The Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has said he is not interested in a state assembly that is a rubber-stamp for the executive, but one where lawmakers engage constructively and freely air their opinions on governance-related issues.
He said progress can only be achieved when the executive and legislative arms of government synergise in a very responsible manner in the overall interest of the people.
Fayemi, who spoke in Iloko-Ijesa at a three-day retreat organized by the State Government for National and State Assembly lawmakers-elect in the State, stated that his administration does not want a rubber-stamp legislature or “a cantankerous Assembly” but one which would partner with the executive arm to deliver the goodies of good governance to the people of Ekiti State.
The Governor said the fact that the next Assembly is dominated by members of the All Progressives Congress does not mean that the lawmakers cannot voice out their opinions on issues.
He however said such opinions should be constructive and reflective of the interests of their constituents and in the overall interest of the state.
Fayemi said: “Being of the same party does not mean you will not have your opinion. We are not in the business of running a herd but for me, there is nothing wrong in critical reflection, constructive criticisms with interests that are peculiar to your constituency which you may want to push but which may not necessarily be the interest that is of priority to government.
“They (Ekiti people) are the ones who elected you into office, you have a duty to represent them well but you also have the duty to speak truth to them on certain information you have which they may not have about whatever request they are making to you which government is not able to do in the short term.”
While speaking on the rationale behind the retreat, the governor explained that it was important for the two arms of government to synergise in order to help the State return to its pride of place among the States, adding that his administration believes in exposing the legislative arm to international best practices and capacity building that would help them function effectively.
Fayemi stated that his government sponsored the fourth Ekiti Assembly to five foreign retreats to boost their capacity and had a couple of weeks ago sponsored the outgoing House of Assembly to South Africa even though they were not availed such opportunities by his predecessor.
He added that the outgoing Assembly deserved commendations for working in collaboration with the executive since he became governor last year, not minding the party difference between him and majority of the members.
He said: “It is imperative for us to understudy the importance of the legislature because whatever we want to do with the pillars of governance, if we don’t have the appropriate legislation to back our actions up, we run the risk of them not being sustained over the long term, that is why we cannot overemphasise the need for collaboration between the executive arm and the legislature.
“We are therefore here to prepare for the needed synergy on how to help the state take its pride of place among other States in line with the pillars of this administration.”
Fayemi promised to provide support for the incoming lawmakers to succeed in their quest to serve the people of Ekiti State.