Akinsola – Lagos Assembly Not A Rubber Stamp | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Akinsola – Lagos Assembly Not A Rubber Stamp

Posted: Jul 27, 2016 at 3:19 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


Hon. Adebimpe Akinsola, former member, Lagos State House of Assembly, is now Special Adviser on Arts and Culture to Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode. In this interview with AUGUSTINE ADAH, she spoke on the achievement of Lagos State House of Assembly and other issues.

As a member of 7th Lagos State House of Assembly, how would you assess the performance of the present 8th assembly so far?

When you assess the Lagos State House of Assembly, it is above excellent. It has been an excellent house of assembly since it was established and it has not gone down. Members of other state houses of assembly are learning from us. The standard has not been reduced and in the past one year, so many laws were passed by members of the assembly and some bills are right now under consideration. So if I am to objectively assess the house in the past one year, I would say they have performed above expectation.

What is your view on the allegation in some circles that many state Houses of Assembly have turned themselves to another organ of the executive as all they do is to please the governor?

Well, I can only talk about Lagos State House of Assembly where I know and have been before.  I know our state assembly members are not rubber stamp. If I may take you down memory lane, since the return of democracy in 1999, majority of the members of the Lagos State House of Assembly and the executive have always been in the same political party, despite that they do their job as it is supposed to be. In the 7th assembly where I was a member, I was part of the Appropriation committee, and any time the executive brings the budget for passage, we spent a lot of time looking at the budget dispassionately to the extent that we do sleep in the assembly. We did that to ensure that the job is thoroughly done before the budget is passed into law. Aside that, various committees supervising the MDAs would first do their job before passing it to Appropriation committee which would take time to study the whole details. In some cases, where we do not understand some things, we call both the commissioner for budget planning and the governor to come and clarify such things to us. Therefore, I am bold to tell you that Lagos State House of Assembly is not a rubber stamp even now  that practice is still in place, kudos to  his Excellency, the present governor  of the state Akinwunmi Ambode who would  not want us  to do anything  or embark on any policy without seeking the approval of the state assembly. We don’t do anything anyhow, whatever we want to do; we always liaise with them and ensure that we move Lagos State to the highest level.

Lagos State government recently banned street trading, but some people believe that the action was taken in bad faith. Why did the government take the decision without providing an alternative?

I know that the government did not take that decision in bad faith but it was done for the well being of the generality of the people in the state.

But people are worried that the state government did not provide alternative places for them. Is the government considering that option?

I believe the government has the interest of the masses at heart because it can never take any decision to hurt or increase the suffering of the people. I know that the government is aware of everything that the people are going through. As I said earlier on, the decision was taken in the best interest of the people and the appropriate agency would make a statement on that at the right time.

 What programme are you putting in place that would bring cultural rejuvenation in Lagos State?

The policy of Akinwunmi Ambode, governor of the state is anchored on what we can describe as THESE. It means Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment and Sports for Excellent. For us in art and culture, what we are doing is rebranding. Very soon we will roll out our programme because we have a lot of hidden heritage and cultural values that has not been tapped. One of the mandates of my office is to protect the unique cultural heritage of the Lagos people which we have them all over the places like Badagry, Epe, Ikorodu, ikeja and Lagos Island.  The troupe that did a presentation at the installation of new Oba of Igbogbo came from arts and culture and we are on the verge of rebranding that. Very soon we are going to rebrand the existing Eko Akete band to compete with other cultural band in the country and other parts of Africa especially in a technology driven society.

 How do you see the emergence of a new Adeboruwa of Igbogbo?

It is a new dawn in Igbogbo community; first and foremost, the new Oba is a young man, a lawyer by profession and a seasoned civil servant who has served in the ministry of Justice and Physical Planning. He is a man that is very respectful and was brought up in this Igbogbo community who has the feeling of the people at heart.   We are very happy in Igbogbo because before the late Oba could be installed after the death of his predecessor, I know very well because I was not that very young we had problem for 14 years before we could resolve the problem. This is my first time to witness how a staff of office is being presented to Oba because as I told you earlier, the last  exercise  many of us could not witness it because by the time the exercise was conducted, many of us were afraid to go and witness the ceremony. But you can see what has happened that the exercise was devoid of crisis. My prayer is that his reign would continue to usher in more peace and prosperity in the area. I also pray that he would live long because he is still a young man. I would advise the people of Igbogbo to cooperate with him so that we would have a peaceful reign in the community.