President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigerians perceive the members of the national assembly as people who are “overly comfortable” and “stuff wads of currency notes into their pockets for little work done.”
Buhari said this during the launch of the Green Chamber magazine, a publication of the house of representatives, in Abuja on Wednesday.
The president, who was represented by Lai Mohammed, minister of information, said such “wrong perception” of the legislative chamber is caused by the lack of understanding of their works.
“Hitherto, the public perception of the national assembly is that of a bicameral legislature where overly comfortable and highly overpaid members merely stuff wads of currency notes into their pockets for little work done,” he said.
“This wrong perception has resulted partly from the lack of understanding of the enormous work of lawmakers, especially outside the glare of television cameras.”
He said such magazine will serve as the “authoritative source” of anything that goes on in the house, and would make the public to be better informed on their activities.
“In addition, it will help the house to tell its own story, rather than relying on others to take charge of their narrative,” he added.
“It is said that no one can tell your story better than you. This magazine is long overdue. But like the saying goes, it’s better late than never.”
GBAJA: WE ARE NOT OUT FOR PROPAGANDA
In his remarks, Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives,said the magazine is “not a propagandist outlet.”
“Our service to the people who elected us, is not enabled in any way by having at our beck and call, a media outfit that exists to massage our egos and tell us what we want to hear,” he said.
“Public service always benefits from being held to impartial account. Any public service conducted in secrecy is suspect.
“The vision for the Green Chamber Magazine is that through this platform, the 9th house of representatives may contribute to the enthronement of a journalistic tradition that is grounded in the ideals of honest reporting and focused on making real the old promise of open government.”