13th September, 2011
Today marks 100 days when the 7th Legislature in the Ogun State House of Assembly was inaugurated.
The lawmakers, as part of activities marking the day, declared that it throws its weight behind Freedom of Information Act (FoI), urging public office holders to embrace the Act to ensure accountability.
Speaking with our correspondent this afternoon in his office at Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, the Chairman House Committee on Information, Pastor Olayiwola Ojodu, representing Abeokuta North Constituency, submitted that the Act would facilitate accountability in public offices.
Ojodu, who re-echoed the achievements of the House of Assembly earlier listed by the Speaker of the House Rt.Hon. Surajudeen Adekunbi, promised that the House would intensify efforts on quality representation, legislation and oversight functions before the next 100 days.
According to him, “the freedom of Information Act globally is the main thing. For a long time now, in Nigeria, we have been clamouring for it and thank God that at last we have it. The Act is wonderful, it is about accountability.
“It is about giving access to public records. The governed must be given access to know how they are being governed and when they ask the leaders for any information about how they are being governed, they should give them the needed information.”
He however ruled out the fear that the Act might be abused by the public.
Speaking about the relationship between the executive and legislative arms of government in the state, he described it as ” very cordial”, saying members of the Assembly are only concerned about how the state would be rebuilt and not working on the basis of selfish interest.
While assessing the activities of the members of the House, he said “so far so good, in the area of legislature, we have done well by passing several bills. We have proceeded to oversight functions.”
The House which was inaugurated 6 June, 2011, escaped bomb attack following the discovery of explosives under the carpet within and outside the chamber on the day of its inauguration where over 20,000 people including the state governor, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun had gathered for the ceremony.
This development has made the lawmakers to beef up security in the Assembly complex, this was attested to during the screening of the Commissioners and the members of the Transition Committee of all the 20 local government council area of the state whereby many people were screened before allowed to entered while many others were sent back on the ground that they have no business therein.
By Abiodun Onafuye/Abeokuta