The Oyo State House of Assembly members bided farewell as valedictory sitting to mark the end of the 8th assembly was held on Friday, June 7, 2019.
The valedictory sitting, which was attended by top government functionaries led by the state’s Head of Service, Mrs. Amidat Ololade Agboola and representatives of Commissioner of Police and National Security and Civil Defence Corps, witnessed recap of activities of the House by some members in the last four years.
Speaker, Rt. Hon. Joshua Olagunju Ojo in his goodbye message, said that people’s participation in politics should not stop at elections. He called on the electorates to hold all political office holders and government appointees accountable to ensure delivery of their campaign promises.
While speaking on the scorecard of the House, Hon. Ojo pointed out that the 8th assembly has enacted laws to support the legislative arm of government in addressing challenges of security, improved Health system, Education sector, as well as environment in the state. He stressed further that out of 87 bills the House considered 70 of them have been passed into law.
Hon. Ojo attributed the success recorded by the 8th assembly to the doggedness, maturity and unity exhibited by members to form a common front in surmounting challenges and hiccups confronted them.
For the record, here is the speech delivered by the Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Joshua Olagunju Ojo JP at the Valedictory Sitting on Friday, June 7th, 2019.
All adoration, praise and thanksgiving be unto our God for preserving our lives and keeping us together until this day. It is with great joy and gratitude that I address you my dear Honourable Colleagues, Management and Staff of the Oyo State House of Assembly.
The word of God says, “How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity”. This verse aptly describes the relationship within the Members of the eighth Assembly hence I termed it “The House of Unity”. I can boldly say that the Lord has been good to us; for that, we once again give all praises, honour, adoration and glory to the almighty God. There is no doubt that this Valedictory Sitting calls for bountiful thanks and appreciation to our maker, the Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent who has been our help for ages. By His special grace we were able to effectively perform our legislative functions with high level of patriotism.
The journey has not been all that smooth; there have been some challenges and hiccups which were surmounted, thanks to the doggedness of and unity amongst the Members. So much water has passed under the bridge but we thank God for we are still standing strong. At this juncture, I like to state that however bright the sky is, there will be some dark patches. During the course of our tenure, we lost two of our Members to the great beyond, Hon. Gideon Aremu and Rt. Hon. Michael Adeyemo. We shall continue to remember the indelible marks they left behind. I like to mention in particular the late Speaker, Rt. Hon. Michael Adesina Adeyemo, whom I succeeded. He departed this sinful world on 27th April, 2018, his death left sore taste in our mouths. We loved him but God loves him most, I belief his spirit has not left us. We are consoled by the fact that his legacies can never be obliterated. He was a workaholic, humble, forthright and visionary leader.
At this point, I like to express my profound gratitude to my distinguished colleagues who magnanimously found me worthy to take the seat of the Speaker after the demise of late Rt. Hon. Michael Adeyemo. I am forever grateful. I wish to sincerely thank you all for your unalloyed support and cooperation I received as the helmsman of the legislature. A tree they say does not make a forest; you did proof that to be indispensable allies. All your efforts have collectively brought the ship of our tenure to a safe berth today. To God be the glory!
A journey of a thousand mile, they say, begins with a step. As you will recollect, it was in this chamber that the 8th Assembly was inaugurated on the 10th of June, 2015. Our coming together was never by design but by providence. On assumption of office, we had the mission to garner our wealth of experience and instrument of the legislature to turn around the fortune of our dear state, ‘Oyo’. Today we can boldly say we have contributed immensely through enactment of people oriented legislations to bring about desired development in the state.
ENACTMENT OF LAWS:
In the performance of our legislative functions, the 8th Assembly was able to consider 87 bills out of which 70 have been passed into law, while 17 are under processing. We were proactive and visionary in our actions hence, we were able to enact laws that addressed the challenges within the state in the aspect of Security, Health, Education, Environment, Works and Transport, Housing and Ecology to mention a few, such laws are:
i. Oyo State Kidnapping (Prohibition) Law, 2015
ii. Oyo State Education Trust Fund Law, 2016
iii. Oyo State HIV and AIDS ( Anti-discrimination) Law, 2016
iv. Oyo State Health Insurance Agency Law, 2016
v. Oyo State Primary Healthcare Development Agency Law, 2016
vi. Violence Against Women Law, 2016
vii. Smoking Regulation Law, 2016
viii. Person with Disability Law, 2017
ix. Oyo State Real Properties Protection Law, 2016
x. Oyo State Infrastructural Maintenance and Control Agency Law, 2016
xi. Inspection, Grading, Movement of Produce Law, 2017
xii. Oyo State Environmental Protection Agency (Amendment) Law, 2016
xiii. Oyo State Security Trust Fund (Amendment) Law, 2016
xiv. Private Veterinary Premises and Veterinary Establishment (Regulation) Law, 2017
xv. Oyo State Animal Feed Mill Law, 2017
xvi. Oyo State Inland Fisheries Law, 2017
xvii. Oyo State Coroners Law, 2018
xviii. Oyo State Road Traffic Management Authority (Amendment) Law, 2018
xix. Oyo State Revenue Administration Law, 2015
xx. Oyo State Finance Law, 2016
xxi. Oyo State Finance Law, 2017
xxii. Oyo State Mineral Development Agency Law, 2017
xxiii. Oyo State Finance Bill, 2018
xxiv. Oyo State Gaming Law, 2018
xxv. Oyo State Community Service Law, 2016
xxvi. Administration of Criminal Justice Law, 2016
xxvii. Oyo State Mediation Centre (Amendment) Law, 2016
xxviii. State Proceedings (Amendment) Law,2016
xxix. Oyo State Multi-Door Court House Law, 2017
xxx. Customary Court Law, 2017
In considering of some bills that seemed controversial, the House organized public hearings and obtained views of the stakeholders. The views were collated and synthesized to come out with acceptable and implementable laws.
THE Assembly also embarked on oversight functions wherein Committees engaged in inspection and monitoring of projects and programmes embarked upon by t5he executive. The activities of the Committee did discover some discrepancies and deviations which had to be re-addressed by the executive.
CONFIRMATION OF APPOINTMENT:
In the area of statutory appointment, the Assembly confirmed the appointment of State Commissioners, Chairmen and Members of the Statutory Boards and Commissions such as Civil Service Commission and Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission.
The Eighth Assembly handled varied inter-governmental, community, trade unions, group and individual conflicts, most of which were amicably resolved. When there was dispute between the Executive and Labour Union (NLC & TUC) in the state, it was the intervention of the Assembly that assisted in getting early resolution. In the same vein, the intervention of the Assembly on the LAUTECH trade dispute prompted the Executive Arms of Oyo and Osun States to put in place palliative measures that revived the Institution’s Academic activities when it resumed after eight months of industrial action by the staff of the Institution last year.
The legislature has also successfully resolved conflicts amongst the members of the public, some of which bordered on land disputes, commercial and personal matters, you will all remember the Bororo/Fulani and farmers crisis in Oke- Ogun and Ibarapa axis of the state which was abated through the intervention of the House.
CONSTITUENCY EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMMES:
The Honourable Members engaged in several and diverse programmes such as sponsoring youths in learning of some trade (ICT, Hairdressing, Barbing, Fashion Designing, Mechanic e.t.c) and provision of working tools after freedom. Farmers were assisted with chemicals, improved seedlings and farm implements and finance. Traders in some constituencies were given financial assistance to boost their business. Youths in selected constituencies were empowered with Keke Napep, Motorcycles and so on.
TOWN HALL MEETINGS:
The eight Assembly in collaboration with Konrad Adenaeur Stiftung (KAS) and National Orientation Agency (NOA) organized town hall meetings in some constituencies in the state. The town hall meetings have been a veritable means of information for the constituents. It has been used as avenue for educating the constituents on the roles/functions of the legislators, their achievements and challenges. The town hall meetings were interactive and expository.
The House has upgraded both the House of Chiefs and the Western Hall which were in a very poor state to well furnished facilities. They are now being used by government for all its activities. The places are also patronized by the general public thereby being a source of revenue to government.
SAVING COST ON TRAINING AND TOWN HALL MEETINGS:
The House sourced for assistance from NGOs to train legislators and staff locally and internationally. These include Konrad Adenaeur Stiftung (KAS), DFID as well as Nigeria Institute of Legislative Studies, Abuja. We also collaborated with KAS and NOA to hold town hall meetings in various constituencies which would have cost the government over #1m per constituency.
Be that as it may, Executive-Legislature relationship had been very cordial all along though atimes it had not been rosy but God helped us to manage, so that government business might not suffer. On our part, we did the best we could to ensure a smooth Executive-Legislative relationship in the past four years. We also appreciate the co-operation of the immediate past governor of the state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi and his team; worthy of mention is their standing solidly with us during our trying moments.
At this juncture, I want admonish the electorates in Oyo State not to leave politics for political office holders alone. People’s participation in politics must and should not stop at the ballot boxes only but the electorates should hold political office holders and government appointees accountable for their deeds and actions. Doing so would guarantee more dividends of democracy and ensure that our elected representatives perform optimally. I also want to appreciate the press, especially radio stations for their various phone-in programmes for people to respond to the claim of stewardship of elected representatives. Much as I appreciate these radio stations, I would want them to vet all their news items before they are broadcast. They should be guided by the ethics of their profession and should refrain from sensationalism that could malign people’s characters.
Finally, Honourable colleagues, we meet to part and we part to meet again, it is not how long but how well, I pray that our departure shall not be into calamity and sadness but rather to everlasting prosperity, sound health and elevation to higher positions of authorities.
To staffers of the Oyo State House of Assembly, I thank you for your hard work, endurance and patience. You have been diligent in your work. I thank the immediate past Permanent Secretary and Clerk of the House, Barrister Paul Ishola Bankole (mni) and the Incumbent Clerk, Ms Felicia Foluke Oyediran for the ever dynamic roles they played; I pray that, you continue to be successful in your endeavour and career. I thank you all and God bless.
Long live Oyo State House of Assembly
Long live Oyo State
Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Thank you all and God bless.