May 22, 2024
We have responsibility to harness potential, maximize benefits for people of Lagos
We have responsibility to harness potential, maximize benefits for people of Lagos
– By Alison Godswill

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We have responsibility to harness potential, maximize benefits for people of Lagos

By Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa

Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Executive Governor of Lagos State; our highly esteemed royal fathers here present, Captains of industry, leaders of our pace-setting party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Community leaders, Chairmen of Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas; members of Diplomatic Corps; market men and women; our energetic youths; members of the 4th Estate of the Realm; all Lagosians; ladies and gentlemen.

My distinguished colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, with profound gratitude, a strong feeling of honour, and an unwavering commitment to living up to the high standards set by you, I accept your gracious decision to elect me as the Speaker of the 10th assembly of the Lagos State House of Assembly. Today’s gathering is historical in the sense that it is the day I set the pace as the first legislator to be elected a record six times and the first to be Speaker for three consecutive terms in Nigeria.

Foremost, we owe a debt of gratitude to the Almighty Allah, the All-Powerful, for the success of the 10th Assembly’s opening session. To Allah’s holy name, I give thanks, for it is He who made it so that I would serve as your Speaker for the next four years. Therefore, with all sense of responsibility, I make bold to declare to all Lagosians and indeed my colleagues that I shall continue to give my best.

Importantly, let me immensely thank Lagosians and Nigerians for voting our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the just concluded elections which resulted in the emergence of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the re-election of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the Governor of Lagos State and the overwhelming victory of the candidates for the Lagos State House of Assembly. The victory which we recorded at the polls is a testament to our avowed commitment to sustaining and upholding democratic values and principles through effective policy formulation, implementation and evaluation.

I want to thank Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his usual support for the legislature and further commend him for his respect for this House, his neutrality, guidance and advice. His defence of the legislature from external forces and manipulations cannot be de-emphasised. Dear colleagues, we stand here today as a testament to Mr. Governor’s commitment to good governance and his efforts to build a better Lagos for all. Permit me to use this medium to congratulate him also on his recent inauguration as the seventh democratically elected Governor.

In the same vein, this event affords me the opportunity to commend the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) for the role played by its members, 20 years ago, resulting in the independence of the legislature in Lagos to decide its leadership. For this, I say THANK YOU SIR to those who partook in that critical decision, the current members and those who are now resting.

To the leadership of our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), starting from the President of this nation, Ashiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, members of the G16, especially our party chairman, Hon. Cornelius Ojelabi, I say a BIG THANK YOU for all your usual support.

My deepest appreciation goes to my constituents in Agege for their continued support and belief in my vision for a better and more prosperous Lagos. It is truly humbling to be given the opportunity yet again to serve them and our dear State in this capacity. I promise to work tirelessly with my colleagues to ensure that we continue to uphold the legacy of excellence for which the Lagos State House of Assembly is known.

Dear Lagosians and Nigerians, issues relating to the removal of fuel subsidy have been on the front burner for some days with opposing views. While I understand the current plight faced by citizens, I want to urge us all to embrace this policy as it has lasting positive effects on all of us and our country. We can take a clue from the introduction of the mobile communications networks in Nigeria years ago and how they were beyond the reach of many citizens. Today, mobile phones are everywhere and calls are cheaper.

Distinguished colleagues, Lagosians, the 10th Assembly have been proclaimed today. To achieve our goals, we will need to work hard, be innovative and most importantly, stay united. As Honourable members, we must abstain from being purveyors and sponsors of negative publicity and publications about this House. Such publications do no one any good, but destroy the image and reputation of the Parliament as well as its leadership. Let’s always be conscious that excessive desperation does not achieve anything good.

As we begin a new chapter in the history of this Assembly, I want to affirm my commitment to the principles of transparency, accountability and good governance. My goal is to ensure that every member of this Assembly is respected and valued, and that we work together to provide effective representation for the people of Lagos state.

Lagos State is a great state with even greater potentials and we have a responsibility to harness these potentials and maximise them for the benefit of our people. We must prioritise the welfare of our constituents and ensure that our policies and legislative framework are geared towards meeting their needs. Under my leadership, this House will operate an open and inclusive administration where all members are carried along and given equal opportunity to contribute towards the development of the State.

We cannot achieve greatness working in isolation. Therefore, I encourage all the branches of government to work together in harmony to ensure that we build a Lagos State that we can all be proud of. Together, we have an opportunity to build a better Lagos, a Lagos that provides equal opportunities for all, a Lagos that is safe and secure, a Lagos that is a model for sustainable development in Nigeria and the world.

As a responsible and responsive House of Assembly, our legislative agenda for the 10th Assembly are: To promote and strengthen legislative institutions from State to local government level; recommitment to the establishment of a Centre for Democracy and Legislative Studies; to review the old laws with a view to bringing them to modern reality, especially laws that established agencies, parastatals that are no longer viable; to rejig our regular legislative consultation; and to ensure prudent fiscal and financial policies through robust and engaging legislation.

Lagos is a Yoruba Land as against the assertions of some people that it is a no-man’s land. Therefore, part of our legislative agenda is to ensure the translation of laws passed by this House to Yoruba Language. We also aim at achieving our collective goals of creating a robust legal framework that protects the interest of our people. Going forward in this wise, we are going to employ all legal instruments for the support of the indigenes of Lagos. There would be laws and resolutions in the areas of economy and commerce, property and titles and we will reverse all that are reversible to protect the interest of the indigenes.

Management staff and personnel of this great institution, I implore you to do everything in your power to ensure this administration’s success. We promise to keep our campaign promises to the people of Lagos and to ensure that everyone benefits from the dividends of democracy. We appreciate the help from the media, the ‘4th Estate of the Realm’. We would appreciate it if you could assist us more by projecting the good image of this Assembly as usual. The success of this 10th Assembly should be a top priority.

To sum up my points, the sanctity of the legislature as an independent body is adequately provided for in the Constitution in accordance with the principles of Separation of Powers. In this regard, no other arm of government is allowed or permitted to interfere with the functioning and independence of the legislature in a manner that would make legislature become subservient or subordinate. It must be underlined that in any constitutional democracy, the legislature must be allowed to operate independently, especially in line with the Section 101 of the Constitution which confers on it the power to regulate itself, without violation.

To improve the Legislature and establish good governance, my fellow colleagues and I must be steadfast and remove any and all obstacles in our path. I have faith that we will succeed. This esteemed House shall sustain our cordial relationship and robust cooperation with the Executive arm of government. However, let me state clearly that we shall not compromise the sanctity of our institutional independence and constitutional roles. We further expect that resolutions passed by this House are given favourable considerations just like bills passed by this House.

Lastly, I solemnly pledge my commitment to serve this House with humility, honesty, and dedication. I urge my colleagues to join me in this commitment, and together we shall leave a legacy of excellence that generations yet unborn will be proud of.

*BEING THE ACCEPTANCE SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE SPEAKER, RT HON MUDASHIRU OBASA DURING THE INAUGURATION OF THE 10TH ASSEMBLY OF THE LAGOS STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ON TUESDAY, JUNE 06, 2023

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