I Will Never Interfere With The Independence of The Legislature – Governor Yahaya Bello
Kogi State governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has said he will never interfere in the independence of the legislature.
The governor stated this during a goodwill message delivered at the one year anniversary of state House of Assembly in the state.
The statement reads:
I am glad to be with the Legislative Arm of the Kogi State Government today as she marks this very important milestone in her tenure. Today is significant because it marks one year of the triumph of courage over fear in this Legislature. It marks one year of the victory of the interests of Kogi People over personal interests. It represents one year of making Laws for the Unity, Order and Good Governance of Kogi State.
This House passed the Money Bill, that is, the Budget, promptly and saved Kogi State from descending into a financial impasse. This House screened appointees with despatch and prevented vacancies in critical service areas. Through it all, you have remained intrepid, and discharged your duties with humility and determination in the face of highly acidic attacks.
This is probably the most maligned Legislative Chamber ever in the history of Legislative Chambers in Nigeria. The odds have been daunting but Honorable Members have remained indomitable. I do not hesitate to commend Mr. Speaker and the Honorable Members here today for staying true and holding steady the tripod of Democracy, Change and the Kogi New Direction.
3 Gbosa for Mr. Speaker and the Honorable Members.
Wikipedia defines a Legislature as ‘a Deliberative Assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country or city.’ Or in our case, a state. The most important attribute of any Legislature, in my opinion, is Independence. In this context, ‘Independence’ would mean, freedom from external influences in the performance of official duties.
I am making a solemn assurance that if anyone will interfere with the Independence of this Legislature, it will not be Yahaya Bello and the Administration that he leads. We are committed to a mutually affirming partnership with this House.
The Kogi State House of Assembly will not be tied to the purse-strings of the Executive. Like we promised the State Judiciary last month, the Legislature will enjoy financial and operative autonomy – at least under this Administration. Your money will come to you as and at when due, or when available and you will be at liberty to expend them at will, provided that is done in accordance with the extant principles of accountability and probity.
We note that the physical structures of the Kogi State House of Assembly need renovation and upgrading. We shall do our best to make that happen as soon as resources permit. In any case, we shall see what can be commenced immediately. The Security of Honorable Members must be assured for them to function effectively and maximally. We have done what we can but we will take more enduring steps to perpetuate the security of members. This may include looking for lawful ways to distance this Assembly Complex ouse from other structures which may constitute a security threat. I and Mr. Speaker and other principal officers will brainstorm on this as soon as possible.
Anyone who listened to my Democracy Day Broadcast last week heard me say that the issues confronting this House a ‘Family Affair’ which we in the Executive Arm know is within the powers of Honorable Members, both those present and those unfortunately absent today, to resolve. The misunderstanding among our Lawmakers in Kogi State is small compared to what we have seen your counterparts in other states confront and conquer.
We are asking that Honorable Members, wherever they may be put aside their personal issues and pull together for the constituents who elected them. That it has lingered till now confirms our belief that outside influences are at work. Any lover of the people who elected and sent him will not become a habitual absentee from duty. Principal Offices can be disputed, even be the subject of lawsuits, without running away from duty.
Time waits for no man. Let History record each Member as having done his bit to uphold his Oath of Office despite the troubles and obstacles that may have attended the way. I believe the challenge before every legislator is to remain true to the fundamental purposes of representative democracy and the legislative system. You cannot do that if you are absent in faraway cities. I once again enjoin the Kogi State House of Assembly to find creative ways of resolving the little issues that are still in dispute so they can give the full and lawful energies of this House to doing their best for Kogi State.
You will always find us willing partners.
Once again we felicitate with you on this occasion and wish you increasing productivity over the rest of your tenure.
Thank you very much.