May 23, 2024

Mutfwang’s respect for legislature engendering harmony in Plateau – Speaker Dewan

Plateau pension/gratuities

By Marie-Therese Nanlong

Since the return of democracy in Nigeria, unnecessary interference and  lack of cordial relationship between the Executive and  Legislative arms of governments have led to frictions that affect governance in states across the country and even at the federal level.

Although, there are constitutional roles for the three arms of government, the Executive sometimes seeks to subsume the roles of the other arms especially the Legislative under its power and this unconstitutional stance breaches peace in governance.

In Plateau State, for instance, the overbearing attitude of some governors in the past had led to frequent change in the leadership of the state assembly as well as strained relationship between the two arms to the detriment of citizens.

However, in the last one year, Governor Caleb Mutfwang has stayed out of the internal affairs of the State House of Assembly.

Recall that the Assembly had 16 of its 24 members sacked by the Appeal Court in November last year and that escalated tension in the state.

The loss of the seats by the lawmakers from the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, the Governor’s party would have ignited the Governor’s interest in controlling the affairs of the House but he remained focused on his tasks as the Executive Governor.

He recognized that the State Assembly is a separate and equally independent arm of government thereby allowing the House to sort its internal problems and stabilize.

Confirming the independence of the House, the Speaker of the State Assembly, Gabriel Dewan in an  interviewed on a private television, in Jos, scored the Governor high saying, that mutual respect has engendered a cordial relationship and partnership that would benefit Plateau citizens.

He also attributed the relative peace in the Assembly to the independence of the Legislature.

According to Dewan, “sometimes, the Assembly goes into crisis if there is interference from the Executive or other external forces but what we are experiencing in the State Assembly today is that we have an independent Assembly where the Executive hands off our activities and, on our part, as members of the Assembly, we have agreed to work for the people of Plateau, not individual parties.

“I can tell you without mincing words that if there is any Assembly in this country that is enjoying a cordial relationship with the Executive, Plateau will be one that is why the day we inaugurated the nine members, the first port of call was to visit the Governor and inform him of the development.

“This justifies the cordial working relationship that we have unlike other Assemblies. Some months back, the Assembly erupted in crisis but we have never had the Governor walk into the Complex to shut it down or decide to stop the Assembly from carrying out its duties as we have seen elsewhere.

“When he hears of anything, he will call and ask what is happening and he will advise without interfering. There is a clear separation of powers in the state, cooperation, a partnership for the interest of the Plateau.”

The Speaker further noted that “Plateau State has four political parties in government, the Governor is from the PDP, I am from the YPP, some of my members are from the APC, we also have the Labour Party, and we have no rancour because we have all agreed that the interest of Plateau supersedes all other interests.

“The relationship between the State Assembly in Plateau and the Executive is very cordial and wonderful and I must give it to the Governor for his maturity, his understanding, we need to be proud of him.”

With this commendable stance, Plateau citizens hope that this cordiality is maintained so that the needed dividend of democracy is delivered to them.