Ali Ahmad's 1st Anniversary Speech

Date: 2016-06-09

BEING THE TEXT OF THE SPEECH DELIVERED BY RT. HON. DR. ALI AHMAD, SPEAKER, KWARA STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ON THE OCCASION OF THE 1ST ANNIVERSARY OF THE 8TH LEGISLATURE IN KWARA STATE ON THURSDAY, 9TH JUNE, 2016.

Hon. Colleagues,

Let me congratulate you on the first anniversary of our inauguration as Hon. Members of this august House and thank you for the warm and unflinching support I have enjoyed from you all in the last one year.

As you are all aware, the Kwara State House of Assembly like other State Assemblies in the Country derives its powers from Section 4 Subsections 6 and 7 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

That part of the Nigerian Constitution vests in the State House of Assembly the powers to make Laws, amend Laws and repeal Laws for the peace, order and good Governance of the State. The House therefore has the mandate to make Laws that will impact positively on rule of Law, equity, equality, accountability and transparency in the Governance of the State without prejudice or conflict with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Fed. Rep. of Nigeria as (amended).

Going down memory lane, let us recall the return of democratic rule in 1979 that birthed the 1st Legislature in Kwara State which was inaugurated in the Indoor Sports Hall of Kwara State Stadium. That Hall served as the Legislative Chamber of the State Assembly up till the 3rd Legislature in October 1992 when legislative business was moved to this present location. Ever since that time up till the last dispensation, the Legislature in the State, I must admit, has not been found wanting in the discharge of its Constitutional responsibilities.

Hon. Colleagues, I must admit without equivocation that this current 8th Assembly which I am privileged to preside over is peopled by individuals of Sound and mature minds. Reasons for these are not farfetched as it is in further keeping faith with the mantra of Kwara as a State of Harmony. The electorate in the various constituencies have therefore made the right choices by electing this crop of Hon. Members to represent them in this hallowed Chamber.

Let me say with all sense of modesty and without appearing to be blowing our own trumpets ourselves that with this set of Legislators, Kwara has never had it this good. The numerous landmark motions leading to Resolutions speak volume of the robust debates that came up on subject matters that are of immense significance to governance and by extension, the well being of the good people of Kwara State. It is also noteworthy that the Kwara State House of Assembly has enjoyed relative stability and is one of the few Houses of Assembly in the country that has not witnessed impeachment of Speaker since the return to Democracy in 1999.

For the record, this Hon. House has in this first session passed six (6) Bills while three (3) others are at various stages of consideration. Most importantly is a private Member Bill: Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Bill, 2015. Which is at the Committee Stage. Forty three (43) Motions have been moved and the resolutions adopted have been forwarded to appropriate Government agencies for implementation. The Hon. House also considered twenty three (23) Reports arising from Matters of General Public Importance and various Petitions from the Public. You will all agree with me that the motions taken on Proliferation of filling stations in Kwara State, the call for the construction of Ilorin-Jebba Road that culminated into the relocation of two Houses of Assembly of Niger and Kwara to the site, investigation into the SUBEB activities which led to the Biometric Screening of Civil Servants in the State by the Executive arm are all indicators of the unprecedented democratic gains to Kwarans.

These motions and Resolutions all bordered on the wellbeing of the good people of Kwara State with some even delving into subject matters considered too sensitive or hitherto considered ‘’no-go-areas’’. Laudable as these modest achievements appear, we are of the conviction that they remain a far cry from our projections at the inception of this august House. The reason for this is quite obvious as this Hon. House is not insulated from the national economic recession that has hampered the activities of Governments all over the Federation. Paucity of fund occasioned by national economic recession has therefore affected the performance of the constitutional functions of the House. However, in spite of these daunting challenges, Hon. Members have not wavered in the performance of their roles both at Committee levels and at Plenary Sessions.

Another notable achievement of this Assembly is the successful hosting of the Workshop on Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) for Speakers of the thirty six states of the Federation within five (5) months of inauguration. The good memory of that event which also featured the rancour free election into the Leadership of the Conference of Speakers of state Legislatures in Nigeria is not one to be forgotten in a hurry.

I must therefore commend you my dear colleagues for your steadfastness and the doggedness with which you performed your assigned roles in the House even in the face of the daunting challenges. Let me assure you that in sessions to come, the Hon. House will rededicate itself to that firm belief in the people and our activities will remain people centred. Also in years to come, the House will look into the various factors that have hindered the performance of its legislative functions. Salient issues such as review of House Rules and the likes will take centre stage while capital projects such as construction of additional Committee Rooms which is already captured in the 2016 Budget would be seen to fruition. The House standing and Special Committees shall be strengthened and reinvigorated with a view to making them more effective and efficient in the performance of their role as the engine room of the legislature while efforts shall be intensified to ensure that Hon. Members get exposed to foreign legislative study tours as is the custom.

Let me seize this opportunity to thank all that stood with us during the loss of one of our dear colleagues, Hon. Musa Moses Afolayan representing Oke- Ero Constituency. We really miss him. We prayed to the Almighty God to be with all he left behind. It is also worthy of mention here that we now have a replacement from our party for the seat in the last By- Election conducted. I want to welcome the new Member- Elect and urge her to quickly catch up with the Parliamentary process.

I wish to congratulate her as she is now the true bearer of the people of Oke-Ero in this House. I must also commend the good people of Oke-Ero for their display of maturity, high sense of discipline and love for you, your family, the party (APC) and our dear Leader, Dr. Olubukola Saraki CON. We are indeed blessed to have the number three citizen from the State. I pray that the State begins to reap the attendant benefit of this exalted position. Why should we not reap the benefits when Kwara has paid its dues through the support of all Kwarans as led by Dr. Saraki? Why should we not be in the forefront considering the selfless efforts of this indomitable Kwara son during the Campaigns that brought the Government to power? Why should we not when, unlike in all other States where by-elections have been held since inception of the APC government, our party has not recorded such a sounding success anywhere else as it did in Oke-Ero? Why should we not expect extensive developments including rehabilitation of all major roads leading to the State such as Jebba-Ilorin Road, Ajese-Ipo- Erinle Road and Patigi – Kpada Road? Indeed “we aint see nothing yet”, as the Americans would say.

This speech will not be complete if I fail to also acknowledge and appreciate the cooperation, understanding and harmonious relationship that this Hon. House has enjoyed from the other arms of Government in the year past. I must specially thank the Governor of Kwara State and indeed members of the State Executive Council for their prompt attention to House Resolutions.

My sincere appreciation also goes to the management and staff of the House of Assembly for their cooperation, hard work and dedication to duty.

I also wish to thank the members of the third Estate of the realm, the press for their effective coverage of all events and activities of the House and urge them to keep supporting us in our bid to strengthen democracy in Kwara State while the good people of the State reap the benefits, maximally.

Thank you and God bless.

 

 


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