By Dayo Johnson, Akure
The Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Ondo State has asked the newly inaugurated members of the 10th State House of Assembly, not to be pawns who rubber-stamped the whims and caprices of the Executive.
Chairman of the party in the state, Stephen Adewale, said this in a statement issued in Akure the state capital while congratulating the lawmakers.
Adewale, called on them to ensure that they work for the people of Ondo State that elected them, and not for any other interest.
He said that “It is regrettable that Ondo State is yet to experience a genuinely independent House of Assembly since 1999 as the previous members of hallowed chambers regarded themselves as nothing more than pawns who rubber-stamped the whims and caprices of the Executive.
“As the 10th Assembly begins, therefore, we challenge them to forge ahead on a new route that will solidify their legacy in the State’s annals of history.
“As the first institution of democracy in Ondo State, their duty is to work with the executive and the judiciary.
“They were never designed to work for the executive or work for the judiciary.
“Since no one speaks just because they enjoy the sound of their own voice, a legislature that encourages constructive criticism and healthy debates will likely be a responsive legislature; and such will be advantageous for the newly inaugurated 10th Assembly.
“In this kettle resides the strategy of how the 10th Assembly can deliver dividends of democracy to the people as anything short of that is a signpost to instability and a recipe for catastrophe.
“As another legislative journey begins, expectations are high that the lawmakers will diligently implement their legislative duties and attend to several unfinished businesses.
“A cursory look at the 9th Assembly with the eye of history would suggest that they left a lot to be desired in the State.
“To insist that the 9th Assembly was flawless is to play God. To say that mistakes were not made while they were in the saddle is to stretch the truth.
“Therefore, the 10th Assembly members have their work cut out for them. Their predecessors in the 9th Assembly passed 63 bills into law, a number of these bills were passed at the twilight of the legislative session and have not yet been properly implemented.
“Therefore, the 10th Assembly must pay diligent attention to their oversight functions.10th Assembly begins at the time when the country and the State is undergoing a financial trying times and their legislative contributions must reflect this changing reality.
“On this note, we implore the 10th Assembly to work on legislation that will improve the ease of doing business in Ondo State.
“Laws that will enhance the revenue of the State and increase what we generate internally.
“A time like this also presents the 10th Assembly with unique opportunity to give the Ondo people what they ask for, reward them with what they look forward to, and surprise them with what they are yet to ask for, but considered expedient.
“In order to deepen a people-oriented legislature, the immediate task before the 10th Assembly is to consciously design a template to debate and pass people-oriented law as much as necessary, fine-tune strategies where feasible, make adjustments where achievable, tamper with the existing narratives where such is needed, and encourage participations in the legislative affairs wherever practicable.
“Finally, the good people of Ondo State will undoubtedly demand nothing less than excellent performance because one good turn deserves another.
“The fact that the nation is transitioning from one form of civilian government to another is a wonderful thing; nonetheless, the state’s legislators need to realise that they have a job to do.
Adewale said that “Instead of acting as a rubber stamp, they should all be prepared to serve and vigorously advocate for their constituency.