By Okon Bassey in Uyo
The Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon. Onofiok Luke, has given reasons why the state lawmakers are not at war or fighting Governor Udom Emmanuel even with some perceived administrative lapses, saying the position is for the state to achieve peace, progress and political stability.
“The assembly also gives the executive a free hand to operate without trying to query some administrative decisions which the governor might be forced to take in the ordinary course of governance without recourse to the lawmakers.”
Luke made the declaration while presenting his mid-term report card at an executive briefing held at the state House of Assembly.
“This approach by the House has been deliberate having realized that the citizenry will not benefit from a House swallowed up in political turmoil. The sixth assembly has also seen the need to constructively with the executive and other arms of government without perfunctorily antagonising each other.
“Cooperation with the executive does not mean that the legislature becomes blind to its oversight functions. The sixth assembly under the leadership of Onofiok Luke will remain steadfast to its peaceful disposition to maintain the political stability enjoyed in the state’s polity to foster economic and social development,” he stressed
He linked the political stability of sixth assembly to a peaceful disposition in the discharge of its legislative responsibilities as there has not been any rancouring among members and leadership.
He said despite the political distractions at the wake of the sixth assembly in 2015, the Akwa Ibom State legislature has evolved into a more assertive institution, taking bold steps to consolidate their role in the state’s democracy.
“Through our cardinal mandate of lawmaking, oversight, and representation, the house has engraved itself in the Akwa Ibom polity as the embodiment of the collective dreams, hopes, and aspirations of our people,” the Speaker declared.
The Speaker frowned on the activities of fifth columnists in the state noting that many of them had tried to drive a wedge between the executive and legislature.
A hinted that a-six month legislative internship programme for graduates is to be established by the state House of Assembly.
The Akwa Ibom Legislative Internship Programme (AKILIP), is going to be the first major legislative internship programme sponsored by a state parliament in the country.
“AKILIP is a six months graduate internship programme initiated to expose interns to learning the rudiments of legislative business at a close range and also equipping the beneficiaries with soft and hard skills needed to sharpen the edges of their professional capabilities. Legislative/civic engagement,” he explained.
Luke disclosed that the state assembly has in the past two years received 39 bills out of which 15 bills have been passed into law among them, six executive bills and nine private member bills.
The bills sponsored, he said cover areas such as education, health, governance, youth development/empowerment, economic and revenue generation, environment, judiciary, security and social development.
“Similarly, 100 resolutions have been made out of 48 motions. In addition to the 100 resolutions, matters of urgent public importance and petitions including over 30 public hearing has been held,” he added.