CRITIQUING 1 YEAR OF 8TH ABIA ASSEMBLY: WHEN VILIFICATION AND DEMARKETING IS INFANTILE… by HENRY MADUBUIKE

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CRITIQUING 1YEAR OF 8TH ABIA ASSEMBLY: WHEN VILIFICATION AND DEMARKETING IS INFANTILE.

Politics is noble and it’s contributions to participatory Democracy cannot be undermined or deemphasized, given the fact that same politics is what elevates men to higher animals. Thus, little wonder man is described as a political animal or creature as it were, depending on one’s tilt or thinking.

Following the above, same politics seem to give every person the impetus to ventilate views, opinions or variegated political postulations, either rightly or otherwise.

Agreed, governance is no rocket science but in all intents and purposes, a very difficult task, meant for individuals with a level of elevated thinking, which presupposes adequate preparation, patience, mentorship as it were, nurturing and fully grasping the idiosyncrasies of the populace because values are not same, though general good suffices.

Now, politics can metamorphose into a Government but there is an ingredient that makes a Government a Democracy: the Legislature.

The above, simplicita, elucidates the fact and truth that there is no true Democracy without the Legislature, which many have opined to be the bastion of any or everything a Democracy stands for, making it imperative that same organ of Government, which is the bedrock of participatory Democracy, comes with lots of intricacies, rigour and tact to function and posture as the fulcrum of political participation.

Narrowing down this discourse to State Legislatures and Abia State House of Assembly in particular, it has become imperative to state that the consistent bullying of same Institution cannot be wished away or allowed to thrive without cogent clarifications and education, though it is accepted that the beauty of Democracy is criticism, constructively speaking.

The Abia State House of Assembly with special mention of the 8th House was inaugurated on the 14th of June, 2023, with 24 Members elected to represent their Constituencies from different political Parties.

Out of the 24 Members elected, 20 were First Timers, which gave room for some kind of acclimatization, though it cannot be precluded that one who aspires for a position of authority must be somewhat knowledgeable in that area, giving rise to the concept of Eligibility and Suitability.

That said, the Abia State House of Assembly with emphasis on the 8th House has not faired badly in their functions of Legislation, Representation and Oversight. Truth be told, politickng is over, as governance has taken centre stage, till the bells of campaigns and elections toll again.

Bills for example, are no mere expression of writing skills but in all intents and purposes, well thought out action plan which is targeted to making a good piece of Legislation for the good of society and actionable as well. Thus, it is not a garbage, garbage out jamboree.

A House populated by 20 Freshmen out of 24 and has entertained 15 Bills with 5 enacted as Laws and about 6 in the Committee of the Whole stage, where the t’s are crossed and the i’s dotted, should be applauded for their commitment to foster and engender astute understanding of a people based Legislation. Petitions numbering up to 50, Motions and over 40 Resolutions within a year, painstakingly being handled should be judged on its merit and not with vituperation tainted with crass hatred and ill-understanding of the workings of the Legislature.

Respectfully speaking, it must be put on notice that for example, the Oversight functions of the 8th Abia Assembly has been in all fairness very tactful and positively combustive, helping the Executive to initiate actions that foster good governance.

Firstly, at the inception of the 8th House, Abia State was bedeviled with numerous security challenges which prompted the Committee on Boundary and Security, chaired by the Deputy Speaker, Rt Hon Augustine Okezie to initiate an interface with heads of security establishment, in which the entire House’s Resolution, snowballed to the formation of Operation Crush, which has birthed tranquility, reasonably so, in the three Senatorial Districts of Abia State, with hotbeds of kidnapping and other criminal tendencies quelled with alacrity. This is verifiable.

It must also be brought to bare that what is of the essence is the quality of Legislation that emanates from a Legislative Institution. A piece of Law enacted can take as long as it can take to get the best of same. Painstaking research, public hearings, combustive debates and the currency of the crux of legislation are all ingredients that make for a quality Law, and not the quantity. This by way of elucidation is the major Legislative thrust of the 8th Assembly of Abia State.

Still dwelling on Oversight responsibilities, the 8th Abia Assembly did submit that there is no State without the Local Government components and saddled the responsibility of oversighting the Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs Committee on a seasoned Lawyer, grassroot politician with a tilt to capacity development and robust Local Government administration in Hon Chinasa Anthony, whose Committee till date, is traversing Local Governments in Abia State, fostering cohesion and spring of synergy, engendering the maximization of the potentials of the Local Government system.

While it is normal for a political animal to groan over the loss of a preferred candidate during elections, it is most germane to also appreciate that same is not a do or die affair, as there would always come another period of elections, where popularity is tested, instead of destructively doing mundane things to pull down the winner or occupier of an elective seat.

It would not be fair to conscience and good governance to orchestrate negative propaganda because the occupant of a political seat is not who one would have preferred, as sole decider of who wins or loses is the PEOPLE, who must be appealed to and convinced to accept the candidacy of an individual. Nothing more. Nothing less.

It would amount to puerile infantile spasms to say that legislative interventions have not been made, say in the he Environment and Urban Renewal sector of Abia State. For example, visible liaison has been cemented between the House Committee on Environment and Urban Renewal and the Ministry of Environment, Environmental Protection Agency, Environment Department of the Primary Healthcare Development Agency and the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to ensure a visible upgrade in Abia State, different from what it used to be.

For crying out loud all the above and more are within the first year of a 4-Year lifespan of the Legislature as regards the 8th Abia Assembly and some naysayers, who were hitherto beneficiaries of same Institution, hiding under the cloak of “freedom of expression”are churning out invidious lies and deceit to run down the 8th Abia Legislature without recourse to the fact that such amounts to demarketing the State apparatus of administration. The people decided. That should be all that matters.

Moreso, recommendations of the Legislature to the Executive are strategic and sacrosanct as such, has reflected in adjustments in areas where expectations are not optimal and such critical and strategic recommendations are not supposed to fly around the airspace or meet the caprices of wounded and negatively opinionated attention seekers.

Demarketing Abia State or any of it’s Institutions is the height of puerile maladjustment which need be expunged as a form of ventilation of opinion. While criticism, constructively speaking is welcome, there are channels through which same should be conveyed, not through the deployment of clannish sentiment or even the social media, which has given rise to calls by many for the regulation of that medium.

For purposes of further education, Bills for example are not the only reflection of the performance of the Legislature. Thus, for those about jumping into the lagoon of oblivion, dabbling into areas they do not have sufficient knowledge of it’s workings, should seek education and most importantly, deploy the use of common sense.

Leadership is not easy, though vituperation might make same look like bread and butter, uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.

In fairness to conscience, truth and good governance, the Abia State House of Assembly, with particular reference to the 8th House, within a year has faired reasonably well, a continuous work in progress and shall strive to reflect what it truly is: the People’s Parliament.

Demarketing the State Assembly within a year of it’s inauguration, with 20 out of 24 of it’s composition freshers, who have performed above average expectations will not be seen as the most rational thing to do.

Finally, conscience is an open wound. Only truth can heal it.

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