Candidate of the Green Party of Nigeria (GPN) contesting for the Sagbama-Ekeremor seat in the House of Representatives, in the forthcoming National Assembly elections in Bayelsa State, Barrister (Pastor) Bofede Okporu, has enjoined his constituents to see the New Year as yet another opportunity to dream new dreams to achieve greater heights in their various endeavours.
Barrister Okporu, who stated this in his New Year message to the people of Sagbama and Ekeremor local government areas in Bayelsa state, assured the people that, when elected into the National Assembly, come February 2019, he would create opportunities for the people to participate in the legislative process to make their views count as expected of the electorate in a participatory democracy.
He said when eventually elected as a legislator into the green chambers, his role would be that of articulating the views of the constituents under his legislative jurisdiction and to serve as a liaison between the federal government, development partners and the people of the area, in line with global best practices in representative democracy.
According to the legal practitioner, an effective and healthy interaction between citizens and the legislature helps to legitimize government actions, informing the legislative being a representative institution, is meant to relate with the constituents as part of the policy making process, which involves oversighting the executive arm of government, presentation of bills and motions at plenary sessions.
“The very notion of representative democracy, assumes that public participation in the decision-making process improves the quality of policy-making. True representation therefore, remains the tonic of democracy.
“Long before legislatures began to assert their role as policy makers, they first served as representative institutions, liaising between the citizens and the governments of the day”, he said
He further assured his constituents of regular interactions with a view to creating access for the electorate to be able to reach out to the federal, state, and local governments, including relevant departments and agencies to make their views count in governance.
The GPN flag bearer reiterated that as a practical politician with integrity, who believes in delivering tangible democratic dividends to the people, he will provide quality representation when elected, noting that his role as a lawmaker would include, educating the constituents in processes of governance, to help the electorate feel a sense of belonging in the democratic process.
Barrister Okporu promised to facilitate the flow of information and services to his constituency, to make governance more real and accessible, with a view to empowering the electorate to participate in the sustainable development of their communities.
“Serving communities within the constituency, as well as attending to their personal requests in matters within the competence of government are…among the major expectations of the average voter, regarding the job of a legislator.
“Being the people’s representative in parliament, gives you a great deal of stature and respect because the mandate of the electorate to represent them in parliament, gives you the right to question civil servants and government officials about their activities in relation to your constituency.
“You have access to information and resources that most citizens do not have. You can negotiate with government and donors on behalf of the people you represent. You can also act as a bridge between the constituents and government at all levels to attract development to the area”, maintained.