Senator David Mark, on Tuesday addressed the 130th General Assembly of the Inter – Parliamentary Union (IPU) holding in Geneva, Switzerland, with a commitment that Nigerian lawmakers would do everything within their powers to sustain the existing democracy in the West African country.
The Nigerian Senate President, who also acted as president of the IPU, when he presided over a Session of the Tuesday’s General Assembly of the global body, stated that Nigeria was currently facing its own peculiar challenges to democracy but expressed the hope that the legislature would ensure its entrenchment as a culture.
He said, “That is why the main concern of the National Assembly has been the challenge to sustain democracy as a culture, acceptable and workable for the majority of our people, which takes into account the multiplicity of different ethnicities, tribes and cultures that co-exist in Nigeria”.
According to Mark, some of the activities of the National Assembly, involves, among others, managing internal tendencies, problems and issues that challenge democratic principles.
“This is a matter of national importance and the Nigerian parliament is leaving no stone unturned in enacting enabling laws that require the comprehensive and committed contribution of all groups and interests”, He added.
To effectively discharge its duties in order to guarantee development, progress and peaceful co-existence of all ethnic groups in the country, the senate president said, “Necessitated the on-going process of the amendment of our constitution”.
Mark also reiterated the National Assembly’s commitment to the sustenance of global peace and democracy through the propagation of people-centered legislation and oversight.
In this regard, he said, “we have currently before the National Assembly bills on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and child’s right act to take care of stranded and displaced children during civil strife”.
He added that, “Some of the major problems currently confronting developing and emerging democracies include but not limited to; political and electioneering conflicts, socio-economic agitations, ethno-religious crises, ethnic militias, boundary disputes, criminality and organized crimes”.
The problems, individually and collectively, he added, “constituted threats to the peace, security and development of countries, and also produce excruciating impact on the economy, health, education, women and children.
“Invariably, they have implications for the continuity and survival of the nation’s nascent democracy”.
Mark, therefore, stressed the need to explore how democracy can be deliberately constructed as a positive response to the issues threatening its sustainability.