The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)/Transparency International in Nigeria mourned the demise of Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ghali Umar Na’Abba. This was contained in a release signed by the Executive Director of CISLAC, Head of Transparency International in Nigeria,
Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani) on Tuesday.
In the spirit of commiseration, Rafsanjani recalled his dogged struggles for legislative autonomy and firm positions to defend Nigeria’s nascent democracy during his tenure as Speaker from 1999 to 2003.
The executive director also stated that “just as we commend his selfless fights for legislative strengthening, sustainable democracy and respect for the sanity and sanctity of the rule of law, while serving as the Speaker of the House.
“We found as worthy of emulation, Na’Abba’s purposeful leadership and well-intended efforts that secured the legislature from executive control, political interference, suppression of power and power-corrupt politicians, while protecting our emerging democracy from a major setback, executive dominance, and other spirited tendencies to ride roughshod over the National Assembly” Rafsanjani stated further
Rafsanjani recalled that the current 13% derivation fund from the federation revenue to oil-producing communities in Niger Delta came to limelight under the leadership of Na’Abba as Speaker of the House. Through this move, he had demonstrated sincere concerns for social justice and equity in Nigeria.
While eulogizing the late politician , he further observed in his valued contributions to Nigeria’s democracy, the undaunted leadership capacity to harmoniously mobilise other Members of the House for a united and non-compromised front that commanded respect from the executive arm.
“Moreover, he had supported the work of Civil Society groups in Nigeria through collaboration for improved legislative efficiency, transparency, constituency accountability as well as capacity strengthening. The regular consultations had helped legislators to stay focused.” Rafsanjani said.
Finally the executive director prayed was hopeful that Ghali Na’Abba’s democratic spirit and leadership principles will be emulated by the current leadership of the National Assembly and States Houses of Assembly and even future legislators in Nigeria.