BY GBENGA ARIYIBI
The Seventh session of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, inaugurated on June 5 by Governor Kayode Fayemi, has a huge task on its hand: ensuring that the executive arm delivers dividends of democracy to Ekiti citizenry.
Unlike the last House where the ruling party and the main opposition had almost equal numbers of legislators, the current House is dominated by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) with 24 of the 26 lawmakers while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has two.
Govenor Fayemi, who was performing the ceremony for the first time since he came on board about eight months ago, was accompanied to the occasion by his wife, Bisi and deputy, Mrs Funmilayo Olayinka.
Currently, members of the House appear eager to work. Shortly after their inauguration, they commenced the business of the House and gave their consent to the governor’s request for the law on composition of caretaker members into all the 16 local government councils in the state
Though, majority of its members are from the ruling ACN, the Speaker of the House, Dr Adewale Omirin has assured that the House would not be a rubber stamp of the executive arm of government. How this would be ensured is to be seen since the opposition party has only two members in the House. Observers fear that the voice of the opposition, if any may only be heard while the majority ruling party would have its way.
But this seeming gap may be filled with the presence of some vibrant and articulate members, who have distinguished themselves in their various callings. They include Hon. Ade Ajayi, a former labour leader in the state; Churchill Adedipe, a two term member of the House and now the Majority Leader; Barr. Ayodeji Odu, a vocal and brilliant lawyer; Orisalade Taiwo, a Lagos-based legal practitioner, who is now the deputy Leader and, the speaker, Dr Omirin, a medical practitioner of note.
Though, the relationship between the executive and the legislators appears rosy presently, some pundits fear that the relationship may sooner than later become sour because of the policy of ACN -controlled states to cancel the execution of constituency projects by the lawmakers.
It is gathered that the lawmakers who are now grumbling may soon kick against the policy. Their predecessors during the regime of Engr Segun Oni were given the sum of N20 million each for constituency projects.