitution, what the desire of the framers of our constitution were, will keep on telling you all these things. But what do you do when somebody decides to be exposing his ignorance?”

    Na’Allah said by the time the 8th senate completes it tenure, it would have “succeeded in strengthening the only institution of our democracy, which is the National Assembly.

    He also spoke on the powers of the Senate to summon government agencies as well as make budgetary inputs.

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