By: Okunade Adekunle
The Lagos State lawmakers this week would not only have themselves to be blamed for the kind of Guest Speakers they invited to deliver lectures at the special parliamentary session that was organised by the legislative body to celebrate the ongoing Lagos at 50 but also would have serious rethink on how they would practically make their activities to be more of people-oriented in their respective constituencies.
Some of the contents of the lectures delivered were not only educative but also hit the nails on the head pointing out critical areas where an average Nigeria lawmaker always gets it wrong in governance. According to a reliable source, some prominent lawmakers were not really happy with what the Special Guest Lecturers said about lawmakers attitude to governance in the country.
The Director of the Kenyan School of Law, Nairobi, Professor Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba who specifically was the Special Guest Speaker, at the special parliamentary session, condemned the extravagant life and abuse of power by lawmakers in Nigeria, stressing that the legislature occupies a unique position in the country.
Lumumba advised lawmakers to stop using public office for financial gains, cautioning that the country would be great if they accept that the occupation of public office was not to acquire body guards or limousine.
The Professor of Law, who extensively spoke on “The Importance of the Legislature In Democratic Governance,” pointed out that the state could survive a bad executive, bad judiciary, but not a bad legislature.
He added “You are never successful until you go down into the grave with success. Those, who acquire power must exercise it with humility. Before you drink the gin of political power, you must have a foundation of integrity,”
Lumumba stressed “ if Africa was to be great, Nigeria must be great. Nigeria started on a sound footing before the government was crudely disrupted by coup-de-tats and went through a civil war. it should be noted that Nigeria adopted democracy in 1979, but that the democracy the country is practising was not home-grown and that it is Euro-centric. The nation’s democracy could be customized to achieve the aspirations of the country, saying that the relationship among the legislative, executive and the judiciary must be symbiotic. The legislature represents the people and that it is a privilege to honour and represent the people. Those, who steal public funds abuse the power given to them by the people. The legislature is the heart of the people. On a mere allegation of corruption, the legislature brought down the government of South Korea and the same thing happened in Brazil. But here in Nigeria and Africa, does the legislature bring thieves down. If Nigeria is to be great, you legislators must make solemn vow that you would make laws that would benefit the people. Make laws that would serve the people and the country. Nigeria can be great if you make a solemn vow that you would be greater than Dubai and Singapore”
Rewane tutors Lagos lawmakers on Lagos Political economy
Part of the Special Guest Speakers who is a Nigerian and Economic Analyst, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, took the lawmakers on a journey of economic analysis of Lagos economy.
Rewane, who spoke on the topic, “Economic Development- The Role of The Legislature,” revealed that Lagos State contributes 22% to the economy of Nigeria and the it has a GDP of $131 Billion, stating that if Lagos was taken away from Nigeria the country would fall to the third position in Africa while Lagos would be 7th in Africa.
Ambode seeks continuous harmonious relationship with lawmakers
Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, has called for more harmonious relationship with the House of Assembly of the state, saying that the harmonious relationship between the three arms of government in Nigeria is reflective in the governance model of Lagos State and has promoted the interest and welfare of the people.
Ambode added“Today, we are celebrating the contributions of the Lagos State House of Assembly, particularly the 8th Assembly in the last two years, to the true principles of democratic governance through passage of Bills that advance the principle of governance and promotion of social welfare of the people within the ambits of the Law. The first to eighth Assemblies of the Lagos State House of Assembly had been the benchmark for assessing legislative business in governance of the Nigerian State. The 8th Assembly, in particular had been highly responsive and innovative in fulfilling its constitutional obligations and meeting the aspirations of our people for the dividends of democracy.
“The superlative performance of the 8th Assembly, including previous Assemblies, can be attributed to the quality of leadership that has been produced through a matured and democratic process with the purpose of providing a democratic process that would benefit our people. The synergy between the three arms of government, particularly the Executive and Legislature had become the benchmark of the democratic process in Nigeria. As the State celebrates its Golden Jubilee, it had laid the building blocks for the next fifty years”, said the Governor
Another PDP lawmaker set to defect to APC
There is clear indication that the lawmaker representing Ojo Constituency 1, Hon. Victor Akande, is set to defect from his political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) any moment from now.
Westernpost learnt that he has secretly sent his letter of intention to the House leadership through the Clerk of House early this week.
It was gathered that the lawmaker took the decision after his return from Jerusalem where he was said to have met one of the APC leaders in his constituency who he seek help of soft landing when his letter of intention is read at the floor of the House.
It was revealed that Akande was furious with a staff in the Clerk’s office who he alleged to have leaked the information of his defection to the public before it is enlisted to be read at plenary any moment from now.
Ability to reach the lawmaker to comment on the planned defection, was abortive as he was not reachable as at the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, it will be recalled that in the first quarter of this year, six out of the eight PDP lawmakers defected to the APC, siting the current leadership crisis bedeviling the PDP as the reason they defected.