• Thursday October 4, 2018 07:37 AM
  • NILS Press Corps
Legislative reportage of the National Assembly featured by the four newspapers (Daily Trust, Leadership, Punch and This Day) reviewed in the 39th week of 2018 continue to increase in relation to what was obtained in the previous week. As much as ten sectors of the nation’s economy were involved, out of which four were accorded prominence.

The sectors include:
• Politics - 114 times
• Legislature - 23 times
• Executive - 6 times
• Economy - 4 times
Other sectors equally featured in the week’s legislative activities of the apex legislature but on a low key note include: Education, Energy, Finance, Information, Judiciary and Transportation.

Impressively, 159 stories concerning the nation’s highest law-making body were recorded during the week. Nonetheless, as low as 14 stories projected the image of the National Assembly POSITIVELY. One of the favourable reports was titled “House Committee Seeks Deregistration Of Gender ‘Insensitive’ Political Parties”. According to the story, the House of Representatives Committee on Electoral and Political Matters has called on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to deregister what it described as gender insensitive political parties as the country approaches the 2019 general elections.

The Committee quoted Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution as amended which guarantees that every person shall be entitled to assemble freely, associate with other persons and in particular, the person may form or belong to any political party, trade union or any other association for the protection of his or her interest to back up their claims.

In addition, the Committee expressed worry that the political interests in Nigeria have been tilted towards men, stressing that Nigeria has been left behind in the African Continent when it comes to women participation.

Meanwhile, 139 stories portrayed the image of the apex legislature in the NEURAL direction. One of such reports reads “Group Salutes Sen. Rose Oko At 62, Hails Her Developmental Strides”. Accordingly, the Senator representing Cross River North Senatorial District, Dr. Rose Oko, clocked 62 years on her sojourn on earth. A non-profit making organization, a support group, “Team Rose” commended the law-maker’s impact on human and infrastructural development.

The Director General, Team Rose said the Senator has been inspiring and committed to the cause of grass-roots development by her sponsorship of many Bills and Motions of national interest and development.
Nevertheless, six stories skewed the image of the nation’s Parliament NEGATIVELY. One of the not too impressive reports was captioned “How Weak Electoral Laws Aid Vote Buying”.

According to the story, the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) said weak electoral laws play a major role in vote buying in the country’s political process and is a threat to the 2019 general elections. The Lead Director of the Centre, Eze Onyekpere made the statement at a ‘High Level Forum on Campaign Financing and State Administrative Resource’ organized by the Centre and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Nigeria Office.

According to the lead Director, the absence of disclosure requirements for candidates in the Electoral Act is a lacuna, deliberately introduced by the Legislature in all the Electoral Laws since 1999 and the weak laws as contained in the Constitution lead to misuse of the State Administrative Resources by Politicians.

• National Assembly in the Press is a Publication of Information Unit, NILDS.