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Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, Sen. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, has asserted that inability on the part of the legislature to effectively play its constitutional role of making relevant laws as well as ensuring checks and balances is contributing to leadership failure in the country.

Senator Ewhrudjakpo, who made the assertion when the leadership of the Bayelsa State Councillors Forum paid him a courtesy visit in Government House, Yenagoa, at the weekend.

Describing the legislative arm as a very important organ of government, he noted that a situation where legislators abandon their statutory responsibility assigned to them by the people to pursue selfish and primordial partisan interests does not augur well for democracy and development.

A statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr Doubara Atasi, however, pointed out that the Deputy Governor did not absolve the executive from the current political, economic and insecurity crises bedevilling the country.

The Deputy Governor rather stressed that while working in harmony with the executive and judicial arms of government, the legislature can hold them accountable for the good of society as done elsewhere in the world.

Senator Ewhrudjakpo was emphatic that “Nigeria is where it is today because of the sycophantic tendencies being exhibited by some powerful legislators, who fail to show effective leadership particularly at the national level for others to follow”.

Addressing the present crop of elected local government councillors in the state, he charged them work hard to bequeath worthy legislative legacies at the end of their three-year term in office, for their people to remember them positively.

According to him, they need to be fully conscious of their role definition as legislators at the third tier of government and avoid unhealthy rivalry with the executive arm of their various councils.

Senator Ewhrudjakpo also charged the one-month old councillors to be innovative in the legislative business by enacting by-laws to improve governance at the local government level.

“You should know exactly what councillors are to do, and what the executive arm is to do. Your roles are not competitive, but complementary.

“Legislators have not played their roles well enough in this country, that is why Nigeria is facing serious leadership crises today. The level of sycophancy displayed by the legislature, especially in recent times, is unprecedented.

“For you, you have the opportunity to write your names in gold on the marbles of history, if you are focused on the lawmaking business for which you were elected.

“There are a lot of by-laws you need to make at the local government level. So you must take advantage of everything you were taught in your pre-inauguration training and be innovative as legislators.”

Earlier, the Chairman, Bayelsa State Councilors Forum, Hon. Israel Asuma, said the visit was to formally introduce the leadership of the forum to the Deputy Governor as well as request his guidance as a former legislator as they embark on the 3-year legislative journey

Hon. Asuma, who explained that the composition of the executive of the Councillors Forum cut across all the eight LGAs, promised that they would enact laws to promote development and prosperity in their respective local governments.


Mr Doubara Atasi

Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Deputy Governor

Bayelsa State

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