President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Wednesday, inaugurated an Adhoc Committee for the establishment and development of the National Assembly Museum and Archives.
The Committee chaired by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism, Senator Fatimat Raji-Rasaki, according to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Senate President, Sanni Onogu, in Abuja, is charged with the task of establishing a National Assembly Museum for the purposes of immortalization of its proceedings, processes and procedures of lawmaking in Nigeria.
Saraki in his address said the Committee is to help in the realization of the quest for a befitting Museum and Archives for the National Assembly as a national monument fit for the digital age.
He stated that that contrary to beliefs in some quarters, the proposed National Assembly Museum and Archives is not about immortalizing the present set of lawmakers.
“This is about institution building, it is about institutional memory, it is about legacy; and most of all, it is about the greatness of Nigeria,” Saraki said. “Parliamentary libraries can be found all over the world.
“In the United States, the Library of Congress was founded in 1800; in the United Kingdom, the House of Commons Library was founded exactly 200 years ago, in 1818.
“It is in that same tradition that we seek to establish such a venerable institution in our National Assembly,” he said.
The President of the Senate further stated that while information availability is critical to the functioning of democratic legislatures, access to information is crucial to the strengthening of parliamentary oversight, improvement in the work of representatives and accountability to the electorate.
“Museums and archives play an important role in preserving legislative records for posterity. This becomes even more critical in a fledgeling democracy such as ours,” Saraki said.
He urged the Committee to draw on the deeds and records of past National Assemblies, to enable it cross the bridge of memory that was broken by the military years.
“This way, we will not keep re-inventing the wheel in our quest for nationhood. There is also the need for greater intellectual depth in our public life. A Museum and Archives would give a leap to intellectualism in our legislative activities.
“It also promises to be an invaluable repository of knowledge that would be of untold benefit to scholars, historians, students and citizens in general.
“Above all, it would aid our knowledge of legislative history, because as Edmund Burke said, ‘Those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it,'” he stated.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Adhoc Committee, Senator Fatimat Raji-Rasaki, pledged that the panel would work to develop a legacy that will stand the test of time.
“It will be a deserving repository of our proceedings and a documentation of the happenings within the hallowed chambers of the National Assembly. The institution shall become the authority in the dispensation of our ideas, ideals and standing,” she said.
Members of the committee include Hon. Ogbeide-Ihama Omoregie (Co-Chairman), Senator Matthew Urhoghide, Senator Babajide Omoworare, Senator Victor Umeh, Senator Obinna Ogba, Hon. Joseph Edionwele, Hon. Sam Onuigbo and Hon. Chille Igbawua.
Others are Yahaya Danzaria, Ms. Cerie Jogai (FCT) Aminu Waziri Mohammed, Abbas Mohammed (Secretariat) and Moyo Adeniran.