Senate President Akpabio Eulogises Bishop Kukah, Says His Calling Is Rare.

Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Convener National Peace Committee, Mathew Hassan Kukah

Senate President Akpabio Eulogises Bishop Kukah, Says His Calling Is Rare.

By Abubakar Yusuf.

The President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio has described the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Convener National Peace Committee, Mathew Hassan Kukah as one of the finest Nigerian who has demonstrated an untiring traits to the all round development of the country.

The President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio
The President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio

Obong Godswill Akpabio who dropped this hint during the Public Presentation of the “Needs Assessment of Political Parties in Nigeria” on Tuesday at Exclusive Serene Hotel, Abuja.

Akpabio who is the 10th Senate President in his speech “Redefining our Democratic Journey” was represented by Senator Victor Umeh on the occasion.

He commended the zeal and commitment of the Catholic pontiff, Bishop Kukah and the European Union- Support to Democratic Governance (EU-SDGN), stating that

Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Convener National Peace Committee, Mathew Hassan Kukah
Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Convener National Peace Committee, Mathew Hassan Kukah

“This event symbolizes our commitment to strengthening democratic governance in Nigeria, with the support of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) programme.”

The Senate President maintained that his efforts not only in the political development of the country, but social and economic emancipation was adored in all ramifications.

“It has been said that every institution is the lengthened shadow of one man. This institution and this work is the lengthened shadow of a man who has emerged as a light that our country can turn to in times of eclipse. The Reverend Father Matthew Hassan Kukah represents the best in us. ”

“He was a member of the Nigerian Investigation Commission of Human Rights Violations. He was the secretary of the National Political Reform Conference (2005). He has been the Chairman of the Ogoni-Shell Reconciliation. Between 2007 and 2009 he was in the committee for electoral reform. Why he has hold so many offices of high public trust, without being a politician, is because he has emerged as one of the men and women who constitute the conscience of our nation.
It was needful to give honor to whom it is due. ”

He appealed to the political class to build on the successes recorded in the last two decades, stating that the dynamics of democracy is in it’s practice.

“Now let us go back to the issue before us. In the last two decades, since the return to democracy in 1999, Nigeria’s political landscape has witnessed significant transformation. This evolution can be attributed to the relentless efforts of various stakeholders and institutions, including our citizens and political parties. It is important to acknowledge and appreciate the noteworthy accomplishments that have been achieved during this process. ”

“However, it is equally critical to recognize and address the accompanying challenges that we have faced along the way.”

“The progress made in the evolution of Nigeria’s political party system is commendable. We have witnessed the emergence and growth of diverse political parties, each representing the aspirations and dreams of different segments of our society. ”

“These parties have not only provided platforms for citizens to participate in the democratic process but have also played a vital role in shaping our nation’s policies and governance structures.
However, it would be remiss of us not to acknowledge the issues that have marred our democratic culture. Lack of accountability, inclusivity, transparency, and impunity are some significant challenges that we must confront. ”

He promised that the 10th National Assembly under his leadership will not leave any stone unturned towards deepening the current thriving democratic practices.

“These issues have led to a decrease in public trust and confidence in political parties. It is disheartening to witness citizens disenchanted with the very institutions that should represent their interests and safeguard their democratic rights. This we hope to change in the Tenth National Assembly.”

“Accountability is the bedrock of any democratic society. It is crucial that political parties are accountable to the people they serve. Party leaders must be held responsible for their actions and decisions, and mechanisms for transparency and oversight should be put in place.”

“Inclusivity is another vital aspect of our democracy. Political parties should actively strive towards ensuring that every citizen has a voice and an opportunity to participate in the political process. By doing so, we can embrace the diversity of our nation and foster a sense of belonging among all Nigerians.”

He asked the political class to translate the research work into practice, so as to continue to advance the democratic norms of the country, inline with the best practices and global requirements.

 

Senate President’s Speech
President of the Senate Federal Republic of Nigeria
REDEFINING OUR DEMOCRATIC JOURNEY
A SPEECH PRESENTED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, HIS EXCELLENCY DISTINGUISHED SENATOR GODSWILL OBOT AKPABIO, CON, ON THE OCCASION OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE BOOK, “NEEDS ASSESSMENT OF POLITICAL PARTIES IN NIGERIA.

It is with great pleasure and honor that I stand before you today as we gather to witness the public presentation of the book “Needs Assessment of Political Parties in Nigeria” by the Kukah Centre. This event symbolizes our commitment to strengthening democratic governance in Nigeria, with the support of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EU-SDGN) programme.

It has been said that every institution is the lengthened shadow of one man. This institution and this work is the lengthened shadow of a man who has emerged as a light that our country can turn to in times of eclipse. The Reverend Father Matthew Hassan Kukah represents the best in us.

He was a member of the Nigerian Investigation Commission of Human Rights Violations. He was the secretary of the National Political Reform Conference (2005). He has been the Chairman of the Ogoni-Shell Reconciliation. Between 2007 and 2009 he was in the committee for electoral reform. Why he has hold so many offices of high public trust, without being a politician, is because he has emerged as one of the men and women who constitute the conscience of our nation.
It was needful to give honor to whom it is due.

Now let us go back to the issue before us. In the last two decades, since the return to democracy in 1999, Nigeria’s political landscape has witnessed significant transformation. This evolution can be attributed to the relentless efforts of various stakeholders and institutions, including our citizens and political parties. It is important to acknowledge and appreciate the noteworthy accomplishments that have been achieved during this process.

However, it is equally critical to recognize and address the accompanying challenges that we have faced along the way.

The progress made in the evolution of Nigeria’s political party system is commendable. We have witnessed the emergence and growth of diverse political parties, each representing the aspirations and dreams of different segments of our society.

These parties have not only provided platforms for citizens to participate in the democratic process but have also played a vital role in shaping our nation’s policies and governance structures.
However, it would be remiss of us not to acknowledge the issues that have marred our democratic culture. Lack of accountability, inclusivity, transparency, and impunity are some significant challenges that we must confront.

These issues have led to a decrease in public trust and confidence in political parties. It is disheartening to witness citizens disenchanted with the very institutions that should represent their interests and safeguard their democratic rights. This we hope to change in the Tenth National Assembly.

Accountability is the bedrock of any democratic society. It is crucial that political parties are accountable to the people they serve. Party leaders must be held responsible for their actions and decisions, and mechanisms for transparency and oversight should be put in place.

Inclusivity is another vital aspect of our democracy. Political parties should actively strive towards ensuring that every citizen has a voice and an opportunity to participate in the political process. By doing so, we can embrace the diversity of our nation and foster a sense of belonging among all Nigerians.

Furthermore, enhancing transparency within our political parties is essential for building trust and confidence. Party financing and campaign expenditures must be made public and subject to scrutiny.

This will minimize the potential for corruption and illicit activities that erode public trust in the democratic process. Lastly, addressing impunity within political parties is paramount. Individuals who engage in unethical or illegal practices must be held accountable, regardless of their position or influence.

This will send a strong message that our democratic institutions are not above the law and that the rule of law applies to all.
The publication of the “Needs Assessment of Political Parties in Nigeria” serves as a valuable resource and roadmap for addressing these challenges.

It provides a comprehensive analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of our political parties and offers valuable recommendations for reform In fact we are already looking into some of these issues. In line with this, recently a town hall meeting on Electoral Reform was organized by the National Assembly Joint Committee on Electoral Matters, and I hope the Kukah Centre made it to that crucial meeting.

I commend the Kukah Centre for their dedication to promoting democratic governance in Nigeria and the European Union for their unwavering support in this endeavor.

In conclusion, our journey towards a stronger and more accountable political party system is not without obstacles. Yet, with collective determination and a commitment to democratic ideals, we can overcome these challenges.

Let us seize this opportunity to reflect on the evolution of Nigeria’s political parties and recommit ourselves to building a democratic culture that fosters inclusivity, transparency, and accountability.

Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Convener National Peace Committee, Mathew Hassan Kukah
Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Convener National Peace Committee, Mathew Hassan Kukah

Together, we can restore public trust and confidence in our political parties, ensuring that they remain true representatives of the aspirations of our people.

Thank you and may God bless Nigeria.

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