Before the inauguration of the 6th Assembly, Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State issued a proclamation letter to the Clerk of the Assembly, Mr Ego Maikeffi Abashe, to put machinery in motion for the inauguration of the State House of Assembly.
The governor in the proclamation letter quoted section 105 Sub-Section 3 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, which empowers him to issue out such directive.
During the well attended inauguration at the assembly’s complex that had in attendance friends and relations of the members, the former speaker of the Assembly, Hon Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi, was re-elected unopposed.
Abdullahi, representing Umaisha/Ugya constituency, was in 2015 elected speaker of the state’s fifth Assembly for the first time on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Also during the inauguration, a new entrant into the state assembly, Hon Nehemiah Tsentse Dandaura, representing Akwanga North constituency on the platform of the same APC, was elected unopposed as the new deputy speaker.
At the inauguration, one of the contenders for the speakership position, Hon. Mohammed Okpokwu, who was re-elected to represent Loko/Udegye constituency, surprisingly changed his mind and nominated Abdullahi for re-election as speaker.
The nomination of Abdullahi for the speakership position by Okpokwu was seconded by the member representing Wamba constituency, Hon. Aliyu Dogara, which consequently saw Abdullahi emerging as speaker without any opposition.
In the same vein, a strong contender for the deputy speakership position, Hon. Mohammed Agah Muluku, representing Nasarawa Eggon East constituency, also nominated a new entrant, Dandaura, for the deputy speakership position. The nomination by Muluku was seconded by Hon. Danladi Jatau, representing Kokona west constituency.
Unfolding his leadership agenda for the 6th Assembly shortly after his re-election as speaker, Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi, promised that he and his colleagues would support good governance in the state with quality legislations to give better life to the citizenry.
He further promised that the 6th Assembly which he leads would not be a rubber stamp and lapdog to the other arms of government especially the executive. The Speaker assured that the new leadership of the state parliament would also give priority to the welfare of all levels of the staff of the Assembly.
Abdullahi stressed that “It is ludicrous for the legislature to be in unhealthy, perpetual and unnecessary struggle and opposition to the executive arm of government and it is more so in bad taste, when such opposition is from the same party members in the legislature. The authors of the doctrine and principles of separation of powers never envisaged this unhealthy, if not destructive aberration”.
“While the doctrine espouses the coeval and coordinate equality of the three arms of government, for the purpose of checks and balances, its golden interpretation should be substantial inter-governmental cooperation and collaboration”
“This does not mean that the legislature should be a rubber stamp and lapdog of the other arms of government, especially the executive. It is however our belief that reasoned and informed debates should reign, rather than unbridled and cantankerous opposition to the executive”
“I believe as a thorough party man, the party is the platform to discuss issues in line with the manifesto of the party. The executive distills and aggregates its policy direction from this. The outcome of such distillation forms the policy direction for the bills to the legislature to process in order to give legal backing to the policies and programmes of government” Abdullahi said.
The 6th Nasarawa State House of Assembly consisting of 24 members is dominated by the ruling APC, while Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has seven members, Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) produced one member and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) has a member.
The 15 seats won by APC are Umaisha/Ugya, Toto/Gadabuke, Nasarawa Central, Udege/Loko, Keffi West, Kokona East, Akwanga North, Lafia Central, Lafia North, Keana, Awe North, Awe South, Wamba, Nasarawa Eggon East and Uke/Karshi constituencies.
PDP won in Akwanga South, Nasarawa Eggon West, Doma South, Obi 1 & 2, Karu Gitata and Kokona West, while Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) won in Doma north constituency and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) won Keffi East.
The 6th Nasarawa Assembly has 6 returning members and 18 new members. The Speaker, Abdullahi Ibrahim, is an old member, while his deputy, Nehemiah Tsentse, is a first timer. As the assembly resume next week, some principal officers are expected to emerge to help the speaker and his deputy in piloting the affairs of the house.
Some of the stakeholders in the state who spoke to journalist shorly after the inauguration, called on the memebers of the state assembly to practice the principles of seperation of powers to enable them succeed in their constitutional duty of making laws that can move the state to the next level.
Phillip Tatari Shekwo, APC chairman in Nasarawa State, Aliyu Bello, the state sccreatary of APC, Hon David Ayewa, APC BoT member from Nasarawa State, Hajia Sa’adatu Yahaya and many others, called on the legislators to leave up to expection by performing their constitutional roles of true represenatives of the people of the state.
APC chairman in the state said “I believe that the time has come for us to consolidate the gains of good governance laid down by the administration of the former governor, Umaru tanko Al-Makura. The time has come for us to re-articulate the vision of the founding fathers of the state, and re-energise the people”
“Thank God we mantained the lead in the house as such I want to call on the legislatures to cooperate and work hand in hand with the excutive arm of the government to enable all of them deliver devidence of democracy to our people”
“We also expect the house to pass a bill in the areas of job creation and poverty alleviation, full and gainful employment that would be approached as an indispensable tool of ensuring good life for the people of our dear state”.
The APC chairman who tasked the legislatures to ensure the core vision of the house to consolidate and enlarge the enviable legacy of good governance that the state had come to be known for, also urged them to work hard to make state the envy of other states in the country.
On his part, APC BoT members Mr David Ayewa, who was an adviser to the former governor on Christian riligious affairas also urged the legislatures to “Combine the developmental approach of the former governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, his financial ingenuity and vigour to drive the state to the promised land’’.
Another APC stakeholder in the state, Mustapha Galadima, is of the view that “despite having majority of APC legislators, appealed to them not to be a rubber stamp Assembly tied to the apron strings of the executive arm of governmet. “The relationship between the executive and the legislature has to be continuously synergized for mutual understanding and optimal performance.” Galadima said.
Aliyu Bello, APC secretary in the state said, “Our party count on the support of the legislature towards achieving the dream of the curent administration in the areas of security, agriculture, economy and industrialization of the state’.
“As one political family and critical stakeholders in Nasarawa project, all the arms of government must work together to deliver dividends of democracy to our people, so that we can continue be proud of both of them” Bello said.
Aliyu Bello, added that Governor Abdullahi Sule, has a rare privilege of working with an Assembly, dominated by members of the APC, which he described as experienced, exposed and tested individuals in the corporate world, among others.
Another stake holder in the state who does not want his name mention, said the 6th Assembly cannot afford to fail as expectations are high from the executive, the legislature, the ruling party, the constituents, entire people of the state and observers watching from outside.
He further stated that peace and communal living has been the hallmark of the people of the state, noting that a member who has no proper research and development plan to engage the youths and women in the agenda has no business being in the assembly.
The elder statesman listed entrenchment of peaceful coexistence, empowerment through the development of educational facilities, development of sports, leadership development and poverty eradication and environmental justice as some of his agendas for all the members of the 6th assembly.
“Our legislatures should work towards ensuring that peace prevails in all our communities, having been abreast with the underdevelopment of their constituencies arising from ethnic hostilities and hatred generated as a result of animosity” he said.
Chairman of Akwanga local government srea of the state, Mr Samuel Meshi, called on the legislatures to focus on provision of empowerment to the people through the development of educational facilities, by sponsoring bills that would lead to the provision of quality education in the state.
“I call on them to focus on the educational development of the state so thet we can compete favorably with other states of the federation. Besides, pupils and students should be motivated to work hard, to avoid the consequence of large number of school drop-outs in the state” he said.
A sports enthusiast in the state, who doesn’t want his name mentioned, called on the members to prioritise the development of sports in the state, by pursuing a vigorous sports programme to discover sports talents among youths in line with the initiative of Peace and Unity Cup Tournament at the grass root level..
“The time has come for us to draw the attention of the legislative arm to make laws that concerns sports to discover young talents that will represent the state at level of sports competation, with this I think we will get there” he said.
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