From Fred Itua, Abuja
Former Minister of National Planning and present Director-General National Institute for Legislative and Odemocratic Studies (NILDS), Prof. Abubakar Suleiman, has described governors opposed to autonomy for state legislature and judiciary as democratic mutineers.
NILDS is an institute under the National Assembly. It is the research arm of the National Assembly. It handles training of lawmakers, aides and others both at national and subnational levels.
Addressing newsmen at part of activities marking his two years in office, Suleiman said under a democratic setting, Order 10 recently issued by President Muhammadu Buhari ought not have been implemented if state actors had performed their duties.
He blamed high cases of rejection of bills by President Buhari on poor research, political squabbles, among others. He, however, said the Institute is working to change the narrative by conducting regular trainings.
“The impression is that an average Nigerian lawmaker is corrupt. But is that statement real? I don’t believe that the conclusion is right. One of the reasons that informed that impression was the issue of budgeting. When you say that our National Assembly is taking the chunk of our national budget, what is the percentage for our parliament? If the larger chunk goes to the executive, why are we not talking about that? Why focus on the National Assembly? Setting the Nigerian people against the National Assembly, will endanger democracy and the nation.”