Reps assure on ratification of ceded Bakassi peninsula, other treaties, agreements

• To address obvious electoral flaws before 2023 general elections

The House of Representatives on Thursday assured Nigerians of its resolve to ensure the domestication of most Treaties, Agreements and Protocols signed by the successive administrations including the ceded Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon.

Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Benjamin Kalu stated this during a media chat held in Abuja, also pledged the House resolve to address all the anomalies in the electoral system before the 2023 general elections.

Hon. Kalu said: “We have a number of motions on the floor regarding ratifying all these treaties. I’m an advocate of the executive being on agreement with the Legislative arm looking at Treaties before they sign it.

“I am leading that advocacy that you cannot go main and bring it back for us in NASS to start afresh looking at it and it normally takes too long.

“But if the members of the Legislative arm are part of those who initiated that document by going it because some of us are lawyers; we understand the expectation in every Treaty now we will look at it and fine-tune it from day 1 before allowing the Executive to sign.

“So the passage will be easy, the ratification will be easy. But what is delaying it is that most times, the Ministry of Justice and the Office of the Attorney General do it in a manner that we look at it differently the way they look at it and when they bring it to us we will start to pick holes there. Did you consider this?

“Maybe they were a genuine mistake and that is what we are trying to cure by proposing a bill to that effect,” he noted.

On the electoral act amendment, he assured that the House is awaiting the existing bill before the Senate for concurrence adding that the House will make required inputs ahead of the 2023 general elections.

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“I also agree that our democratic system is an emerging system.  We have not gotten there yet. It’s a process. It’s a going concern, we’ll keep improving on it. And you don’t do that by waking up in the morning and see the change, it’s through intervention seeing where the gaps and looking at the yearning of the people, the public outcry.

“That will point you to the area of need to point at., this is what is happening now and as a people’s parliament, we do not shut our ears to the yearning of our people. We are sensitive to the cry of the people.

“And it is not yet before us. You know how bicameral system of government operates, the Senate is working on it when they are done the job is not done, they will move it forward to us then our own will start. We will not duplicate the exercise because it is one House, though they say bicameral it is one National Assembly. So we will wait for then since they initiated it, to finish and come back for concurrence.

“It’s during that period that we will make out inputs where needed to make sure we either accept all their proposals or we initiate new proposals in line with petitions we have received, in line with the outcry of our people,” Hon. Kaku stressed.

The House of Representatives on Thursday assured Nigerians of its resolve to ensure the domestication of most Treaties, Agreements and Protocols signed by the successive administrations including the ceded Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroon.

Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Benjamin Kalu stated this during a media chat held in Abuja, also pledged the House resolve to address all the anomalies in the electoral system before the 2023 general elections.

Hon. Kalu said: “We have a number of motions on the floor regarding ratifying all these treaties. I’m an advocate of the executive being on agreement with the Legislative arm looking at Treaties before they sign it.

“I am leading that advocacy that you cannot go main and bring it back for us in NASS to start afresh looking at it and it normally takes too long.

“But if the members of the Legislative arm are part of those who initiated that document by going it because some of us are lawyers; we understand the expectation in every Treaty now we will look at it and fine-tune it from day 1 before allowing the Executive to sign.

“So the passage will be easy, the ratification will be easy. But what is delaying it is that most times, the Ministry of Justice and the Office of the Attorney General do it in a manner that we look at it differently the way they look at it and when they bring it to us we will start to pick holes there. Did you consider this?

“Maybe they were a genuine mistake and that is what we are trying to cure by proposing a bill to that effect,” he noted.

On the electoral act amendment, he assured that the House is awaiting the existing bill before the Senate for concurrence adding that the House will make required inputs ahead of the 2023 general elections.

“I also agree that our democratic system is an emerging system.  We have not gotten there yet. It’s a process. It’s a going concern, we’ll keep improving on it. And you don’t do that by waking up in the morning and see the change, it’s through intervention seeing where the gaps and looking at the yearning of the people, the public outcry.

“That will point you to the area of need to point at., this is what is happening now and as a people’s parliament, we do not shut our ears to the yearning of our people. We are sensitive to the cry of the people.

“And it is not yet before us. You know how bicameral system of government operates, the Senate is working on it when they are done the job is not done, they will move it forward to us then our own will start. We will not duplicate the exercise because it is one House, though they say bicameral it is one National Assembly. So we will wait for then since they initiated it, to finish and come back for concurrence.

“It’s during that period that we will make out inputs where needed to make sure we either accept all their proposals or we initiate new proposals in line with petitions we have received, in line with the outcry of our people,” Hon. Kaku stressed.

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