Edo State House of Assembly: Blazing the trail

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The importance of the house of assembly of a state as a fundamental arm of government cannot be overemphasised. The duty of the legislature in any country is to make laws and legislate, as well as act as representatives of the people. To this end, effective legislation is a panacea for accelerated development and a catalyst for good governance.

The story of a formidable state house of assembly in Nigeria will not be complete without the mention of Edo State House of Assembly, EDHA. Right from the inception of the fourth republic in 1999, EDHA has been a beehive of activities, sometimes breathtaking.

Since the inception of democracy in 1999, it has been led by several speakers. Some were impeached in a most unconstitutional and questionable manner. In some cases, the hollowed chambers of the assembly complex was turned into a free-for-all.

The harmonious working relationship existing between the executive and the legislature in Edo State is due to the understanding between the governor and the speaker. Check and balances can be carried out effectively in agreement. It does not necessarily have to be open confrontation.

On Tuesday, 23rd October 2018, EDHA unanimously passed a vote of implicit confidence in the speaker of the house, Hon. Kabiru Adjotu, for his exemplary leadership qualities and outstanding charisma. Peace and tranquility has now been restored to the house.

To all intent and purpose, the legislature as an organ of government is a veritable tool in effective and efficient delivery of the aims and objectives of government. The importance of legislature cannot be overemphasised. The slow implementation of budget occasioned most times by rift between the executive and legislative arm of government is quite worrisome. The function of parliament in any country is to make laws and legislate, as well as act as representatives of the people. By all standards effective legislating is a panacea for accelerated development, and a catalyst to good governance.

However, few states in Nigeria enjoy harmonious working relationship between the three arms of government, notably between the executive and the legislature. Worthy of mention is Edo State.

In Edo state, the fact speaks for itself. Hon. Kabiru Adjotu has brought sanity to legislative business in Edo State. Basically the house has indeed become a true house of assembly as against a house of commotion and comedy that it used to be prior to this very time.

The synergy between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary in Edo state is quite commendable. Before now, just like some state house of assembly, EDHA used to by walloped in leadership struggle, supremacy, senatorial district tussle and friction with the executive organ of government in the state. But under the able leadership of Kabiru Adjotu, he has been able to unify the house and restore sanity to the legislative process. This is quite commendable and a good example of what a proactive legislature should be, and quite evident for the National assembly and other legislative houses all over the country to borrow a leaf from. Due to his courage, dexterity, sagacity, capacity, determination and will-power, the speaker has transformed EDHA to an amiable position with regards to the legislative and parliamentary functions in Nigeria.

Bearing in mind that government is the amalgam of the people, the executive can function effectively and provide the basic necessities of life if there is an active and effective legislature to make laws for the good governance of the people. At any level whatsoever, the legislature is the representative of the collective will of the people. It is the symbol of democracy, and it should be active, distinct and independent.

Only recently, students from the faculty of Law University of Benin, endeared by the leadership qualities of the speaker paid an academic visit to Edo state house of assembly to watch parliamentary proceedings. Consequently, they proposed some bills and urged the speaker to keep up the good works in ensuring that the state in particular and the nation in general have people oriented law for the good governance of the state, and the nation at large.

  • Peter Erekose, University of Benin, Benin City.

Culled from here

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