On Thursday June 6, 2019, Governor Kayode Fayemi proclaimed the sixth assembly at a lavish inauguration ceremony held at the assembly complex. The joyous mood that enveloped the house could be predicated on the fact that those taking up the mantle of leadership at the legislature are not only educated, cerebral and exposed, but are incurably committed to service particularly the ones that have to do with serving Ekiti State.
It is no gain saying the fact that the immediate past fifth assembly also contributed their own quotas to legislative development in the state, but there were a lot of lapses to be corrected and loopholes to be blocked in terms of performance and better image for Ekiti as a corporate body.
One thing has always been an albatross to the legislature in Nigeria, that is the over bearing influence of the executive. The Governors domineering figures on all other arms are hindering the independence of the legislative and having a toll on its productivity.
Signal emerged on the day of inauguration that there would be a clear departure from the immediate past under this current dispensation going by the body language of Governor Fayemi. The Governor was determined to make the job easier by his open declaration that he was not interested in a rubber stamp assembly. He said his mission and clear vision had always been that there should be constructive engagements between the executive and the legislature for Ektiti to witness radical development in all spheres.
The personalities brought to the fray by the All Progressive Congress (APC) to contest across the 26 state. Constituencies and won though the popularity of Governor Fayemi lent credence to that fact that the sixth assembly was not configured to fail. Virtually all the new lawmakers are accomplished politicians and technocrats with deep knowledge of governance and legislature duties that would add panache to governance in Ekiti.
Most interesting was the fact that the new speaker, Hon. Funminiyi Afuye, is a second term lawmaker and former Commissioner in Ekiti State. His experience as a former majority leader and member of the State Executive Council must have imbued him with deep knowledge about how the two arms should relate harmoniously. And this will help the present government, the assembly in particular.
The present assembly members need to roll up their sleeves and work assiduously to support Governor Fayemi’s avowed stand to fight the hydra-headed monsters in facets of poverty and unemployment that are pillaging our state. They have to forget their personal interests and make sacrifices for Governor Fayemi led administration to be focused and stabled to execute its four-cardinal objectives of this government to the benefit of the people. They must eschew morbid politicking by attending expeditiously to any bill sent by the executive that would be of immense benefit to Ekiti populace.
They should also place high premium task on the stability of the assembly. The immediate past assembly incessantly regaled the public with gales of suspension of members and this creates serious centrifugal force that nearly destabilized the assembly.
The Rt. Hon. Funminiyi Afuye-led assembly must escape this banana peel in order to gain and enjoy the confidence and respect of the executive and the public. No assembly would be respected when they pose in a manner that conveys a message of being interested in the pursuit of personal gains, rather than to the service of the citizens. This also gives the executives the leverage to corner the assembly and inject the principle of divide and rule, which won’t be in the interest of the people.
Though, there were deafening advocacy for firm and true independence for the legislature in Nigeria but this should not be a veritable opportunity for the lawmakers to be at loggerheads with Governor Fayemi. As much as I support independence of the legislature, the lawmakers must also tread cautiously and see the executives as partner, rather than a rival.
The new speaker, Hon. Funminiyi Afuye , had promised to operate like a Siamese twins with Governor Fayemi for Ekiti to be Great. The assembly should have this as a focus and do everything within its power to walk the talk for them to write their names in gold as patriots, who served Ekiti zealously and selflessly.
The lawmakers would do the system a great deal of benefit, by constantly engaging the public before taking critical decisions for robust participatory governance at that arm of government.
The view point was written by an Assistant Principal, Ikere High School, Dalimore Aluko (08066181583)