General Managers National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Abubakar Suleiman, says over 130 members of the House will not return to the 10th session of the House.
He said that the number could be higher, because the 130 members are those who lost in the primary elections of their parties and because they would not be presented in the elections of the National Assembly on February 25.
Mr. Suleiman made the announcement on Monday while presenting a document titled “High Turnover of Lawmakers: Negative Impact and Pathway” at the House of Representatives Press Group Week.
The 10th session of the House will be inaugurated in June. It has 360 seats occupied by members of parliament from 360 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The DG lamented the high turnover of members of parliament, and stated that 215 new members joined the Chamber in 2019 and that there is a possibility of more new members joining the next Chamber.
He said the high turnover disempowers legislative arms in several ways. He said that the lack of follow-up affects the main legislation.
“Already, it is clear that the next X National Assembly may be worse than the previous ones. When the 9th Assembly was inaugurated, there were about 215 new members, against about 130 old members that include all political parties.
“Among them, Congress of All Progressives (APC) had the most new members of parliament (137), followed by PDP with 59 members.
“Since more than 130 members are already out of the competition, without presenting any candidacy, there is a fear that the number of returning members of parliament may be exhausted. This indicates that the number of new members of parliament in the coming 10th Assembly in 2023 may be higher than in the last Assembly. Against this background, the trend of the turnover of the legislature it is analyzed more”, he said.
According to the DG, high turnover may lead to the pursuit of personal gains by legislators over core legislative functions.
“The ‘head turn’ mentality leads to a downward spiral as politicians pursue immediate personal and monetary gains at the expense of the voters who elected them,” he said.
The influence of governors?
Mr. Suleiman, who was named the “Legislative Development and Democratic Growth Champion” by the corps, said most of the lawmakers lost their ticket in the primaries due to the influence of state governors.
“Most legislators are usually perceived as unfriendly or a threat to the interests of governors or their candidates on party return tickets in primaries,” he said.
To deal with the problem of high turnover, the DG proposed “the need for a drastic overhaul of the nation’s recruitment process in parliament”.
He added that there is a need to improve the quality of those elected to the Parliament.
Speaking on the matter, the President of the Corps, Grace Ike, called the high turnover rate alarming. He added that there is a need to educate journalists on the ideas of the legislature.
“Obviously, about 70-80 percent of the members of parliament will not return to the federal and state assemblies, which is quite worrying and has the adverse effect of relegating institutional memories, experience and skills, among other issues. .
“As we all know, democracy cannot exist without a legislature, so there is a need for a critical stakeholder summit on the adverse effects of high turnover of parliamentarians – the good and the bad,” he said.
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