National Assembly not an elite club, Dogara tells members-elect

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, has advised elected members into the two chambers of the National Assembly not to see their membership of the Ninth Assembly, when inaugurated, as a form of induction into an elite club.

He said they should rather see themselves as mere ambassadors of their different constituencies. He said they must not lose focus on the job for which they had been elected, especially the challenges of insecurity, unemployment and poverty.

A statement by his media office on Friday said the Speaker spoke on Thursday night in Abuja at a dinner organised for the members-elect as part of their induction exercise.

He added that the lawmakers-elect might become overwhelmed when they assumed office, noting that their assignment was to make a difference that would end the sufferings of Nigerians.

The statement quoted him as saying, “Let me remind us that very soon, after this orientation programme, we will get the oath of office into the chambers. And by that, we shouldn’t deceive ourselves that we are getting inducted into an exclusive club of some kind of elite in this country, but merely ambassadors of our different constituencies, by extension, the nation Nigeria.

“We cannot afford to fail the people who sent us. The only thing we require to make a difference is knowledge. Our parliament must be knowledge-based. If we have no knowledge; we cannot do the work or succeed in the task that is before us.”

“We cannot afford to go to sleep as elected representatives of our people in this very challenging environment that our people have found themselves, talking of insecurity or the challenge of unemployment and under-employment.”
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