Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa has directed the Clerk of the House, Mr. Sanni Azeez to write a protest letter to the Nigerian Senate over a comment by Senator Danjuma Goje against the House.
Lagos Assembly Expresses Concern Over Indiscriminate Cutting of Lagos Roads
By: Okunade Adekunle
The Lagos State House of Assembly has expressed concern over indiscriminate cutting of roads in the state.
Hon. Bisi Yusuf, who co-sponsored a Motion entitled, “Need To Curb Indiscriminate Cutting of Roads In Lagos State” with others, stressed that the House is disturbed by the indiscriminate cutting of roads for laying of pipes and cables and others without approval.
According to the motion, “a person shall not dig across any road or setback purpose without a written approval or permit of the relevant authority.
“It shall be the duty of the person, who lawfully digs a road or setback to reinstate the part of the road dug within seven (7) days.
“The reinstatement referred to in subsection (2) of this section shall not be considered done until an assessment is made by the appropriate Ministry or the Local Government as the case may be.”
He added that if indiscriminate cutting of roads was not checked by the appropriate authorities, it might jeorpadise the good intention of the state government for expending huge amount on road construction in vatious parts of the state.
The House then called on Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to direct the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, and Local Government and Community Affairs to ensure strict compliance with the provision of Environment Management and Protection Law, 2017.
The Governor was also advised to call on the Commissioner for the Environment and other relevant agencies to ensure strict monitoring of all roads within the state to apprehend offender(s) who must be made responsible for the cost of repairs of the damaged roads.
“The Commissioner for Information and Strategy in conjunction with relevant agencies to embark on sensitization campaign with a view to educating residents on the indiscriminate cutting of roads, penalties for defaulters and the danger inherent in such action,” He said.
The motion was seconded by Hon. Segun Olulade and supported by other lawmakers after a voice vote conducted by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa.
PDP Lawmaker Defects to APC Few Weeks After Denying His Defection Plan
Last week, One out of the remaining two Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), member in the Lagos State House, Hon. Victor Akande representing Ojo Constituency 1 has defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Akande informed the House of his defection during plenary session through a letter he addressed to the Speaker, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa and read by the Clerk of the Assembly, Mr. Azeez Sanni.
In the letter, Akande said he was defecting because of the factionalisation of PDP not just to two but four factions especially in Lagos State.
“My defection is to further continue support of adding legislative excellence to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and the political leadership of the Speaker of the Lagos Assembly who has impacted on legislative standard in the state.
“PDP has fallen apart and the centre can no longer hold so I have chosen to follow the stable APC. I thank PDP for giving me the political platform to showcase myself. I also thank my constituents and traditional rulers in my constituency for their support. I will continue to give them better representation and for me this is an home coming,” Akande said.
Acknowledging the letter after he was given the chànce to speak, Akande who described himself as the last PDP man standing in the Lagos Assembly because, “Markafi has since told his supporters to move over to the Labour party”, said he moved to APC with the blessings of his people from Ojo 1 constituency, royal fathers and all indigenes and non indigenes of the constiruency.
“I consulted widely before arriving at the decision to dump PDP for APC. I hereby shed the garb of PDP and I want to now be clothed with the APC garb”, Akande said.
Congratulating Akande for the bold decision, his counterpart from Ojo 2 constituency, Hon. Lanre Ogunyemi said, “Akande has made our day in Ojo with this defection, because actually there is nothing more for him to do in the PDP than to move to the moving train of the APC.”
Also congratulating Akande, speaker Obasa congratulated his colleagues for their good nature which made all the defections possible. He also thanked Akande for coming on board the APC, “we know you are a man of integrity and we are sure that image will reflect in our party,” Obasa said.
Lagos Lawmakers Seek Apology From Goje Over Denigrating Comment
This followed a Motion moved by the Chairman of the House Committee on Information and Security, Hon. Tunde Braimoh over statement credited to Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Danjuma Goje.
Braimoh had recalled a statement made by Senator Goje on Wednesday 5th July, 2017, where he reportedly told the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola that the National Assembly was not Lagos State House of Assembly.
It will be recalled that Goje had replied Fashola over issues bothering on the budget that he should not see the National Assembly as an institution he could control the way he controlled the Lagos Assembly as governor.
Braimoh said that the matter was reported on Page 6 of The Nation Newspaper of 6 July, 2017 just as it was reported in some other newspapers the same day.
“The senator derogatorily referred to the Lagos State House of Assembly by saying that the National Assembly was not Lagos State House of Assembly.
“The statement is derogatory, uncomplimentary and it is an insult on the Assembly. The constitution does not give the senate power to superintend the state assembly.
“All the newspapers reported the story and it is an uncomplimentary and disparaging as well as unparliamentary statement. The contest in which the word was used smacks of slander,” He said.
He said that the statement brings the House to public ridicule and that it makes people to feel the House is a rubber stamp, adding that Goje ought to be more civil with words with his status.
Also contributing to the issue, Hon. Rotimi Olowo said that the Lagos Assembly is an institution that people of other climes appreciate.
Olowo added that if Goje had issues with Fashola, he should sort it out rather than insulting the house.
He pointed out that the National Assembly was more rubber stamp than the Lagos State House of Assembly and that he was disappointed that such a statement could come from a serving senator.
He however, said that the house should write the Senate to reprimand the senator on the matter.
In his view, Hon. Yinka Ogundimu described the statement as provocative and that it was not enough for someone to sit somewhere and disparage the reputation the House built over the years.
Hon. Tobun Abiodun, in his comments, observed that there were certain expectations from lawmakers based on the ethics of the office.
“What he said is an insult on the leadership of the House. The Senate should suspend him and we demand an apology from them,” He said.
Other lawmakers such as the Deputy Majority Leader, Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh, Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, Hon. Desmond Elliot and Hon. Bisi Yusuf demanded an apology from the lawmaker and the senate.
Lawmakers Summon Environment Commissioner Over Flooding in Lagos
Lagos State House of Assembly has summoned commissioner for the environment, Hon. Babatunde Adejare and his team of experts to appear before the lawmakers today (Tuesday) to brief the House on efforts the ministry is making to mitigate flooding in the state.
This was the resolution at plenary session after Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti-Osa 2) moved a motion co-sponsored by 10 other lawmakers on the flooding situation in the state after heavy down pour.
Moving the motion, Yishawu said the gradual increase in perenial rainfall has wrecked havoc in many states particularly Lagos state and that the “torrential down pour and thunderstorms over the weeks have left hundreds homeless with massive loss of business, incomes, damages to properties and loss of lives as major roads have been flooded especially around Ajah, Lekki, Victoria Island and Ikoyi areas of the state.”
According to him, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) has linked the increase in the volume of rainfall and rising sea levels to global climate change resulting to incessant flooding.
Yishawu also complained that some residents of the state, “have chosen to build illegal structures on drains while construction and sandfilling works around the Lagoon and waterfront in the state have compounded effects of the rainfall.”
He further expressed worries that the illegal construction, improper disposal of solid waste in canals/gutters and reclamation of wetlands if not urgently checked would cause further flooding of the state due to their obstructive nature.
“We are aware of the efforts of the state government in abating flooding within the state which includes clearing of drains, expansion and rehabilitation of existing collectors and canals to allow for free flow of water as well as sensitization of members of the public on the dangers of dumping refuse into canal and illegal construction in drainage paths,” He said.
The motion was unanimously supported by members and the Clerk was mandated to write and invite the commissioner and his team.
Flooding: Lagos Assembly Calls For Collaboration Between Environment, Urban Planning and Physical Development Ministries
The Lagos State House of Assembly has called for collaboration between the state Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Urban Planning and Physical Development to prevent flooding during plenary on Tuesday.
In a Motion sponsored by Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu and others, the house directed that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode should direct the two ministries to remove structures that are blocking drainages.
They also directed that the ministries should ensure that canals are dredged constantly, while slit should be removed regularly.
The state government was also directed to comply with the master plan for the state, create a rescue team and ensure cooperation amongst the relevant ministries.
In addition, the Ministry of the Environment was urged to publicise its emergency lines; 767 and 112 so that the people could be aware of the number to call during emergency period.
Addressing the lawmakers earlier, the state Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare had blamed the massive flood that ravaged some parts of the state on natural and human causes.
According to him, “natural cause comes in form of climate change, and this affected places such as London, Suleja and other places. There was high tide at the sea that made the level of the water to rise.
“The flood affected places such as Lekki, Victoria Island and Lekki- Epe Expressway. But the water receded within 12 hours. We have been embarking on tree planting to reduce climate change in the state.
“Man-made is caused by people, who build houses on drainages. We saw people sand-filling to build houses on Osborne Phase 2. People also build houses by the lagoon against the law,” he said.
Adejare said further that there are illegal dredging all over the state and that machineries have been put in place to correct all these, adding that drainages collect water and send to the lagoon.
He said further that the ministry does massive clearing of drainages before, during and after rainy season.
The commissioner stressed that it would take time before drainages are properly cleared, and that a lot of advocacy is being done through the print and electronic media to inform the people about the need to prevent flooding in the state.
A lawmaker, Hon. Bisi Yusuf said that the ministry has neglected it’s responsibility and that they were reacting instead of preventing, adding that there is a law against building structures on river banks.
Hon. Rasheed Makinde commented that the incident was a cummulation of what happened over the years and that there was a masterplan for the development of Lekki area of the state.
Other lawmakers also commented that the ministry of the environment should rise to the occasion and ensure that the incident does not repeat itself in the state.
The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa said in his comments that it was essential for the Ministry of the Environment to address the observation of the lawmakers.
He added that it was important for the Commissioner to visit all parts of the state affected by flood last week, and that the number of people clearing the drains have reduced.
“Monitoring and compliance is important. Information dissemination should also be emphasised. The ministry should put in more efforts to control flood in the state,” He said.
Conference of Speakers to Champion Call For State Police – Obasa
Conference of Speakers may champion the call for state police as the organisation would be gathering in Lagos soon to deliberate on the amendment of 1999 Constitution.
This was however disclosed by the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, when answering questions at a parley he had with media practitioners and civil societies and organisations at the Jakande Hall of the Assembly complex in Lagos on Thursday.
According to Obasa, the primary purpose of any government is to ensure safety of lives and property of the citizenry, saying ongoing calls for restructuring should not just be focussed on resource control and quest by regions to have access to power only, but that such calls should also be focussed on issues bordering on security of each state and region also.
This move he said could be easily achieved if each state/region was allowed to have its own state police.
He pointed out that the conference of Speakers would help him and his colleagues discuss issues relating to state police, among other burning national issues.
“There is no state in Nigeria that can claim to be totally safe, while one is not battling with kidnapping, another might be battling with insurgency. We are therefore trying to come up with an amendment that will help us scale through major discussions in Nigeria, including issues relating to restructuring in which the constitution of state police would be included,” said Obasa.
“Security of lives and property is the number one goal of any government. As calls for restructuring are coming from various groups, we must also be thinking about restructuring in the line of giving each state the opportunity to have and control their own police,” He added.
He therefore gave the indication that the Lagos State legislature would leave no stone unturned in complementing the efforts of the executive arm of the state government in ridding the state of crime, especially through timely and people-oriented legislation.