Tambuwal: House is Not a Cultic Institution

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 The House of Representatives has been described as a transparent institution from where anybody could access any information of public interest.

The Speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, stated this at the inauguration of the House's Press Corps yesterday, saying as the legislative arm of government, the lower chamber was not running a secret cult.

According to him, "We're not running a secret cult in the House; we're very transparent. Approach us for any information and we shall make it available. The legislature is receiving a lot of bashing from the public, but we have our limitations.

"I urged the public to appreciate our constraints. Some believe that we're just an appendage of the executive, but that is not the case. Without the legislature, you can't have a democratic government," he said.

He expressed dissatisfaction with the high level of criticisms levelled against the legislature by Nigerians despite myriads of constraints before the lawmakers.

He, however, gave kudos to  the House correspondents for their support, tasking other journalists to emulate their colleagues by being more professional in their reportage.

"If all journalists will imbibe factual and objective reportage like you do here, we'll have a better Nigeria. I assure you that the House will continue to support you as professionals," he said.

In his congratulatory message, the House Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, also applauded the Press Corps, saying it "must take some of the credit for the strength of the opposition in the seventh assembly due to its balanced and fair reporting and coverage of the House sessions and activities.

"We have enjoyed a fair share of applause and criticism from the media on our actions and inactions in the last three years and this is a great testimony to your professionalism," Gbajabiamila said in the statement by his aide, Wasiu Olanrewaju Smart.

Noting that the better informed are the victors and that information is power, the lawmaker urged the press to always challenge any attempt to silence it.

"We are aware that after painstaking reportage of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act which was sponsored by a member of APC, members of the press are still confronted with poor access to information. We urge you to remain resolute and committed to delivering the truth at the door step of many of us in government and our country would be ultimately better for it," statement read.

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