The Elites Network for Sustainable Development, a Kwara State-based civil society organisation, has berated the state’s House of Assembly for dismissing bills from members of the public and civil society groups.
The group knocked the Assembly, saying it was worrisome that the KWHA that was supposed to give priority to requests from members of the public has been turned to a place where a public request can be swept under the carpet without any hope of being attended to.
The group expressed disappointment at Razaq Owolabi, representative of Share/Oke-Ode Constituency (and Chairman of House Committee on Health and Environment) in the 9th Kwara State House of Assembly, who appeared on a radio programme and denied knowledge of a bill seeking to repeal the Kwara State governor and deputy governor (Payment of Pension) Law 2010.
“Neither the Speaker nor any member of our Assembly has received any request about Governor Pension Law as at today. No member of the 9th KWHA has raised it on the floor of the house,” Owolabi said.
Responding to Owolabi, Coordinator of ENetSuD, Dr Alagbonsi Abdulateef, expressed disappointment in the Danladi-led 9th KWHA on how requests of public origin are being handled in recent times.
He said that since the inauguration of the ninth state assembly, 10 bills were brought before the state Assembly, adding that eight were passed while two were not attended to.
The two bills left unattended by the Assembly were those that emanated from the public, while the remaining eight bills emanated from the governor and Assembly members.
Abdulateef said, “The negligence and lackadaisical attitude of the 9th KWHA on these two bills of public origin show that the Assembly does not value ideas from the members of the public, which is against the doctrine of participatory governance that is driving many developed nations.
“It is very shameful to learn that a public request to repeal an obnoxious pension law for past governors and deputy governors was received by the Speaker of KWHA but not announced to other members of the Assembly after 166 days.
“Is the public now at the mercy of the Speaker to determine which request will be made known to the House?”
Abdulateef said it was not clear whose interest the Speaker was protecting, questioning why the request of the public submitted to his office to repeal the governor and deputy governor (Payment of Pension) Law 2010 was not brought to the attention of other House of Assembly members.