Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
A member of the House of Representatives, Honourable Wumi Ogunlola, has denied insinuations that the ninth National Assembly is a rubber stamp for policies of the Buhari administration, clarifying that not all requests from the President were approved by the legislature.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmaker, who represents Ekiti Central Constituency II, noted that both arms of government must operate in an atmosphere of peace for the country to witness development.
Ogunlola, who stated this while speaking with reporters in Ijero-Ekiti on Sunday, explained that Nigerians must not access the performance of the National Assembly with the number of times they disagreed with the President rather their interventions.
The legislator said: “I don’t think all what come to the National Assembly from the executive is approved, that is not correct. If you knew what they brought and what was given back to them, either reducing or adding to them, it wasn’t the same thing. In other words, it means some steps were taken by the National Assembly.
“I want to believe that it is in peace that we can really forge ahead. It is not when we are at loggerheads and fighting. I think it is the media that believe that it’s until when you fight or when you disagree, that is when you are really playing politics or administering government, whereas it is not.
“It’s when we are at peace that we can sort out things, that we can agree and have meetings of the mind. I want to break what the Speaker said to mean – It is not when we fight that we can keep executives on their toes. It is not as if we don’t disagree, maybe at times, it is not open to you.
“If we have misunderstandings, there would always be a roundtable talk to forge ahead. The word ‘Rubber Stamp’ is a journalistic language,” Ogunlola said.
While expressing displeasure over the low representation of women in leadership positions, she called for re-orientation of women across the country on the need for them in positions of authority.
“As a result of the oppressive nature of men, women are not being given the privilege, this is somehow, most especially for some of us who have been privileged to be in small positions of authority. Things have not really changed. In fact, it’s retrogressing. When it comes to representation, women are not being given the numbers they should be given, either in elective [positions] or appointments.
“For instance, the time we used to complain of this, then at the National Assembly, we had over 20 percent, but now it’s zero point. In the Senate, we have six, in the House of Representatives we have twelve. It’s unfortunate and absurd, especially when we compare it to other countries.
“We can only hope and pray, that is the only solace. When efforts fail, the normal thing is to resort to prayer,” she said.
She assured her constituents of her determination to sponsor motions and bills in the new year that would be of benefit to them.