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CONFAB: Anambra lawmakers disagree on part-time legislature

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By ENYIM ENYIM

ONITSHA— Anambra State lawmakers, yesterday, differed on the part-time legislature recently recommended by the Public Service Committee of the National Conference.

While some of the legislators described it as a welcome development, others were averse to it, saying it was alien to the country’s democracy and would not work in the present federal system practised in the country.
One of the legislators, representing Aguata II state constituency, Ikemefuna Uzezie, said it was very preposterous for the confab members to talk about part- time legislature at this moment the country’s democracy was still evolving.

He said: “We are still clamouring for autonomy for the legislature and people are talking about part- time legislature.
“You can only talk about part-time legislature in a parliamentary legislature and not in federal system of government as practised in the country.”
He said the issue of reducing cost of governance, as adduced by the confab, was not justifiable because the large chunk of the country’s fund was being expended by the federal and state executives that had bloated cabinet and aides who receive fabulous salaries and allowances.

He added that “there is more wastage of funds by the executive than in the legislature that has fewer members, both in the national and state legislature. So the executive should reduce the cost of running their offices.”
On the recommended unicameral legislature by the confab, Uzezie said there was no need for a bicameral legislature since the Senate chamber and the House of Representatives were performing the same function

While commending President Goodluck Jonathan for convening the confab, he regretted that some old men who had been in the corridors of power for so many years were allowed to go to the conference to fashion the future of Nigeria when vibrant young brains were available.

However, another lawmaker, Chugbo Enwezor, representing Onitsha, welcomed the recommended part-time legislature, saying it would enable professionals in the House of Assembly to pay attention to their profession.
Besides, he said it would reduce the acrimony associated with electioneering campaign and make public office less attractive for politicians.

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