The 9th Kwara State House of Assembly has, in the last two years, been working to rekindle the hope of the common man in the state. The legislators, who were sworn in on June 10, 2019, have been involved in serious legislative activities that cut across lawmaking, over-sight function, and confirmations of series of appointments presented to it by the Executive led by Governor AbdulRazaq.
Though, majority of the present members of the house of assembly are new, except a lawmaker representing Oke Ogun/Offa State Constituency, Saheed Popoola, who was part of the 8th assembly, the lawmakers have been working in unison towards providing a new direction in the lawmaking processes that will be capable of advancing the needs, aspirations, and yearnings of the people.
It is on this premise that the members of the house, led by its speaker, Hon. Yakubu Danladi-Salihu recently rolled out drums to celebrate their second anniversary as lawmakers representing their various state constituencies at the assembly complex located along Asa Dam Road, Ilorin. He said the day was significant because it marked the completion of the first half and the beginning of another legislative year.
Danladi-Salihu said it was a day that should be characterised by stock-taking and appraisal of their past activities as it is also the one that will birth a roadmap for seamless legislative activities in the years ahead. The celebration also coincided with the screening and confirmation of three commissioner- nominees sent to the house by the state governor.
Danladi-Salihu added: "This ninth Assembly has been able to prove its mettle beyond."
Reeling out the assembly's achievements in the years under review, the lawmaker said: "No report presented on the floor of the house ever ended up on the shelves. They are rather ones that generated robust debates among honourable members on the floor and on which resolutions were forwarded to appropriate quarters for actions.
"As partners in progress with the executive arm, the resolutions of this house since assumption of office have assisted in very significant ways in reshaping governance in the state. The house has also since inauguration in June 2019, passed a total of 14 bills while 32 motions have been moved with resolutions passed on them."
In the bid to enable the present administration in the state fulfill its campaign promises to the people, the speaker said: “We have always ensured that consideration and passage of all money bills, especially the appropriation bills, conform to the yearnings of the people, as well as international set standards.
"The house has also ensured that all bills and other legislative functions affecting key sectors such as health, education, Social security, youth employment, and job creation, land and housing, commerce, women affairs, people with disability, child rights, works, and transport, etc. received the desired attention.
"Also, we did not leave provision of infrastructure solely in the hands of the executive as we facilitated in our various constituencies, construction of classrooms and health facilities, sinking of boreholes, the opening of rural roads, etc., under the grassroots development project, an initiative of the present administration in the state that commenced in 2020. All the projects under this initiative have been completed and delivered for the use of our people.
"You will recall that during my first-anniversary speech, I did acknowledge that the modest achievements already recorded by us in our first one year were enough to forecast the good things in the delivery of dividends of democracy that the good people of Kwara State stand to enjoy under the administration of Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.
"I also did say that that record was a tip of the iceberg on the goodies coming the way of Kwarans from the present administration. I did not mince words in assuring our people that we were poised for better service delivery in the years ahead."
The speaker hailed the governor for his austere and altruistic attitude to governance: "I will say that Mallam Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq is a God-sent governor at this material time. He is a man that means well for the state. He is not a governor that is materialistic, that is why the administration can boast of many projects in these last two years."
During the screening of the commissioner-nominees, one of the nominees Salman Jawondo submitted that the just concluded industrial action by judicial workers was ‘a right action’ done at the wrong time.
Jawondo, who was re-nominated by Governor Abdulrazaq a few days ago, was untill the dissolution of the state cabinet by the governor in December 2020, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice.
Disclosing the steps Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq's administration had taken to decongest police stations and correctional facilities across the state, Jawondo said before the dissolution of the state cabinet by the governor in December last year, he was aware that the state government had come up with the idea of having lawyers posted to all courts in the state to speed up 'trial process'.
While it was well established that anyone who commits an offence should ordinarily be arraigned within 24 hours, he said the fact that the police will investigate and still take suspects to court has slowed down ‘trial processes’.
After their confirmation by the house, Danladi-Salihu prevailed on the Commissioner-designate to reconcile all the warring All Progressives Congress (APC) members in their respective wards and local government areas.
Speaking on the assembly leadership in the last two years, a chieftain of the APC in the state and a national chairmanship aspirant of the party in the forthcoming national convention of the party, Alhaji Saliu Mustapha said: "By all accounts, the Kwara State House of Assembly under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Yakubu Danladi has performed beyond expectations in the last two years. They have delicately balanced their roles as both watchdogs and gatekeepers of government.
"By the nature of our constitutional democracy, a legislature is never conceived as an antagonist of the executive. They are guards and guides for each other. They are essential partners in the progress of the state.
"From my vantage observations so far, the Kwara 9th Assembly has lived up to this responsibility. They are a model in a healthy and productive legislative-executive relationship in a presidential system of government.
"I am particularly impressed by the political sagacity of the Speaker of the Assembly, Hon. Yakubu Danladi, and the Majority Leader of the Assembly, Hon. Mogaji Olawoyin, both of whom I have known personally for over a decade now. They have been able to maturely navigate the polity against all odds.
"But these gains notwithstanding, I believe there is still room for improvements. The assembly needs to step up its oversight functions in the state. Their job is made easier by an executive that is consciously transparent and always willing to open its books for scrutiny.
"Therefore, as the assembly moves to its third year, I am hopeful that they will do more to further deepen democracy in the state. Our party and the people look forward to more robust and more responsive legislation in the days ahead. I am confident that they will live up to it."
By and large, the assembly has been at the forefront in the task of making good laws that have gone a long way in advancing the lives of Kwarans positively and this would serve as a good platform to usher in good governance at the doorsteps of the rural populace.