Day Lagos Speaker slammed colleagues over absence at plenary

Lagos State House of Assembly has been adjudged to be a pacesetter when it comes to legislative matters. The House is also blessed with sound and intelligent legislators, who cannot be pushed aside when it comes to making laws that will benefit residents of the state. But despite being a respected House, legislators are fond of either coming late to plenary session or completely staying away from sitting.
At the expiration of the sixth Assembly, Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji said: “As we go into the seventh Assembly, issue of punctuality won’t be the same. No matter what it may be; no matter how important, it will have to wait till after the sitting.
“In most cases, late sitting is always occasioned by some issues that are beyond our control. It is not in my character to keep people late or ensure the plenary sessions are not held by the adjourned time. I believe in time consciousness but as a politician, most times I was handicapped or compelled to attend to some issues that border on the progress of the state and this has been the development not that the usual late sitting is deliberate.
“I promise that by the next legislative Assembly, things will change for better and we will ensure that all hands are deck to in carrying out our legislative duties,” Ikuforiji pledged.
But despite the Speaker’s promise, nothing has really changed, it has only grown from worse to worst, plenary sessions don’t start on time; some lawmakers don’t attend sittings; while some will attend and not contribute, some others will attend and engage in side talks and some other strolling in and out of the hollow chamber at will.
But the Speaker, who again became furious with some of these attitudes, last Thursday, lashed out at his colleagues, who decided to be absent from the day’s plenary session.
Ikuforiji who could not hold back his anger when he came into the Chamber to preside over the day’s plenary, decried the poor attendance by lawmakers even when the House just resumed from about two months recess.
The Speaker wondered why his colleagues were very few in the chamber, even when they were just resuming from about two months recess this week.
Out of a House of the 40 members, only 22 were in attendance, with 18 members completely absent at the Thursday’s plenary session, being the second sitting after the recess.
The Speaker, while lamenting the bad attitude, said that he was aware that no lawmaker was on any official assignment or on excuse duty that would warrant the poor attendance at a time when members are supposed to be refreshed for work after almost two months recess
While frowning at this attitude, Ikuforiji, however, called on his colleagues to sit up, saying “let us talk to ourselves, let us turn a new leaf. Election is close by and we will start running all over the place to woo the electorates”, Ikuforiji said.
One of the day’s absentees, when contacted to react to the Speaker’s comment, said “I heard that the Speaker was angry with those of us that were absent from the sitting. I would not have been away from the sitting, but when we adjourned on Monday, we said we will reconvene on Thursday by 10am. After waiting till about 12.30pm when the sitting didn’t commence, I had to go and attend to some pressing issues.
“If the sitting had commenced on time; if we had kept to time, even if someone like me will have to leave, I would have at least participated to an extent. So for me, it wasn’t my fault that I was absent from the sitting. If I don’t want to be part of the plenary, I wouldn’t have come around that day. But I came in as early as 8.30am and left around some minutes to 1pm,” said the lawmaker who would not want his name mentioned.
A lawmaker who also spoke in defence of the absentees, said “to me, it’s not something that happens often. We in this House are not used to staying away from plenary sessions. There is no House of Assembly you can go to that you will find all the lawmakers present. So let me make it clear to you that having all members present at a sitting is not possible. Some will want to go on oversight functions, while some others may have issues to attend to in their various constituencies
“If some lawmakers were absent from sitting that day, I’m sure if you ask each and everyone of them, they will give you a reason for being absent. But now that the Speaker has condemned it, I am sure my colleagues will sit tight. I can assure you that you will see changes from now on,” the lawmaker said.
Efforts to get in touch with the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Publicity, Security and Strategy, Segun Olulade, to react the issue, proved abortive as his mobile phones could not be reached.
With this development, it is hoped that these lawmakers will change their ways and turn a new leave by attending plenary sessions.

Daily independent
Share on Google Plus
    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment


Post a Comment