Our attention has been drawn to a press release signed by Idris Miliki Abdul, the Executive Director, Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR), Lokoja, Kogi State and published on social media platforms yesterday being 15th June, 2021 and tagged 7th Kogi State House of Assembly at 2.
In the press release, he tried to x-ray the activities of some selected past speakers, comparing their performances with the current leadership of the Kogi State House of Assembly under Rt. Hon. (Prince) Matthew Kolawole.
We would not have bothered to respond to his self-styled analysis which painted the current leadership of the Kogi State House of Assembly in bad light, but to put the record straight for the reading public to be abreast of the true position of things under the current leadership of Rt. Hon. (Prince) Matthew Kolawole.
There is no gainsaying that the previously crisis ridden Kogi State House of Assembly has remained calm and peaceful ever since Rt. Hon. (Prince) Matthew Kolawole emerged the 12th Speaker in the sixth Assembly.
However, it is good to note that the peaceful atmosphere occasioned by the Speaker Kolawole leadership created the enabling environment for over 50 bills to be passed within two years of his reign in the sixth Assembly. Among bills passed are the autonomy bill of the State Assembly which established the Kogi State House of Assembly Service Commission that is already in operations for close to three years, aside the constitution’s amendment which comprises of 15 alterations bills, Kogi State traffic law, Vigilante law, law against cultism in tertiary institutions in the state, repeal and reenact of PAAU, Ayingba, KSP, Lokoja, Youth Commission etc.
It is a public knowledge that the humble personified lawmaker piloted the affairs of the Sixth Assembly to the admiration of both his constituents and the leadership of the party in the state, hence he was considered for reelection as member and Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly for a tenure of another four years.
In the Seventh Assembly, Mr. Idris Miliki cannot deny the facts that the current leadership has put in place mechanism that fast track their operations in passing bills and motions, so saying the Assembly underperformed in the period under review is not true. Despite the covid-19 pandemic that ravaged and crippled almost the entire year 2020, the Assembly still find it expedient to pass over 18 bills aside 8 bills which is currently at various stages of legislation. Among the bills passed includes the bill that established the Confluence University of Science and Technology, Osara which is fully in operation, the Reference Hospital bill, Okene, Kogi State Education law, People with Disability Bill, Judiciary Bill etc.
It is also good to note that the process of passing annual budget is the same globally and if he will not mislead the public, immediately the Governor of a state lay the budget estimate on the floor, the budget had to pass through, first and second reading before all MDAs including the judiciary and House of Assembly will be called to defend their budget during which all observations and comments arising from their previous oversight functions will be attended to before the budget is finally passed for the Governor’s assent.
All parliaments in the world have their own calendar which comprises the number of days they must sit in a year and Kogi State House of Assembly is not lacking in this regard. That the Assembly observe unnecessary adjournment is a fallacy which should not be taken serious while issues of public participation depend on individual interest in the activities of the Assembly as enough provisions are made as part of the lawmaking process to always have a feedback from the public which is called public hearing before any bill can be passed into law.
If Mr. Idris Miliki is not frugal with the truth, he cannot deny the fact that he do not attend most of the public hearings called on several bills that have been passed into law under the current leadership and there is no gainsaying that most of the observations and memoranda received during such public hearings do reflect in the final documents passed.
On the welfare of the Honourable members and staff, it is good to note that no honorable member or member of staff is being denied any of his or her salaries and allowance as at when due, though we may not understand what he meant by his assertion that their welfare is nothing to write home about
In case he did not know that the current leadership has procured another 300kva generator to enhance the power supply to the Assembly Complex aside the Police post that is coming up that is in the final stages of completion.
On the Usman Katsina Road, the Assembly’s request is being attended to, and appropriate remedial fix of the said road will be done as soon as possible by the Ministry of Works and Housing.
Rt. Hon. (Prince) Matthew Kolawole has continued to reiterate his commitment and determination that the Kogi State House of Assembly under his watch and with the maximum cooperation and support he enjoyed with his colleagues to partner with relevant stakeholders to make laws that will promote good governance in the state.
Chief Press Secretary to the Honourable Speaker,
Kogi State House of Assembly