Dogara: Those who don’t believe in rule of law have no business leading a democracy

Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives, says there is the need for leaders to obey the principles of rule of law and separation of powers in a democratic government.

According to him “leaders who do not believe in the rule of law have no business leading a democracy.”

Dogara said this on Monday at the opening ceremony of the national assembly open week programme in Abuja.

The speaker said good governance and development can only be achieved when the three arms of government “work in complementary form, observe strict compliance with the norms of the rule of law and adhere to the principle of separation of powers.”

“It is in pursuit of this that the national assembly passed the freedom of information act and other related legislation designed to ensure better citizen access to governmental information,” he said.

“The national assembly has also opened its budget to the public within the ambit allowed by the appropriation laws and process.

“May I also use this opportunity to call on other arms of government, particularly the executive branch; to open its doors and activities to legislative scrutiny.”

Dogara said contrary to what some think, the legislative oversight and scrutiny is very critical to good governance.

He said this is because the legislature “remains perhaps the only arm of government imbued with necessary constitutional powers to obtain information necessary to shine light on any form of abuse, inefficiencies or waste in governance.”

“I, therefore, urge other arms of government to continue to cooperate with the legislature and to leverage on the new regime of openness by always availing us of all the information we require as timely as possible,” he said.