The present Ekiti sixth House of Assembly was inaugurated on the 6th of June, 2019 by Governor Kayode Fayemi. The charge was for the members to bring about a paradigm shift in the act of legislation in the overall interest of Ekiti populace.
At the inauguration, Governor Fayemi was explicit and unequivocal in his admonition to the Assembly members on the need to be proactive and selfless in the discharge of their statutory legislative duties. All Governor Fayemi solicited was cooperation not an assembly that would be a rubber-stamp or that would be tied to apron strings of the executive, thereby making the lawmakers malleable to do the biddings of the governor.
To achieve the task of distinguishing the House from the recent past, the lawmakers upped the game by making an apposite decision in the choice of an experienced Funminiyi Afuye as the Speaker. Afuye, representing Ikere constituency 1, was a former Action Congress of Nigeria leader and Majority Leader of the House during the most pulsating era of 13-13 configuration in the House between 2007 and 2011. He had navigated the bumpy terrain and understood how best to rev the pedal of legislation to uplift good governance across all the strata and structures of government.
Contrary to the widespread impression that the legislature and executive should be enemies or operate at cross purposes, they are globally recognised to be allies in progress and transformation agenda for the good and well being of all citizens. Though, principles and the philosophy behind the doctrine of separation of powers are to be respected but the inherent powers are to be sparingly used in a mutually beneficial fashion in order not to hurt the system and cause conflagration of monumental proportion that can consume the polity. This was exactly what the present lawmakers adhered to and it has started generating dividends to the people.
The fact that the House was dominated by members of the All Progressives Congress does not immune it from intra and inter-governmental crises. What has actually stabilised the house has been the ardent belief in cooperation and putting of public interest above egocentric and parochial interest of individuals and parties. Little wonder, the Assembly has been able to display efficiency in the quality of bills passed; embraced robust public engagements with their constituents and thorough in the discharge of oversight functions.
The confidence exuded by the lawmakers and the general feeling that they have performed creditably well spurred them to rollout drums to celebrate the Assembly’s 365 days of inauguration.
Basking in the euphoria of celebration and performance laced with efficiency and dividends, the Speaker in his speech on the floor of the house reeled out the achievements recorded in a spate of twelve months and they were in actual fact very astounding. Afuye revealed that the lawmakers passed a total of 19 all thoroughly scrutinised bills sent by the executive with six others still pending and at various committee levels, which will be passed to increase the tally to 25. That was aside from the 17 motions that were passed into resolution to smoothen governance and lubricate frictions to fast-track development deliverables of government. Some of the lawmakers’ bills include: Gender Based Violence Prohibition Bill, 2020; Ekiti State Fiscal Responsibility Bill; Ekiti State Security Network Bill codenamed the Amotekun Bill; Ekiti State Local Content bill; Compulsory Treatment for Rape Victims Bill, among others.
The most interesting and encouraging aspect of the assembly’s performance was its interests in the protection of lives and property of the citizens. This vividly manifested in the speed at which it organised public hearing with critical stakeholders for passage of Amotekun Bill despite the fact that a powerful section of the country and institutions were opposed to the formation of the security outfit that was conceptualised by the South West governors to ward off offences and banditry causing killings, kidnapping and robbery of the residents. The assembly led by offering leadership and galvanized support for Amotekun despite virulent effort to stop it.
With this catalogue of achievements, it is no gainsaying the fact that the sixth Ekiti Assembly raised the bar of legislation and brought dignity to that arm of government. It is a general belief that the state would witness more transformation in all facets, if the present robust executive-legislature relationship remains unbroken till the end of the present administration.
- Aluko, an assistant Principal at Ikere High School, Ikere Ekiti, can be reached through 08032712451 or 08066181583
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