The deputy Speaker of the Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yussuff Sulaimon Lasun, has called for a harmonious relationship among African parliamentarians, as a good working relationship would go a long way in enhancing the work of lawmakers, adding that the synergy would lead to rapid growth in the continent.
The deputy Speaker, who lead a delegation to the 15th Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officers Conference of the African region (CSPOCoA), holding in Accra, Ghana, explained that there were lot of similarities among African legislatures, hence the need for a collaboration. As deputy chairperson of the conference, he further explained that the conference offers African parliamentarians an opportunity to share experiences and where necessary, duplicate ideas from one another.
“For example, in Cameroon, they say you have immunity while you are still a parliamentarian for the period you are tenured. But in Nigerian experience, what you have immunity on is what you said on the floor. Of course you cannot be prosecuted for that and you cannot be arrested within the precincts of the National Assembly. I think that is good enough. In other climes too, they don’t have immunity as such.
“Again, we go to parliamentary conducts, and that is basically what happens when you are in session; we compared notes too. For us to be able to present ourselves to the public as orderly and disciplined people, the Speaker must take charge and be respected because he is the one who is going to interpret the rules,” he added.
“It is important for us to articulate these codes of conduct because they are scattered all over the place, some in the constitution and some in penal codes. If we don’t enforce them, it will be very difficult for people to obey. For that, we should find a way of enforcing them,” he added.