Nigerian MPs to Uganda's Opposition: Stop being confrontational

By John Odyek

Femi Gbajabiamila, told Uganda's Opposition MPs to strive to be objective and balanced in their approach to Parliament business and politics.

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Uganda's Opposition MP attending training in Nigeria

Opposition MPs from the Nigeria have advised their counterparts from Uganda to avoid being sensational and confrontational.
Femi Gbajabiamila, a former leader of the Opposition in Nigeria's Parliament, told Uganda's Opposition MPs to strive to be objective and balanced in their approach to Parliament business and politics. 
Gbajabiamila, a member of the All Progressives Congress, was elected as the majority leader in the House of Representatives. The House of Representatives is the lower house of Nigeria's two-house National Assembly.
A statement from Uganda's Parliament stated that Gbajabiamila in his address to visiting Ugandan Opposition MPs in Nigeria said that Opposition parties should also be in position to commend government and majority parties when they are on the right path.
"Today people are less concerned with partisan politics that bring no dividends and more interested in politics of compromise," he said.
He added that they should still reprimand them when they are on the wrong path. Gbajabiamila.
"You must strive to be credible both in committees and in the plenary. The exercise of your role as Shadow Government should be done in a responsible manner, devoid of the need to be sensational or confrontational," said Gbajabiamila, who was making a presentation on ‘Improving the effectiveness and efficiency of accountability committees.'
The presentation was at the start of a five-day workshop on Effective Opposition in Parliament for Uganda Opposition MPs, held at the Nigeria National Assembly in Abuja. The Leader of the Opposition, Winfred Kiiza, led the delegation of MPs for the benchmarking workshop organized by the National Institute for Legislative Studies. She returned from Nigeria early this week.
The delegation included the shadow minister for internal affairs, Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi, the chairperson, Public Accounts Committee, Angeline Osegge, Silas Aogon (Independent Kumi Municipality) and Mathias Mpuuga (Masaka Municipality).
Others were Fred Tumuheirwe (Rujumbura) and Santa Alum (UPC, Oyam district). The MPs serve on the accountability committees of public accounts (PAC); commission, statutory authorities and state enterprises (COSASE); and government assurances and implementation.
Presenting a paper on ‘Opposition Party and Discipline in the Legislature,' the Senate Chief Whip, Prof. Olusola Adeyeye, cautioned Opposition MPs against exposing politicians with the aim of embarrassing them.
"When you embarrass someone, you may damage a good person that you may need to push for an agenda intended to move the country forward," said Sen. Adeyeye adding that "There are good people and bad people in every political party."
Kivumbi said that Parliament stands at a vantage position to formulate policies and programmes necessary to change the current position and direction of Africa. He said Africa remained with several challenges, many of which faced the continent during the pre- independence years.
"In the coming years, Africa's population of youth will be larger, all of them looking for jobs, services and a future. It is only Parliament that must come up with the necessary policies to cater for the needs of the youth," Kivumbi said.
Kiiza (FDC, Kasese), said that the Opposition have many programmes and opportunities that Ugandans can believe in.
"We need skills that can enable us rebrand as the opposition; so that people can believe that when they give us power, they know it has been given to the right people we need to ensure that many people believe in us by getting the message out to them about what we expect and plan to do when we take on power," Kiiza said.
The workshop was intended to create a forum for Opposition MPs to discuss strategies that would facilitate unity and common sense of purpose. The other goals are to discuss and design strategies for being effective opposition parties.