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Abuja, May 24, 2023 The National Assembly, has inaugurated the newly established Democracy Radio Station (104.9 FM) set up by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) to deepen democracy in Nigeria.
Speaking at the ceremony on Wednesday in Abuja, President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, said that the setting up of the station was part of the laudable achievements of the 9th National Assembly.
Lawan also inaugurated the newly established Legislative Centre for Security Analysis, aimed at boosting the fight against security challenges in the country.
He said that the station would also help to bridge the gap between the electorate and their elected representatives.
“It is also an avenue for the parliament to tell our stories to wider audience, so as to change the misperception and misinformation in the public domain,” he said.
He said that the legislature which was the fulcrum of democracy worldwide had been misunderstood either for mischievous purpose or at times as owing to its underdeveloped stature historically.
Lawan said that it was expected that the station would draw listeners from Nigeria and the international community.
“This is in view to sensitise the Nigerian public to imbibe, support and defend democratic and legislative ethics as part of the mandate establishing NILDS.
“Accordingly, the radio station has the potential to propagate and entrench civic political culture such as tolerance, respect for the rule of law, observance of fundamental human rights and strengthen public institutions with far reaching implications for democratic consolidation.
“Furthermore, the radio station will create awareness about the business of governance; conscientise and mobilise the citizens to participate effectively in the political process, disseminate information on how best the citizens can constructively engage the state.
“It is to provide analysis on policy and legislative measures; share knowledge about best practices; and serve as a medium to transmit information on the activities of the National Assembly and other democratic institutions,’’ he said.
Lawan said that Section 14 sub-section (2) (b) of the Constitution stated that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.
“It is therefore in lieu of this, that NILDS has positioned itself to assist the legislature in achieving one of our cardinal legislative agenda of the 9th National Assembly in guaranteeing security for Nigerians,” he said.
He said that the Legislative Centre for Security Analysis was saddled with the specific objective of providing information to the National Assembly in the area of security and conflict analysis.
Lawan said it was also to monitor and track the dynamics of conflict and security challenges and advise the National Assembly on its legislative oversight.
“I must express utmost gratitude for the privilege and trust conferred on me to lead the 9th National Assembly and serve as the Chairman of the NILDS Governing Council, I must recognize and appreciate the visionary leadership style of the Director-General of NILDS, Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman.
“He has committed himself to ensure that NILDS enjoys its pride of place as a leading beacon of research, excellence, transformative knowledge and innovation.
“Today’s commissioning of the Legislative Centre for Security Analysis and NILDS Democracy Radio is a testament of the unwavering commitment of the leadership of the 9th National Assembly, comprising of the House of Representatives and the Senate whom we have enjoyed harmonious working relationship,’’ he said.
Ealier, Sulaiman said in 2021, the leadership of the institute under the guidance of Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, approved the establishment of the station.
“Today NILDS has set up an audio-visual digital studio to broadcast our FM radio programmes over the internet to ensure our programmes reach a broader geographical and demographic audience,” he said.
H3 said that listeners all over the world can stream the radio programmes live from the website, www.democracyradio.ng and can also have access to archived programmes.
He said that the station would serve as an important medium of enhancing citizens’ engagement, promoting political culture and values, as well as deepening democracy and governance in Nigeria.
“Today, it is gratifying to note that close to the winding up of the 9th Assembly, we are here to celebrate the birth of that medium that not only transmits the legislative businesses, but also serves as the voice of Nigeria people.
“It is my firm belief that when the full potentials of the radio station are effectively utilised, it will serve as a national medium to provoke public debates leading to greater public participation in important decisions.
“This is because democracy partly lies on the media to provide the citizens with accurate information that reflects the range of actors in the political and public space, thereby bridging the gap between the government and the governed,’’he said.
Also, the Director-General of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Mr Balarabe Ilela congratulated NILDs for the feat.
Ilela who presented two copies of the broadcasting codes to the new station, urged the staff to ensure that all programmes were guided by the code