Ogun Speaker Tasks Councillors Forum On Standard Legislative Practice, Promotion Of Mutual Interdependence - THE NEW DAWN ONLINE

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Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Ogun Speaker Tasks Councillors Forum On Standard Legislative Practice, Promotion Of Mutual Interdependence

Caption: OGHA Speaker, Rt. Hon. Olakunle Oluomo


For the third tier of government to remain the stimulus of grassroot development, its legislative arm must be ready to engage in more robust and meaningful debates, pass bye-laws that will position the local government councils for socio-economic prosperity and promote mutual interdependence with their council chairmen through diplomacy and tolerance.

The Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Olakunle Oluomo, dropped the hints today while speaking as a guest speaker during the opening ceremony of the 2021 South West Zonal conference of the National Councillors’ Forum of Nigeria held at the Valley View Hall, Government House, Oke-Igbein, Abeokuta.

Oluomo, who canvassed for the socio-economic development of the grassroot people, noted that the founding fathers of democracy had established that the Local Government legislative council remained pivotal in ensuring public accountability at the Local level through their oversight functions, public hearings, investigations and other quasi-judicial roles.

“As we all know that the legislative arm of government, being the fulcrum of democratic practice remains fundamental in promoting good governance, as it is the heart of democracy to the extent that some schools of thought had argued that it is the only government institution that symbolizes true representation, promotes social justice, equity and equality. This is because its members are elected representatives of the larger populace saddled with law making, ensuring quality representation coupled with the onerous task of oversight on other arms in a democracy. 

Through deliberations, the Local Government legislature reflects public opinion on various issues as it acts as the most effective forum for articulation and expression of public opinion. Without mincing words, the legislature acts as a link between the public and the government. 

At this moment of our nation’s history, having to talk about, “the Political and Electoral Values of Councillors in a Sustainable Democracy and Grassroot Governance”, provides an opportunity to further reflect on what is essentially expected of us as legislators at the Local Government level, knowing full well that it is practically impossible for all residents of a country, society or council area to directly participate in governance, the legislature thus, affords them the opportunity to nominate or elect representatives to the Legislative Houses to represent them. 

Also, strategies and plans must be put in place by councillors for the councils’ legislative arm to serve as a forum in which demands and diverse interests of various groups in the society are well identified and articulated. Once such interests and demands are articulated, the legislative organ can play an important role in reconciling them and achieving compromise.

In the Local Government for instance, different groups usually put forward diverse interests through the elected councillors, who take them to the Chairmen for proper handling. This is known as interest aggregation role of the legislature.

If we are to raise the bar of performance as legislators to further advance grassroot governance and the nation’s sustainable democracy, especially at the grassroot level, we must prioritize issues that involve justice, equity, protection of life and property, enhanced participation, preservation of the rule of law and improved living standard of the rural people. Governance is termed bad, when it fails to achieve these purposes. 

Good governance is about the performance capacity of a government or as it relates to leadership capability", the Speaker submitted.

Earlier in his remarks, a member representing Ikorodu Constituency II in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Nurudeen Omolaja, counseled them to always make good use of legislative instruments like plenaries, debates, oversights and good relationship with other arms as well as be in close touch their constituents  for better performance.

On his part, the President of the Councillors’ Forum, Hon. Alimi Alowonle, noted that the forum was meant to sensitize members on their roles towards engendering grassroot development through effective and standard legislative practice.

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