The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has described the Nigeria’s National Assembly “as the most porous parliament in the world.”
Mr Gbajabiamila made the remark at the Wednesday’s plenary while responding to a motion under matters of urgent public importance by Dederi Isa (APC-Nano) in Abuja.
He stressed that the dignity of the National Assembly and its surroundings cannot be compromised.
The speaker said it is worrisome the way and manner people gain access into the complex unchecked.
He, however, assured that efforts are ongoing to checkmate the ugly trend as a Committee on Internal Security of the House would be constituted to address the issue.
“The issue of the porousness of the chamber is a nagging issue. This is the most porous parliament I have ever seen in the world.
“So we are making effort to ensure the internal security here and that is why we are having a new Committee on Internal Security of the House in place to address the issue.
“The dignity of this place starts from the gate, not just the chamber,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Isa, who represents Karaye/Rogo Federal Constituency, had raised a motion, expressing displeasure over difficulties being faced by lawmakers in gaining access into the assembly complex through the gate.
Citing a section in the House Standing Rules which says ”a member of the legislature shall not be obstructed or hindered from gaining access into the legislative house,” he said it is time such act is nipped in the bud.
“Similarly, when you are going out, you face the same challenge. This should be addressed,” he said.
The lawmaker, though acknowledged that the speaker is doing his best to strike a balance among members, complained that his attention is often on some members when motions were being taken.
“Mr Speaker, we know you are doing your best to be fair to all but sometimes, your attention focuses more on the central side than our side.
“Yesterday, several members and I raised our hands to make contributions but you did not look our side. I want this to be addressed and as members, we should be treated equally,” he said.
Responding, Mr Gbajabiamila assured lawmakers that under his watch, the leadership of the lower chamber would always uphold the principle of fairness and equity as its watchword in dealing with members.
“I have always assured that in this House, equity and fairness is our watchword.
“According to the rules here, we move from one line to the next line to maintain an order while taking contributions. We don’t pick anyhow and once we passed a line, the chances that we are not going to come back is high,” he explained.