Media, CSOs tasked on engagement with National Assembly
Civil society organizations (CSOs) and the media have been advised to be less adversarial in their engagement with the National Assembly as a way of bringing about positive and productive changes in the conduct of parliamentary business.
The advice was given by the Founder and Publisher of OrderPaper.ng, Nigeria’s independent parliamentary online newspaper, Mr. Oke Epia, at a forum on Citizens Review on Legislative Performance in the 8th National Assembly, held in Abuja recently.
The journalist who spoke as a panelist at the event organised by Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement (YIAGA), noted that most public engagements with legislators veered towards antagonism and advised that a constructive and cooperative approach could be meaningful.
Epia spoke on the ‘8th National Assembly Legislative Agenda: Milestones, Gaps and Opportunities,’ as a member of a panel which was chaired by Executive Director, PLAC, Mr. Clement Nwankwo.
Other panelists were Mr. Udo Jude Ilo, Country Officer, OSIWA and Dr. Jake Dan-Azumi, a Research Fellow at the National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS).
He acknowledged that although CSO activism has helped in creating substantial awareness and engendered some positive changes in the attitude of parliamentarians towards accommodating public demand for openness, “much can still be achieved if the interface can also be less adversarial sometimes.”