Expect A More Robust House Next Session — Ikuforiji, Fafunmi

Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly

Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji of the Lagos State House of Assembly and his colleague, Dayo Saka Fafunmi, have promised the people of the state a more robust and intelligent session in the next Assembly.


The tenure of the current Assembly will expire in June this year and the next Assembly would usher in a mixture of old and new members.


Against the backdrop of complaints in some quarters that the next Assembly would be dull since the 40 lawmakers that would make up the session are all members of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Ikuforiji and Fafunmi said the opposition members in the House have never influenced major decisions that would make them more useful than the ACN members.


The Speaker, who spoke during a courtesy visit to the state governor, Babatunde Fashola, in company of out-going and newly elected members of the House, said despite assuring the governor of their cooperation, they would not allow themselves to be compromised in the next four years.


“In 1999, the House had 37 AD members and three in the opposition and in 2003, the House had only one opposition member. In 2007, the House had three opposition members.


“If you look at that history, it is clear that there has never been a time since 1999 that the House had up to 10 per cent opposition members and if you look at the progress of the House, even with the opposition, the distance covered in the last few years is an indication that the opposition is not what makes the House thick, rather, it is the quality of members.


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“The sixth Assembly with its three opposition members was still able to make tremendous progress. We have done that without any hindrance by the opposition. Now that we are 40 from the same party, I can assure you that you would see a more robust House. We will cooperate with the executive arm, but that does not mean we will compromise our constitutional duties because we will work without fear or favour,” he said, adding that the House has been adjudged the best and most progressive in the country.


Fafunmi, who saw the complaint as funny, reminded Lagosians that the lawmakers are working in line with the party manifesto whose ultimate goal is the welfare of the people.


“A lot of people are saying that we cannot have the kind of robust debate that we used to have now that we have 40 members from our party in the House. In the 2007 Assembly, we had three opposition members, but how did they influence decisions in the House?


“It is if they have a manifesto that they can effectively cross-check with what the ACN is doing, but do they even have a functional one?” he asked while asking the people to “expect more intelligent deliberations at the next Assembly.


The Speaker, who said the visit was to commend the governor over the development in the state which reflected in the overwhelming success the party recorded in the last elections, further said the House would not be a rubber stamp of anybody in the course of its duties.


He said: “We have not come to visit the governor to satisfy anybody. We have come to satisfy our minds and the interest of Lagos. It is important that after such a hard work, after putting the governor on his toes, the governor should be commended. We cannot be a House that only criticises and doesn’t commend?”


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