The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Wednesday, inaugurated Democracy Raido 104.9 FM which is a baby of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS).
NILDS is one of the agencies of the National Assembly.
Sen. Lawan also commissioned a Legislative Centre for Security Analysis which is domiciled in NILDS.
The NILDS Democracy Radio and Legislative Centre for Security Analysis share the same building at Asokoro Extension, in Abuja.
The Senate President inspected the Centre and the Radio Station with state-of-the-art equipment and granted the inaugural interview by the Radio.
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The Senate President described the Center and the Radio outfit as one of the laudable achievements of the Ninth National Assembly through its think tank institution, the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, NILDS.
“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 Ninth National Assembly, comprising of the Federal House of Representatives and the Senate whom we have enjoyed harmonious working relationship with and we both acknowledge that our collective mandate flows from the great people of Nigeria with whom we have a social contract,” Lawan said.
The Senate President said the Centre would be saddled with the specific objective of providing, on a sustained basis, information to the National Assembly in the area of security and conflict analysis.
He said It would also monitor and track the dynamics of conflict and insecurity and advise the National Assembly on legislative measures and oversight.
Lawan said the radio is geared towards bridging the gap between the electorates and their elected representatives and also “an avenue for we the parliament to tell our stories to the wider audience, so as to change the misperception and misinformation in the public domain.
“No doubt, the legislature which is the fulcrum of Democracy worldwide has been misunderstood, some for mischievous purpose and at times as owing to its underdeveloped stature historically.
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“It is expected that “Democracy Radio” will draw listeners from 77.4% of domestic population as well as the International Community.
“This is in view to sensitize 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 potentials 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.”
The Senate President said the radio programming would be targeted at both the citizens and policy makers in Nigeria, the West African sub-region, Africa and the rest of the world with the main aim of promoting and defending the ideals of democracy, open inclusive and transparent societies.
Also speaking at the event, the Director General of NILDS, Professor Abubakar Suleiman said the idea of setting up the Radio was conceived by the leadership of NILDS two years ago.
He said “taking into cognizance the digitalization era and meeting up with the 21st Century technological wave, we have set up an audio-visual digital studio to broadcast our FM radio programming over the internet to ensure our programming reaches a broader geographical and demographic audience.
“This audio-visual studio is also equipped with high-performance computers, audio systems and a multi-camera set-up that will allow us produce informative and engaging content specifically for our podcast and YouTube channels, which will help entrench civic political culture amongst the youth.
“Similarly, history will be kind to this same Assembly for being supportive of yet another intellectual outfit under the National Assembly but domiciled in NILDS, the Legislative Centre for Security Analysis.
“It will interest you to know that this Centre is the first of its kind in the entire Africa Continent. Therefore, Nigeria is taking the lead for other countries within the continent of Africa to benefit from and emulate for the development of the continent as a whole.
“The essence of this all important Centre cannot be over-emphasized due to the rise in violent conflict, crime and insecurity in the country and other parts of the continent of Africa.”