The Oyo State 8th House of Assembly has held its valedictory sitting at the Hallowed Chamber of the House of Assembly complex, Agodi, Ibadan.
The Honourable members of the House unanimously expressed appreciation to the Almighty for the preservation of life and to the people of the state for the opportunity to serve, in their various constituencies.
The members noted that the Assembly started well and ended well despite challenges faced along the way, adding that it was a rare privilege to be elected to serve and be able to maintain peace in the State.
The Speaker of the House, Hon. Olagunju Ojo, while delivering his valedictory address gave thanks to the Almighty for His special grace and the ability to effectively perform legislative functions with high level of patriotism.
He said although the journey was riddled with challenges and hiccups, such were surmounted as a result of the doggedness of and unity among the members.
Hon. Ojo stated that, “During the course of our tenure, we lost two of our Members to the great beyond – Hon. Gideon Aremu and also former Speaker, Rt. Hon. Michael Adesina Adeyemo.”
The Speaker requested the House to observe a minute silence in honour of the souls of the departed, stating that the indelible mark left by their late colleagues would be remembered.
Ojo remarked that the Assembly, on assumption of office, had the mission to garner their wealth of experience and instrument of the legislature to turn around the fortune of the State.
He noted that, “Today we can boldly say we have contributed immensely through enactment of people oriented legislation to bring about desired development in the State.”
Speaking on the performance of the legislative functions, the Speaker revealed that the 8th Assembly was able to consider 157 Motions and 87 Bills, out of which 79 have been passed to law, while 17 are under processing.
Some of the laws passed by the lawmakers are, Oyo State Kidnapping (Prohibition) 2015, Oyo State Education Trust Fund Law 2016, Oyo State HIV and AIDS Law 2016, Oyo State Health Insurance Agency Law 2016, Violence Against Women Law 2016, Smoking Regulation Law, 2016, Oyo State Security Trust Fund (Amendment) Law, 2016 among others.
Hon. Ojo declared that the House organized public hearings for some Bills that appeared controversial, engaged in inspection and monitoring of projects and programmes embarked on by the executive, confirmed some appointments, performed some quasi-judicial functions by resolving various conflicts and engaged in several constituency empowerment programmes, among other functions.
On the relationship between the Executive and the Legislative arms of the Government, the Speaker stated that, “Executive-Legislature relationship had been very cordial all along though at times it had not been rosy but God helped us to manage, so that Government business might not suffer.”
He admonished Oyo State citizens not to leave politics for political office holders alone. He said people’s participation in politics should not stop at the ballot boxes but political office holders and Government appointees should be held responsible for their deeds and actions.
According to Ojo, “Doing so would guarantee mode dividends of democracy and ensure that our elected representatives perform optimally.”
Concerning the implementation of the Bills passed, the Speaker noted, “That one is left for the Executive arm of the Government and that is another challenge with the 9th Assembly that is coming. We have the Implementation Committee, they still have to work very hard to make sure that all the laws being made are fully implemented.”
He further stated that the Executive arm of the Government should make sure that all motions, not just laws, that are made on the floor of the House are fully implemented, noting that the Lawmakers cannot make laws and also implement them.
Out of the 32 members of the 8th Assembly, six lawmakers, including Majority Leader, Kehinde Subair representing Ibadan Southwest Constituency, Chief Whip, Olafisoye Akinmoyede representing Lagelu and Deputy Chief Whip, John Olaleru representing Kajola constituency, were absent at the final plenary.