VALEDICTORY SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE RT. HON. (PRINCE) MATHEW O. KOLAWOLE, SPEAKER, KOGI STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY AT THE VALEDICTORY SITTING OF THE 6TH ASSEMBLY ON 3RD OF JUNE, 2019.

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It is my profound pleasure to on behalf of the distinguished Honourable Members of this noble House welcome you all to this Auspicious Valedictory Session to mark the end of the Tenure of the 6th Assembly in our State. Precisely on Thursday 4th June, 2015 in this Hallowed Chamber, His Excellency, Capt. Idris Ichalla Wada, the former Executive Governor of Kogi State inaugurated and issued a proclamation for the holding of the First Session of this August Assembly in fulfilment of the provision of Section 105 Subsection (3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended); a momentous decree that heightened the hope of all of us and the electorate we represent.

The proper interpretation of our Legislative mandate is 1,460 days. Here we are marking the end of the journey that started four years ago; little did we know we fly and end we come so soon. The next basic thing that we need to do is to give account of our stewardship to the people who gave us the mandate to be here.

My Hon. Colleagues, as we finally wind down our activities therefore, we must offer thanks to Almighty God who made it possible for us to witness this day and moment in good health. We rejoice by His Grace that we are still in our numbers as we were when we started and ending today without any of us falling off the track of life.

The doctrine of separation of powers as enshrined in the Constitution posits that the Legislature make Laws and oversight Executive conducts. The Executive on the other hand, implement the Laws so made while the Judiciary interprets and adjudicates where there is conflict. This presupposes that no particular Arm of Government can perform its functions without carrying others along. In other words they are interrelated and interdependent. The success of one Arm is dependent on the other and the failure of one is the failure of all. The legal framework that entrenched this inevitable interdependence in the functional relationship between the three Arms make governance a collective responsibility and cooperation a crucial element in the administration of State Affairs.

As a House, we have in the last four years worked in collaboration with the Executive and the Judiciary in consonance with the Constitution for harmony, peace and development. Thus the application of the principles of separation of powers only entails separate operations of the three Arms towards the focused goal of ensuring effective governance premised upon peace, orderliness, law and order, rule of law and above all welfare of the masses being governed. The present level of accomplishments in the State have been made possible due to the cooperation and mutual understanding between this August House and the other two Arms of Government.

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At this juncture, it is pertinent to state that the 6th Assembly in its life went through series of leadership conflicts. I beg to submit that leadership crisis within the Parliament if not part of the business, have being inevitable in most Parliaments. On this note, I wish to sincerely commend the maturity of every Member of the 6th Assembly during our trial moments. It is my hope and prayer that as we are stepping out as ex-Members of the 6th Assembly, we shall continue to accord each other the cooperation and love that sailed us successfully as a team. When we came into office four years ago, our collective vision was to salvage the image and reputation of the House by restructuring and redefining the process for better service delivery and engaging the public in legislative process.

Consequently we were enhanced and the Executive was better equipped to efficiently and fairly manage his New Direction Agenda and fix development. I give kudos to Hon. Members for making our mission a success.

I must say without fear or favour that we have in the past four years, despite inadequate infrastructure and other necessary facilities achieved remarkable success. We have worked hard using instruments of legislation and oversight machinery to effectively drive the economy and accelerate development of the state.

My Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasure to paraphrase our achievements within the space of four years. The years under review, we have considered a total number of 50 Bills. Out of these, 46 were successfully passed while 4 are undergoing process at different levels of Committee stage. Actions were suspended on others and sent back to Ministry of Justice for re-drafting while 1 one was rejected and withdrawn by the sponsor for lack of merit. It is also worthy to intimate you that a total number of 144 Substantive Motions have been tabled before the House, while a total number of 82 Resolutions emanating from both Substantive and Subsidiary Motions have been passed.

As mark of our commitment to good public service delivery, we passed Appropriation Bills in quickest possible time after proper and thorough Legislative scrutiny. Many of our Bills are potent enough to grow the economy and expand infrastructure for sustainable development. Our Resolutions and policy direction have far-reaching effects on the lives of our people as evident in the life transforming programs and the New Direction Developmental Agenda of the State Government. In a nutshell, we created more opportunities for our people to contribute to law making process through our result-oriented public hearings and other interactive activities. Through this means, we were able to restore public confidence in the Legislature. The impact of some of our laws may not manifest until years to come. However, we are confident that when the history of the 6th Legislature shall be written, posterity will acknowledge our efforts.

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Esteemed Honourable Colleagues, I am short of words to express my gratitude for your cooperation and unalloyed support given to the Leadership of this great Assembly. I appreciate all of you for giving me the opportunity to lead you as Speaker of the House and sincerely thank you for your counsels. May I crave your indulgence to say at this juncture that, ‘’no one ever ascended the stairs without the staircase and that no structure ever stands without a foundation’. It is in line with this undisputable adage, I refer to all Honourable Members of the 6th Assembly. We have maintained unity and remained focused despite our differences of political parties, tribes, tongues, talents and perspective. We worked together as one family and as we end our tenure and vacate our seats, we must rejoice and be proud of our collective service to democracy and the people that elected us to represent them.

Nevertheless, in the course of our duties, we must have offended some people, stepped on toes or could not reach you at all; I plead that we forgive and harbour no bitterness. As to err is human and to forgive is divine’, we must find a place in our hearts to forgive and continue to see ourselves as colleagues and comrades because together we have shared common joys in the triumph of democracy. Also, there are more avenues to correct these errors (if any). Once more, I congratulate and wish all of us success and God’s protection in our future endeavours.

Distinguished Honourable Members, this Valedictory address cannot be concluded without us acknowledging and appreciating the Executive Arm of Government under the able leadership of a selfless Servant, legacy maker, man of integrity and epitome of sincerity worthy of emulation, His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello for his immense support and contributions towards our achievements. His strong belief and magnanimity in the independence of the Legislature and Firm respect for the principle of separation of powers enhanced a harmonious working relationship between the two Arms. We commend his civility and matured leadership. We equally salute his prompt and quick attention to the signing into law the Kogi State House of Assembly Service Commission (Establishment) Bill. We are immensely grateful, more grease to his elbows and we pray to the Almighty God that he will be victorious and successful in his Next Level Agenda (Amen).

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As ‘Oliver Twist’, we are appealing to His Excellency to use his good offices to approve the release of funds for the House of Assembly Service Commission to properly take-off. We also plead with His Excellency to kindly facilitate the construction of a befitting office accommodation within the Assembly Complex for the Commission and offices for Honourable Members and staffs of the Assembly. If these requests are favourably considered and given accelerated implementation, I believe that the office accommodation challenges of the Commission and the inadequate office problems Honourable Members and staffs are currently grappling with, will be solved. We thank you sir for your cooperation in anticipation as we pray that God reward you in one million folds with good health and more wisdom as you continue to steer the ship of Kogi State.

I equally with high sense of respect and humility thank the Chief
of Staff to the Governor, Hon. Edward Onoja for his unalloyed support to this Honourable House. There is nothing we have achieved here without his input and support. Another person worthy of commendation is the Special Adviser to His Excellency on Legislative Matters, Hon. Haruna Okpanachi who is a repository of knowledge and a diligent Legislator. His ingenuous creativity and painstaking attention to details have added value to legislative responsibility of law making.

In the same vein, I wish to appreciate the entire staff of the State Assembly under the leadership of the Clerk of the House, Pastor Mathew Shuaibu Ireyi, Civil Society Organizations and the Press for your outstanding cooperation, dedication and hard work which had in no small measure contributed to the success of the leadership and entire members of the 6th Assembly. It is my humble hope that same gesture will be extended to the 7th Assembly when inaugurated.

We cannot but appreciate our wives, children, families and friends for the love, understanding, concerns and forbearance
throughout our tenure of four years in the 6th Assembly. May God in His infinite mercy reward you.

Finally, we thank the people of Kogi State and the general public for their commitments, responsiveness and support to all Assembly matters. We encourage you all to sustain this tempo to positively influence the quality of laws that are made to govern you. We also urge you all to give the incoming 7th Legislature the necessary support it requires for optimal performance.

Once more, congratulations to the outgoing and incoming Honourable Members of both the 6th and 7th Assembly.
Long live Kogi State!
Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria!

RT. HON. (PRINCE) MATHEW O. KOLAWOLE, Speaker.




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