A former minister of education, Oby Ezekwesili has stated that the National Assembly’s lack of “individual and institutional integrity” had prevented it from being an effective watchdog against excesses in the executive, saying that citizens did not take the legislators serious whenever they announced probes into scandals.
“The reason we continue after 18 years of uninterrupted democracy to have low public trust in our society is because of the quality of legislature,” Mrs. Ezekwesili said on Tuesday in a series of tweets from her Twitter account @obyezeks.
“Ordinarily it should be that citizens hold their legislature in high regard and therefore have high public trust in government”, she said, adding, “But we don’t.”
Ezekwesili maintained that it was tragic that only a few citizens took the National Assembly “serious” whenever the lawmakers conducted a public hearing on scandals.
She said, “For as long as the individual and institutional integrity of @nassnigeria remains poor in citizens’ rating, executive scandals will soar”.
Ezekwesili accused the leadership of the National Assembly of not investing in building public trust through “legislature integrity”.
She then appealed to Nigerians to take the election of lawmakers seriously.
“If we ever manage to improve the quality of those that constitute our legislature public trust rises.
“To build up our public trust, we direly need a legislature that is trusted by citizens to hold the executive accountable.
“It is in the interest of our democracy that our @nassnigeria is not a weakened arm of government that cannot hold the executive arm to account”, she said.
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