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Stakeholders State Positions as Lagos Assembly Plans Institute of Legislative Studies

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When passed into law, the proposed Institute of Legislative Studies being considered by the Lagos State House of Assembly will be the first in Nigeria to be backed by law.
This was made known the Director of the National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies, Abuja, Dr. Shuaib Danwaka, at a stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos on Friday in consideration of the bill for the state’s version of the Institute of Legislative Studies.
Danwaka, who was the guest speaker at the event, said that the institute is predicated on the need to provide training for lawmakers and legislative staff.
He commended the Assembly for following the footsteps of the federal government while arguing that democracy is sustained through capacity development.
“The bill is to establish the institute that would provide capacity so that the Assembly would be able to discharged its duties of law making and oversight.
“The duties of the legislature cannot be discharged without capacity. With the institute the capacity of the legislature and staff is guaranteed and it will go beyond Lagos and Nigeria,” he said while noting some parts of the bill that should be considered.
Like Danwaka, Prof. Sylvester Odion Akhaine, a Nigerian activist and academic, supported the bill, but noted areas that could be reviewed.
The bill sponsored by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon.(Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, shows that the proposed institute is to be charged with the responsibility of conducting quality academic and professional research, training and advocacy on democratic governance, legislative practices, procedures and for connected purposes.
According to the bill, the institute would act as a centre of excellence for research and publication on democratic governance as well as be a centre for continuing education on democracy and legislation.
Among other functions, the institute is to “conduct courses for all categories of legislative officers and the support staff with a view to expanding their overall knowledge and performance in different sections of service;
“Provide continuing education for all categories of legislative officers by undertaking, organising, conducting and facilitating studies, courses, lectures, seminars, workshops, conference and other programmes related to Legislative education;
“Promote and disseminate among legislative Assemblies and Local Governments in the State the practice of science-based methodologies of lawmaking.”
The institute is to also disseminate information through the publication of books, journals, records, reports and other means regarding its activities subject to the approval of its Board.
“The institute would also promote and protect constitutional due process in legislative practices and encourage private sector participation and collaborate with national and international organisations on research and training on issues relevant to its mandate,” the bill stated.
The institute will also have the power to conduct periodic short and refresher courses for National and State legislators, staff, committee secretaries and political aides on democracy and good governance.
It will provide research reports to aide legislation for the House of Assembly, its committees as well as the Legislative Drafting and Legal Services of the House.
The institute will have a council which would comprises the Speaker as Chairman, or at his instance, the Deputy Speaker and five serving members from the five Divisions of the State, who would b nominated.
Others members of the council will include the Chairman, House of Assembly Service Commission, the Clerk of the House of Assembly; and the Director-General of the Institute who would be the Secretary.
The bill states that members of the council other than the ex-officio members will hold office for a term of four years and may be eligible for reappointment for another term of four years only.
A member of the council may resign from the appointment by giving one month notice in writing.
In his keynote address, the Speaker Obasa, represented by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Eshilokun-Sanni, said that it was the tradition of the House to organise stakeholders meeting before any bill is passed into law.
Obasa recalled the establishment of the Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies by former President Good luck Jonathan in 2011 adding that the proposed institute in Lagos would enhance governance.
Earlier, the Chairman of the House Committee on Education, Hon. Ganiu Okanlawon, said that the meeting was aimed at involving relevant stakeholders and members of the public in the process of passing the bill.
He said that the institute would provide education for lawmakers and all kinds of legislative officers through seminars, workshops, conferences and other forms of training.
This was corroborated by the Chairman of the House Committee on Tertiary Education, Hon. Owolabi Ajani, who said that the Assembly would do what was expected of it before the bill is passed to the Governor for his assent.
The overview of the bill was done by the Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, who said that the legislature is the major arm that differentiates a democratic from a military government.

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Government Plans Social Welfare Packages for Policemen Working in Imo

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Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma (2nd right) cuts the tape to Commission operational vans he donated to the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Imo State Police Command. With him is Imo Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abutu Yaro (2nd left) and others when the Governor paid a Condolence visit to the Police Command Headquarters, Owerri on Tuesday

Government Plans Social Welfare Packages for Policemen Working in Imo

Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma (2nd right) cuts the tape to Commission operational vans he donated to the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Imo State Police Command. With him is Imo Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abutu Yaro (2nd left) and others when the Governor paid a Condolence visit to the Police Command Headquarters, Owerri on Tuesday

Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma (2nd right) cuts the tape to Commission operational vans he donated to the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Imo State Police Command. With him is Imo Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abutu Yaro (2nd left) and others when the Governor paid a Condolence visit to the Police Command Headquarters, Owerri on Tuesday

Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma (left) receives a survenir from the Imo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abutu Yaro (right), when the Governor paid a condolence visit to the Police Command Headquarters, Owerri on Tuesday

Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma (left) receives a survenir from the Imo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abutu Yaro (right), when the Governor paid a condolence visit to the Police Command Headquarters, Owerri on Tuesday

OKPU UGOCHUKU (Oweri)

Sponsored by: H&H

Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State has said that his government was working out a Social Welfare package to encourage policemen and all security agencies working in Imo.

The Governor dropped the hint on Tuesday when he paid a condolence visit to the Police Command in Imo State to commiserate the leadership and personnel over the death of some of their members at the peak of insecurity in the state and in their efforts to repel the bandits who attacked them and their formations in the State.

The Governor said that the social welfare package is “aimed at motivating and encouraging the security agencies in the State, and enhancing the performance of the security men and boosting business activities in the State so that the welfare of Imo people will be guaranteed.”

The Governor also highlighted the need to insure all the policemen serving in Imo in addition to what the Nigerian Police Force has in place already for her personnel.

He said: “We intend to insure men and women of the Nigerian Police working in Imo State to an extent that where there is any casualty not only the palliative measure will be provided by the government, the Insurance Company will take the responsibility of making sure that the liabilities and obligations of those who died, including family obligations will be contained in the policy.”

Governor Uzodimma who expressed serious sympathy for those who lost their lives in an effort to secure Imo State and its people, noted that  “in everything we do in life, what will be will be and what will not be will not be,’’ emphasizing that the Nigerian Police is the last hope of the common man in terms of security.

“If the Nigerian Police is challenged, the security and protection of Nigeria is challenged,” the Governor said, adding that “Government will not only partner with the police, but will do her best to supply in sufficient number, what they need to succeed in their operations.”

He reminded the officers and men that their role is critical in the society and commended them for having played such role very effectively.

Governor Uzodimma also advised the officers and men to show courage in the discharge of their duties whenever the bandits try to test their professional competence. He encouraged them to defend themselves as mush as possible from any external aggression that threatens their lives and that of the property entrusted in their care.

The Governor commended the Police Commissioner in Imo State, Mr. Abutu Yaro and his team for their gallantry and assured them that they are not alone in their effort to restore peace and security in Imo. He prayed God to always be with them in their effort to protect lives and property in Imo State.

The Governor reiterated that Government is doing all within her powers to reach out to all families that lost their loved ones recently, including their children and wives, and extended his condolences to the entire police formation and families of the victims in Imo State who were affected in the effort to return sanity to Imo State.

In addition, the Governor appealed to all Divisional Police Officers (DPO’s) in Imo state to ensure that all criminals in the local governments, communities and rural areas are arrested and made to face the law. He promised that at the State level all who had been found culpable and confessed to crime will be charged to court and made to face the law.

The Governor thanked the Inspector General of Police (IGP) for the support he gave to Imo State during the time of the crisis.

He also expressed sincere gratitude of the Imo Government and her people to President Muhamadu Buhari for accepting to support Imo fight insecurity through the State Command.

Finally, the Governor enjoined all politicians who are involved in the crises and bloodletting business in Imo State in particular and Nigeria in general, “to repent and refrain forthwith or be ready to face the wrath of God.”

Earlier in his welcome address, the Commissioner of Police, Imo State Mr. Yaro had welcomed the Governor on the visit, describing the visit as significant in three ways.

“First, it is the first time in 40 years of Police formation in Imo State that a Governor will pay a condolence visit to the Police Command in the State.

“Secondly, the visit has demonstrated to a large extent the cordial relationship as well as the value the Governor attaches to the Police operations in Imo State.

“Thirdly, the visit has rejuvenated the morale of the Police Command to the highest level which acts as a boost and encouragement for the police to bounce back to do what they know how to do best.”

Yaro used the opportunity to reassure Imo people that the State’s police formation is back to her normal duties, “which goes to mean that Imo is back to business.” He called on Imo people to come out and go about their normal business without molestation and harassment.

He further thanked the Governor for all his support to the police and urged Imo people to cooperate with the his officers and men as the police is your friend.’’

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Lagos Assembly Calls for Engagement With Agitators, True Federalism

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Obasa

Lagos Assembly Calls for Engagement With Agitators, True FederalismObasa

AJAGBE ADEYEMI TESLIM (Lagos)

Sponsored by: H&H

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday called on the federal government to engage agitators across the country rather than employ the use of force.

This is as the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, argued that the use of the military in an attempt to quell agitations for secession would not yield the desired result since it is part of democracy for a people to speak out concerning how they are governed.

Obasa, who noted that the 22 years of unbroken democracy being enjoyed by Nigeria is worthy of celebration, however, said there many things yet to be done after so long adding that these had led to the tension in the country.

The Speaker, who made the comment during the debate on a motion about the 22 years of unbroken democracy in Nigeria raised by Hon. Setonji David, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing an executive order granting autonomy to state legislatures and judiciary and for honouring the late MKO Abiola with the declaration of June 12 as democracy day.

Noting that democracy is a wholesome package, he added: “It is not about electing us alone. Those that elected us also have freedom, they have the right to protest where they think things are not working.

“The right to protest should not be taken away from them as long as such right is not taken for granted.

“There is no crime in seeking for separate nations within an existing nation,” he said as he mentioned some countries where the citizens have called for disintegration.

“Those representing the people through the ideology of social contract must listen to the people,” he said urging the government to engage the groups and calling on the National Assembly members to go beyond weeping on the floor of the House and truly rejig the constitution.

“For the southern governors, having stated their position, they should not go to sleep. They should follow it through,” he urged.

Concerning the issues of insecurity, the Speaker said: “We will continue to cry that we have state police and devolution of power.”

He said restructuring, which he described as part of the solutions and not a problem, should have addressed economic challenges and poverty level just as he lamented that the Naira has continued to fall against the Dollar.

He praised Lagos as the true example of democracy and promised that the state would continue to lead in this area.

The House observed a minute silence in honour of the late MKO Abiola and all those who lost their lives in the course of the struggle for democracy.

Earlier in his contribution, Hon. Rotimi Olowo described the current constitution as fraud.

“This 1999 constitution amended so many times can no longer be embellished. It is fraud,” he said as he called for the semblance of regionalism where the interest of the minority is taken care of.

To him, the current amendment is another effort in futility and a new constitution reflecting the will of the people has to be produced.

Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu suggested an overhaul of the constitution while noting that some items on the exclusive list be devolved.

On his part, Hon. Bisi Yusuff noted that Nigeria’s democracy is not a true reflection of the will of the people adding that the constitution was promulgated through a decree.

Supporting the motion, Hon. Desmond Elliot said Nigeria will not progress more than it is now if the constitution is not overhauled.

Other lawmakers who spoke concerning the motion include Hon. Tobun Abiodun, who complained that states are not allowed to manage their resources, and Hon. Kehinde Joseph, who noted the high level of insecurity in the country.

The House also called on the National Assembly to ensure true federalism while it urged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the government to engage in enlightenment of the people on security consciousness.

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Lagos Assembly To Investigate Cause of Delay In Selecting New LASU VC

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Obasa

Lagos Assembly To Investigate Cause of Delay In Selecting New LASU VC

Obasa

Obasa

AJAGBE ADEYEMI TESLIM (Lagos)

SPONSORED BY: H&H

The Lagos State House of Assembly has ordered it’s Committee on Tertiary Education, headed by Hon. Ajani Owolabi to investigate the cause of the delay in selecting a new Vice Chancellor for the Lagos State University (LASU) and report back to the House in a week.

The matter was raised as Urgent Matter of Public Importance by the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade during plenary on Tuesday.

According to Agunbiade, LASU is currently having an acting Vice Chancellor as a new VC is yet to be selected for the institution.

The Majority Leader stated that a committee was raised towards the end of the tenure of the last VC of the institution, Professor Olanrewaju Fagbohun, but that the committee was dissolved because one of the three shortlisted candidates did not have PhD as he was said to have possessed just a university fellowship.

He said that, when another committee was raised they did an advertisement and said that someone with fellowship of an institution could apply for the office.

He added that nine persons were shortlisted, but that the second process has also been put on hold.

“Now, LASU does not have a VC or Governing Board. LASU has dropped from number two in the country to number five. Something must be done urgently about the selection of a new VC for the university.

“The House Committee on Education should be asked to commence investigation into the issues in LASU and come up with recommendations.

“The Lagos State Governor should also see into the issues surrounding the selection of a Vice Chancellor for the institution,” he said.

Speaking on the matter, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon
Mudashiru Obasa said that the process of handing over from one administration to another has always been a problem in the institution.

“We eulogised LASU over it’s feats recently only for the issue of succession to draw the institution back.

“They have regulations on how a VC should be selected. They did a test for the people shortlisted for the office and their marks were very close to one another.

“They should have selected one of the shortlisted candidates. But I believe that there is more to what is happening in the institution despite what we are seeing,” he said.

The Speaker then ordered the House Committee on Education (Tertiary) to investigate the matter and report back to the House in a week.
In his contribution, Hon. Ganiu Sanni (Kosofe 1) said that the issue of LASU is taking a worrisome trend despite it’s achievements over the years.

Okanlawon recalled that LASU was number two in Nigeria and between the first 500 to 600 universities in the world.

“What is happening in LASU is a clash of interest and intra campus politics.

“They all want to have stronghold in the affairs and activities of LASU. This will cause problem if there is no moderation.

“The advert for the position of Vice Chancellor stated that the person that would be the VC could be a fellow or PhD holder as stated in the law that established the university.

“I don’t know why that caused an issue now. The Govenor should take a bold step and take decisive actions. We must consider professionalism, competence and experience in the selection,” he said.

Another lawmaker, Hon. Desmond Elliot (Surulere 1) said that over 50% of the lawmakers in the assembly were graduates of LASU.

Elliot said that LASU has grown in leaps and bounds, and that accolades kept growing for it before the latest problem occured.

He then called for a seamless transition from one government to another in LASU.

This was corroborated by Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti Osa 2), who called for a stoppage to the noticeable lacuna in the selection of a new Vice Chancellor for the university.

In his comments, Hon. Rasheed Makinde (Ifako/Ijaiye 2) said that the issue did not project the image of the institution properly.

Makinde stated that the institution would be 38 years old and that they were being giving subvention so that the school could develop, adding that it is regrettable that crisis comes anytime a new VC is to be appointed in the institution.

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