A civil society organisation, African Leadership Strategy and Transparency Development Initiative (ALSTDI) has described as ‘unfortunate’ the twisting of facts surrounding the revised condition of service in the National Assembly by the 8th NASS.
The CSO made known their concern in a press conference held Thursday in Abuja, signed by its Executive Director, Ambassador Nelson Ossaieze.
According the CSO, their reaction is coming on the heels of some erroneous perception being dessiminated by merchants of confusion doing the bidding of their paymasters who play on the ignorance of unsuspecting public by riding on the wings of unregulated social media space to further a myopic agenda.
It will be recalled that the 8th NASS had deliberated and passed an upward adjustment in the years and age of retirement for staff of the National Assembly.
Amb. Ossaieze identified that the problem with Nigeria has not been the lack of capacity for transformation but the propensity of unpatriotic elements to politicize progressive ideas or reforms based on narrow and selfish considerations rather than overall collective interest. This age long retrogressive antic has been the bane of our inability to drive sustainable socio-economic and political development.
He noted that the revised condition of service was sponsored by the current President of the Senate, Sen. Ahmad Lawan who was then the Majority Leader in the Senate and the current Speaker, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila who was also the then Majority Leader in the House of Representatives setting retirement age at 65 years or after 40 years in the service during the 8th National Assembly. “Therefore they should be commended and not condemned for their ingenuity and timely intervention borne out of patriotic zeal to sustain capacity, build a virile institution, enhance knowledge management and productivity,” Ossaieze noted.
He further said, “Further critical assessment of this amendment also revealed it was in conformity with global best practices and in the collective interest of the National Assembly as an institution. If the above and many more are the expected deliverables, the question is why the deliberate attempt by some individuals and portfolio organizations under the guise of advocacy continue to embark on ignorant campaign against an initiative that has proven to add value to the National Assembly as an institution?
“It is upon the strength of our findings that we condemn the reckless distortion of facts by these purveyors of dangerous deceit with the sole aim of achieving a selfish end. The immediate impact of the amendments cannot be overemphasized as the problem of skills gap, which would have in no small measure affected the efficiency of the National Assembly was promptly addressed and this has brought an unprecedented transformation in the management and development of one of the most critical pivots upon which our nascent democracy is built.”
Amb. Ossaieze appealed to Nigerians to always ascertain the veracity of every information in public space, especially those who take advantage of the ignorance of unsuspecting public by spreading falsehood on social media space.