- PUNCH LINE
President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has charged Nigerian youths to be actively involved in the day to day activities of the parliament.
Saraki said it is through active engagement that the youths would understand the workings of the legislative arm of government and also hold their representatives accountable.
The Senate President stressed this while interacting with some youths drawn from the 6 geopolitical zones of Nigeria, under the auspices of ‘The Public Senate’, in the National Assembly.
According to Saraki, “this is the only arm of government where you can engage and work with your member of parliament.
“Working with parliament ensures that government works for you and that they are accountable”.
The Senate President, while admiring the passion of the participants to learn about the workings of the Nigerian Senate, said he hoped to see them in positions of leadership soon.
On his part, the Leader of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, lauded the youth for taking the move to engage the Senate.
“I wish we are able to achieve this type of engagement with as many Nigerians as possible
“We need such engagements to be deepened and encouraged all the time.
“We need to encourage you and see if there are ways to partner with organizations to bring people to see what we do here”, the Senate Leader enthused.
Speaking with journalists shortly after plenary, the leader of ‘The Public Senate’ delegation, said the perception of the youth on parliament needs to change.
According to him, what young people experience during such engagement would inspire them to work towards holding public offices.
The convener said as leaders of tomorrow, the youths need to start understanding how government works.
“The Public Senate is a platform aimed at educating and engaging the average Nigerian youth on advocacy issues. Our mandate is also to make the Nigerian youth understand the workings of parliament,” he said
“Over time the youth have come to believe that lawmakers, particularly the senators, only have sessions to debate fat salaries, cars or wardrobe allowances.
“But we now know that this is not true. What we have started is to show the youth what the senate is truly all about and to do this we’ve brought seven young people from all over Nigeria to observe senators debate issues in plenary amongst other activities.
“This will maybe inspire them to aim at being senators someday, but most importantly, it enlightens them on the true workings of the legislative arm of government”, he added.
The delegation also participated in masterclass session, where they were lectured on legislative terminologies and procedures on how the Senate works.