40 bills awaiting Jonathan’s assent, House of Reps says

The Chairman, House Committee on Information, Zakari Mohammed, on Tuesday said 40 bills were awaiting President Goodluck Jonathan’s assent to become Acts of the National Assembly.

Mr. Mohammed, representing Baruten/Kaiama Federal Constituency of Kwara State, said this at a forum organised by Correspondents’ Chapel of the Oyo State Council of National Union of Journalists, NUJ, in Ibadan.

He said the house would have invoked the relevant portion of the constitution to deal with the situation, but “the political mood of the country had been a sort of handicap”.

Mr. Mohammed had earlier delivered a paper titled: “The Nigerian Press and Democratic Governance; the Journey So Far” at the Chapel’s programme, Guest Forum.

He said the media coverage of democracy in the last 16 years had not been impressive.

Mr. Mohammed said there were a lot of vices going on within the polity which the Nigerian press has not done enough reporting about.

“Not only that our media practitioners are not doing enough of whistle blowing, the political actors run to the media for cover,” he said.

Mr. Mohammed said Nigerians should be tired of politicians and the media in the last 16 years because of their unwritten collaboration to rob the country of robust democratic gains.

“How much of corruption have the media been able to expose in the country?”

The lawmaker charged the media practitioners to place the interest of the country above any other consideration.

“To entrench democracy, we should not monetise the profession; we owe this country a lot; other countries are only better than Nigeria because of organisation.

“The dullest of lawyer is treated with decorum; there must be an entry point into the profession like the medical, law, accounting and other professions to enhance the dignity of the profession; the image of journalists should be worked upon,” he said.

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