The Speaker of Bauchi State House of Assembly, Abubakar Suleiman, has expressed dismay over the news of Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) exclusion of speakers, deputy speakers and members of state assemblies from the list of officials that are allowed to use Protocol Lounges in the federal airports of Nigeria.
He directed the Secretariat of the Conference of Speakers to write to all relevant offices with a view to reviewing the list, adding, “I will also explore all means to ensure the anomaly is corrected.”
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The comments came in his acceptance speech after being elected chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria (CSSLN).
He said the recent protests and vandalism that erupted in some parts of the country called for sober reflection among speakers and coordinated efforts towards meeting the yearnings and aspirations of teeming youths.
“We will make sure all State Legislatures come up with holistic approach to end youth restiveness and provide opportunities for our youth to attain their full potentials, through quality legislations and stake holding.
“We will equally use our constitutional powers to ensure security agencies operate within the confine of the law so as to protect and ensure the right of every Nigerian,” he added.
Suleiman, who said it was sad that cases of rapes and other forms of violence against persons are rapidly increasing all over the country, added that it is duty bound on them as representatives of the people to ensure the right of life and dignity of every human being is assured.
He, therefore, said that the conference under his leadership will make sure the State Legislatures that are yet to make laws to prohibit violence against persons do so in earnest.
He also promised to widen the horizon by putting modalities to digitilize the State Assemblies that are yet to be digitalised so that all proceedings and votes will be electronic, stressing that “The world is now digital, we won’t be left behind.”
He said the issuance of Executive Order 10 by President Muhammadu Buhari which seeks compliance to the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), particularly on the financial autonomy to the legislature and judiciary at the state level is a great milestone in their cause to deepen democracy and strengthen all arms of government to discharge their constitutional role effectively.
“I therefore once again commend Mr President for this giant step to strengthen both the legislative and judicial arms of government at the state level.
“I want to assure you that the struggle for the more vibrant and functional state legislature will be collectively sustained.”
The CSSLN Chairman gave an assurance to work with his colleagues to further strengthen State Legislatures so that they can meet the yearnings and aspirations of their various constituencies and deepen democracy in the country, saying, “Distinguished Colleagues, as you are all aware, legislature is the backbone of democracy, thus its sanctity and independence must be protected.
“While urging you to join hands with me to take this Forum to a greater height, I want to assure you that your trust in me will never be taken for granted; and I will carry out my duties as Chairman according to the dictates of our Constitution and in a manner that befits your trust and the interests of the Conference.
“There is no doubting in the fact that the task before me as Chairman is enormous and challenging, I want to assure you that I will work together with you especially the outgoing officials with a view to tapping from your God’s given experience.”
CSSLN Administrative Secretary, Busari Sarafadeen, in a statement issued on Saturday but released on Sunday, said Suleiman was formally handed over the paraphernalia of office by the former Chairman and current Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Mudashiru Obasa at a brief ceremony in Abuja.