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Assist in deepening Nigeria’s democracy – Akpabio to UK govt



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Nigeria’s Senate President, Godswill Akpabio has urged the United Kingdom government to assist in deepening its democracy.

Akpabio said, both countries have shared history and Nigeria would value their input in strengthening democratic practice not only in the country but Africa as a whole.

He stated this when the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, His Excellency, Dr. Richard Mongtgomery led a delegation to pay a courtesy visit on the leadership of the Senate at the National Assembly in Abuja on Tuesday.

In a release by the Special Assistant to the Senate President on Media/Communication, Anietie Ekong, he said the leadership of the Senate was delighted to identify with the UK and learn from it those things that would strengthen Nigeria ‘s democracy.

The statement said: “Ours is a nascent democracy, we are still at a learning point. Even the advanced democracies are still grappling with some challenges.

“We are learning to run. And we can assure you that standing on the shoulders of a giant like the United Kingdom, we can only get better.

“The 10th Senate has a very robust legislative agenda that is people-centered. Whether it is in the area of the economy, whatever laws we will make must have the welfare of the people of Nigeria in mind. Whether it is in the area of infrastructure, it must be to the benefit of the people.

“We also believe strongly in collaboration. We must exchange ideas in the best practices of democracy. We must bring most of the anachronistic laws and acts of parliament in tandem with modern realities.”

The Senate President told the delegation that the 10th Assembly under his leadership would yet amend the Electoral Act to make sure that every vote counts.

The High Commissioner, Mr. Mongtgomery said he was at the Senate because the British High Commission had a long-standing relationship with the National Assembly and had in the past supported various issues that had to do with democratic practice in Nigeria.

“We came to share ideas with the Senate and to understand the vision and priorities of the 10th National Assembly. The UK and Nigeria have a longstanding relationship and we have incredibly strong people to people links between our countries.

“We have very significant connections between our democracies and our democratic institutions. We have many Nigerians working in the UK and many of our people working here.

“We are bound together by families, friendships, business and people to people links. That is why the UK has a large diplomatic mission here,” he said.

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