Nigerian Concord Newspaper
The Benue state chapter of the People’s Democratic Party has accused the speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr. Aondona Dajoh of turning members of the 10th Assembly in Benue to stooges of Governor Hyacinth Alia.
This was contained in a press statement signed by the Publicity Secretary of the party in the state, Mr. Bemgba Iortyom while reacting to the committee which the Speaker set up to look at the policy document of Gov. Hyacinth Iormem Alia and draw up a guide for synergy between the executive and the legislative arm of government that would accelerate development in the state.
According to the Benue PDP in the statement, Dajoh’s action is amounted to turning the 10th Assembly to a rubber stamp for the governor.
The statement reads:
It is in the news that Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Hon. Aondona Dajoh, yesterday inaugurated a committee to craft a document that will set agenda for the 10th Assembly under his leadership.
A statement from the office of the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Akume Raphael, tagged “DAJOH SETS UP COMMITTEE TO DRAW AGENDA FOR THE 10TH ASSEMBLY” averred that a 5 member committee which “comprises of technocrats and seasoned academics has been given the mandate to look at the policy document of His Excellency, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia “a strategic Development for a Greater Benue” and draw up a guide for synergy between the executive and the legislative arm of government that would accelerate development in the state”.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue State finds such a step as wrong and leading not in the direction of the core mandate area of the legislature which is aggregation of the yearnings and aspirations of the people and oversight over actions of the Executive arm of government towards achieving good governance.
The Speaker would have been on the right track had he first set in motion a machinery through which members of the Assembly under his leadership will aggregate the needs of their constituents towards developing a holistic legislative agenda as will target to address the developmental needs across the state through peoples focused legislative action.
The inauguration of the 5 man agenda setting committee which terms of reference, as reported, derive from the development blueprint of Governor Hyacinth Alia, is a red flag indicating the Benue Assembly Speaker is minded to having the Legislature under him serve more as an errand running appendage of the Executive.
PDP understands that it is the responsibility of the Executive to craft its own agenda and where necessary bring same before the Legislature which must then scrutinize and streamline such agenda to ensure it meets the needs and aspirations of the people for good governance and development.
Moreover, the Speaker as a member representing just one out of the 32 constituencies in the state cannot from the confines of his office, using a committee of persons who are not elected representatives of the people, set the agenda for the rest of the constituencies which people are based in the predominantly rural and remote areas.
Mr. Speaker’s committee could be useful to his office in many other ways, but certainly it is totally outside of his brief to seek to have it set any legislative agenda for the 10th representative assembly of Benue people when their duly elected representatives are yet to interface with them towards setting any agenda for them.