My Toughest Moment As Lawmaker –Edoror | Independent Newspapers Limited
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My Toughest Moment As Lawmaker –Edoror

Posted: Jul 18, 2015 at 4:01 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Rt. Hon. Victor Sabor Tyga Edoror, Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, in this interview with Isaac Olamikan, discusses how he runs the affairs of the legislature without any clash with the executive arm of government. Excerpts…

Since you assumed office as the Speaker of the House of Assembly, how has it been in terms of your handling of your legislative duties?

Rt. Hon. Victor Sabor Tyga Edoror

Rt. Hon. Victor Sabor Tyga Edoror

I will say that it has been fine, only that you know it is not easy to run a government without funds.  You know, we assumed office at the peak of time when the economy of the country became highly bastardized by the former administration (at the centre) and it is like broken into pieces. We’re trying to pick them up. For the past couple of months, even before the end of the last tenure, we have not been paid our overhead (allocation) since. It was just this month that the Comrade Governor (Adams Oshiomhole) brought part of the overhead for us. We have been doing fine putting everything together to make sure the government is running smoothly. It has been very difficult for me to tell my members not to eat while working. I want to salute them for the courage, vigour and enthusiasm that have been exhibited as they do their work. It was difficult but we have started well.

Which has been your toughest moment as a lawmaker?

My toughest moment as a lawmaker should be when I was in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last assembly. It was so difficult for me to the extent that I was even kidnapped and the party abandoned me.  In fact, that was the toughest moment for me as a legislator, but as soon as I survived that I have been having it very smooth.

How will you describe the relationship between the legislative and executive arms of the government since you became speaker of the House?

The relationship between us (the legislative arm of government) and the executive has been highly cordial and we have been independent unless some rare occasions that I and the governor discussed. Outside that, we do our work and they do theirs. We do not interfere with each other but we complement each other. Our duty is to make theenvironment for them to operate conducive in so far as it is for the betterment of the people of the state. You can see that today we passed a resolution granting the state government the authority to participate in the restructuring of bank loan in the federalgovernment bond. We have seen that it will go a long way to bring fiscal stability to the economy of states, especially when you talk of short term loan.  So, I’ll say that the legislative and executive relationship is cordial. The governor has not mounted pressure on us and we are not demanding. We are determined to represent the people of the state in so far as it is geared towards bringing dividends of democracy to their doorsteps. I salute members of this 6th assembly. They are well-exposed; they are mature and we are having robust discussions.

Talking about the members of this 6th assembly, some people are of the opinion that this assembly has not been as active as previous ones. Do you think this assessment is okay?

I can beat my chest to say that so far as we have gone, I don’t think that there will be anybody that will say this assembly is not as proactive or active as any other assembly. But the truth is that we are doing fine and we are always concerned with the subject-matter that will affect the people of the state and matters that are brought before us. Not until a matter is brought before you, I think you cannot really talk about it. But so far, what we have heard in the chambers, in our executive sessions, are laudable ideas that are embedded in the members of this 6th assembly, and this has convinced me that this assembly is going to be very proactive, productive, and equally would be determined to represent the people effectively.

The present House of Assembly is composed, to a large extent, of new members. Has this in any way affected the legislative business?

Lucky enough, the new members are more than the old members, but it will surprise you to know that these new members are highly exposed; they have been in different facets of life; some were local government councils’ chairmen; some were NDDC representatives; some were commissioners, etc. To me, their contributions during debates, and even during executive sessions – their maturity has shown that the productivity of this House of Assembly is going to be very high and the people of the state will really enjoy them.  We have people who will represent them very truly.  The Edo State people don’t have any cause to worry because I can vouch for the new lawmakers.

You just mentioned that the majority of these new lawmakers are highly influential. How are you able to ‘manage’ these ‘superstar’ lawmakers?

We are one in the House of Assembly. They have been very cooperative and I am not a new comer. I am an old timer. I have very high wealth of experience. I have served in so many capacities. Even as a student, I have led students in this country. I have led students in states and on campuses. With the relationship that we have now, we are fine. We are enjoying ourselves even when there is no money, we are managing our poverty.

What message do you have for the people of the state?

My message is that they should be calm; they should channel all their problems to us (lawmakers); we’ll do our best to represent them well and solve their problems, because our goal is to attract dividends of democracy to their doorsteps. We want to make a change in this state. We are very lucky to have been on board in the time of Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole as governor of the state who has demonstrated that he means well for the state. We have no option than to cooperate with him; act as a catalyst towards enhancing the fast actualization of all the dreams that he has for the state. I equally join him in this transition period to make sure that the person that will succeed him, under our own tutelage, will be a man who will mean well, who will be able to maintain the standard that Oshiomhole has set in these eight years.