The Senate on Tuesday resolved to collaborate with the House of Representatives to establish a Joint Committee of Culture and Tourism on National Assembly Legislative Museum and Archives to fast track documentation of historical events for posterity.
It therefore directed the Joint Committee on Culture and Tourism on National Assembly Legislative Museum and Archive to study the resolutions of the 7th Senate and House of Representatives on the report of the Ad hoc Committee on Immortalization for implementation and continuity to enrich the achievements of the legislature for the sake of posterity.
Similarly, it mandated the Joint Committee on Culture and Tourism to harmonize the position of the Senate, House of Representatives and the management of the National Assembly on the legislative museum and archives in order to ensure efficient and effective take off as well as to generate revenue for the legislature.
These were sequel to a motion, “The need for the establishment of a National Assembly Legislative Museum and Archives” by Senator Fatimat Raji-Rasaki (PDP Ekiti Central) and four others at the plenary.
Presenting the motion on behalf of Senator Raji-Rasaki, a former chairman of the committee, Senator Matthew Urhoghide (PDP Edo South), said there was urgent need of the establishment of a parliamentary museum and archive for the National Assembly.
While recalling that the legislature serves as the only key symbol of democracy particularly in the presidential system of government, he noted that “Section 47 of the 1999 Constitution as amended states that the National Assembly for the Federation shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives”.
Senator Urhoghide therefore lamented that much has not been documented about the history of Nigerian Legislature due to long years of military rule.
He noted that “the few years of the existence of democracy in the country has been eventful for the legislature in the areas of executive and legislative relationship and the challenges of the oversight performance by the Legislature without adequate documentation for the use of incoming generation”.
According to him, the efforts of the 7th National Assembly should be recognized, sustained and be improved upon by the 8th National Assembly in order to ensure continuity and preservation of our legislative heritage in the country.
He observed that the establishment of a National Assembly Joint Committee would create a revenue base for the legislature as is the case of other Parliamentary Museum in India, US Congress, amongst others.
The lawmaker added that joint committee would facilitate the implementation of this unique initiative as an indelible legacy that the 8th National Assembly could bequeath the legislature and the country at large.
Contributing to the motion, Senator Ben Murray Bruce (PDP Bayelsa East) lamented that National Assembly is yet to digitalise it activities, but still using papers during plenary.
He wondered why historical activities like the civil war, impeachment of governors, and transition of government from the colonial era to the present modern day were not documented for future or historical purposes.
Also, Senator Shehu Sani (APC Kaduna Central) described the attitudes of Nigerians to history as despicable, saying “history is for the people and the nation”.
“It is shameful that our historical monuments that still serve us are no more there because of lack of documentation. We shouldn’t have been failing the way we are now if there are archives across the country”, he said.