Nigerian Governors prefer lame duck Assemblies, says ex-clerk | Dailytrust

Nigerian Governors prefer lame duck Assemblies, says ex-clerk

A former Clerk of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Barr. Demola Badejo, says the growth and development of the legislative arm of government had been stunted over the years “because the executive obviously do not want an independent legislature.”

Badejo noted that the situation is worse at state level because Nigerian governors prefer “a lame duck legislature.”

He accused governors of holding on to the assemblies’ jugular by stifling lawmakers of funds needed to perform their duties optimally.

He spoke in Abeokuta, Ogun State, while delivering a lecture paper titled: “Values, Attitudes and Work Ethics in the Parliamentarism: Issues, Challenges and Panacea” at the maiden edition of the International Day of Parliamentarism organised by the State chapter of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN).

Badejo, who was the State Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), noted that the principle of separation of powers, which is a basic element in a democracy is yet to evolve fully in Nigeria.

The retired permanent secretary maintained that legislative arm must be independent in order to fully discharge its constitutional responsibility in a democracy.

According to him, an independent legislature must attain a new dawn that would enable it perform in line with the high expectations of the populace as the only arm of government responsible for the identification of the needs, yearnings and aspiration of the common man.

The former information manager turned lawyer noted, “in this respect, the principle of separation of powers, a basic element in a democracy is yet to evolve fully.

“Consequently, the growth and development of the legislative arm, the major difference between a democratic dispensation and military rule, has been stunted over the years because the executive obviously do not want an independent legislature.

“Most Chief Executives would prefer a lame duck House of Assembly. While the situation in the National Assembly is fairly better, the States have the Governors holding on to their jugular by stifling them of necessary funds. I recall how we battled in the past to get Houses of Assembly budgeted funds on the first line charge. Some Hon. Speakers even voted against the initiative, claiming their Governors would have removed them from their positions before they got home from our meeting in Abuja!”

On the challenges facing the legislature, Badejo stated that, “absence of infrastructure has also hindered efficiency and stagnated development of the legislative arm of government in the State. While the executive has moved the Office of the Chief Executive from Oke-Ilewo to Oke-Mosan (1, 2, 3, &4) and the Judiciary has moved from Isabo to Kobape, the Legislature has remained in its 1978 complex, which has become archaic and most unbefitting.

“Closely related to this is the issue of lack of regular training for legislative staff. As the least developed arm of government through no fault of hers, the legislature (members and staff) need to be exposed to regular training, locally and abroad.”

In his remarks, the Speaker, Olakunle Oluomo, admonished the staff to continue to exhibit respect for the work ethics and the workplace towards sustaining productivity.

“However, at a time like this in the nation’s polity where the structures and institutions of democracy, whether in the developed or developing climes are built and centered around the legislature; workers who find themselves in its service must, as a matter of utmost responsibility be mindful that values, work ethics and attitudes are dynamic factors that determines the workers’ effectiveness.”

“They must exhibit time-tested values, ethos and traditions of honesty, probity, transparency, integrity, hard work and service excellence that are all the attributes of the public service founding fathers”, the Speaker stated.

Earlier in his welcome address, the State Chairman of PASAN, Comrade Ayotunde Ojediran, appreciated the members of the association for their steadfastness in the discharge of their duties.

He added that the association is “irrevocably committed to exploring all avenues to improve on the capacity of its members, who would in turn contribute to the development of the legislative institution.”

Dear Reader,
Every day, we work hard to provide readers such as you with the most accurate, up-to-date, and comprehensive information. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Your support means that Daily Trust can keep offering journalism to everyone in the world. Sign up for as little as N1,000 to become a member. Learn more about our membership here

Bank transfers can be made to:
Zenith Bank
Media Trust Ltd

Please send details of your bank transfer to the email or Whatsapp number below so that we can contact you.

If you have any questions, please let us know.

Whatsapp: +234 806 990 3410