The raging controversy over the relevance or otherwise of the legislature among other arms of government in Nigeria has been attributed to the lack of understanding of how the arm is constitutionally built to function.
Former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji who said this at a book launch in Ikeja area of Lagos,
noted that the friction observed in the political space of the country is born out of inexperience on the part of the lawmakers on one hand and also a clear attempt to muzzle a constitutionally empowered arm of government.
Speaking as Chairman of the launch of the book titled:”The Legislature and the Path to Democratic Consolidation” written by Mr. Remi Durojaiye, the former lawmaker said, “We are still very far away from the level of enlightenment required,
the people that legislature is supposed to serve know very little about the roles and functions assigned by the constitution to the legislature and it is a pity that even members of the legislature too probably are not well equipped enough as at now.
“It is a question of looking at it from the angle of the nation’s history, you will realise that the Nigeria legislature today is barely 17 or18 years old, the executive and judiciary have been there since 1914 amalgamation,
it is the legislature that is so young yet it is saddled with the responsibility of over sighting these older arms of government.
“The older arms have lots of experience which the legislature does not have and off course, no matter what education is given experience matters a lot, but then education helps to bridge the gap faster so we should continually educate the legislative arm so that it can catch up faster than it is doing.
“A lot of the troubles that we have in the polity now is due to misinformation and not having required knowledge of the roles that the legislature are supposed to play.
“On the part of even the citizenry, everyone loves to condemn, criticize and almost mow down the legislature for whatever reasons, you see today everybody still keeps shouting how much goes to the legislature what does this and that.
“You look at the percentage of the budget that goes to who and then you can understand some of these troubles and of course because the legislature is not even playing its role the way it should, perhaps due to this lack of adequate knowledge is part of the problem and we must address it for the benefit of the nation,” he said.
Also speaking at the launch, His Imperial Majesty, Oluwo of Iwo Kingdom, King AbdulRasheed Adewale Akanbi (Ilufemiloye Telugu 1), bemoaned the level of corruption in the country, stating that the importance of waging war against corrupt tendencies in the society cannot be overlooked, stressing that it has been the bane of Nigeria.
Oba AbdulRasheed who is the Deputy Chairman of Osun State Council of Obas and President Iwo Traditional Council, who also graced the book launch along with his queen, lament the greed and avarice in the political circles, charging all Nigerians not to vote into power any politician without a well mapped out strategy of fighting corruption.
The monarch, who commended the author of the book, stated that awareness is key in making people change their perception about anything.
“Consolidation of democracy and changing peoples’ perception about the polity is fundamental and enlightenment act is also afforded in the book written by Remi. It is targeted at taking our people out of poverty of the mind about all this myths and superstition that is bringing us back.
“These are the change that we need and also we need to kill corruption in Nigeria, it is the only deadly disease killing us in droves, it is genocidal, we need to eradicate corruption, if it doesn’t go it would kill us all and it is killing us every day.
“We need to tell our politicians, anyone who needs our votes should give us his structured agenda to fighting corruption, we should not vote into power anyone without the agenda to fight corruption, that is my message to Nigerians.”
A member of the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Ikeja Constituency 1, Hon. Adedamola Kasunmu charged the people, especially the younger generation to show more spirit of patriotism towards the nation, arguing that without patriotic citizens, no nation can make progress.
The author who was elated by the turn out at the event also mirrored his piece as a feat that gives him a knack to aspire higher.
“The legislature is very germane in our day to day politics in that the arm has a very big role to play in our nascent democracy.
“This is just the beginning of my own contribution to this country and come 2019, I am going to aspire for the House of Assembly in Ijebu Igbo North constituency of Ogun State as a member, just watch out.
“This is a public unveiling of the book, I am still going to have a tour of all the local governments in Lagos State in particular, this will start upper week Monday, from my experience we have the best legislature in this country and there is hope us,” Durojaiye said.
The book reviewer, Dr. Mudashiru Suraj, an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Sciences of the Lagos State University did a deep critique of the book with 10 chapters, citing the need for a wider scope that will take an holistic view of the democratic structures across Africa relating the three arms and their roles.
The chief launcher, Engineer Afolabi Lawan, CEO Cubitec Engineering and Services Limited, Former LAWMA boss Dr. Ola Oresanya, Mr. Leland Abdul, GMD, Cleanserve Energy Solutions Integrated, Opebi-Ikeja, Lagos and many other dignitaries were part of the official launch of the book.