Bickering in APC after AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq Lambasts “Incompetent” Assembly Members


David Titiloye

The media space in Kwara state has been agog with reports of the bickering between the Kwara state governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and the state assembly members after the embattled governor threw them under the bus by bringing their failure to the full glare of the public at the commissioning of a “constituency project” of another assembly member, Hon. Owolabi.
The governor in his remarks at the event described the 23 other assembly members of APC as not only being incompetent but also claimed they have been siphoning the funds earmarked for their “constituency projects”. While I feel no remorse for the lawmakers who reduced the legislative arm to becoming an appendage of the executive whose head has now dealt a major blow to their reelection campaign by confirming to their constituents that they have done no good whatsoever, the statement by the governor also exposes the anomaly that happened under this administration which is against the principle of checks and balances.

The major responsibilities of the legislature are lawmaking, representation and oversight of the executive while the executive is to implement, however, it has been revealed that this administration in a bid to reward loyalists in the house made a kangaroo arrangement without a bill being passed or a law being enacted, for the state assembly members to nominate projects to be executed in their constituency under a “scheme” described as “Grassroot development project” which is modelled after “constituency project” of the national assembly. The major issue with this kangaroo arrangement is that after each lawmaker nominates the project with location, no room is given for bidding of contract, no procurement process, everything is done and executed like a secret cult without due recourse given to the principles of checks and balances or standard procedures in government.
This kangaroo arrangement allows for each lawmaker to be given a sum of money directly alleged to be ten million naira (#10,000,000) for the execution of a “grassroot development project” which is an absolute anomaly and against the responsibility of a lawmaker. In saner climes, including the National Assembly of Nigeria, each lawmaker can only nominate projects to be executed which will then be handed over to MDAs for the execution. No lawmaker anywhere in the world is given money directly for the execution of a constituency project. Who exactly performed oversight by monitoring the execution of those projects for which the governor was seen lamenting that the funds were siphoned? This is against their core responsibility and it is unfortunate that there was no informed, right thinking person to note this to the governor and the assembly members in Kwara state. It is rather unfortunate that the standard to which the governor is rating the performance of the legislature in Kwara state is based on project execution, a responsibility to which he himself has primarily failed.
The lack of understanding of how government operates is what led the governor to make his caretaker chairmen (executive) to present their budget in the ministry of local government and chieftaincy (another executive office), so the concept of separation of powers is totally lost on the present administration.

I have to also ask the rubber stamp assembly in Kwara state how exactly they have performed their oversight functions under this administration? Do they just sit around waiting for the next loan to approve for the governor? Can they present to the public a single evidence of the project by this governor they went to inspect or avail Kwarans a single report of them performing their oversight functions under this government? An inability to provide any of these evidences or report will justify why they have become a subject of ridicule by the governor and Kwarans will absolve them of the show of shame we are witnessing in the present administration.

Also, to their primary responsibility which is lawmaking, how many bills have been passed by this assembly. According to the last information gathered by me, 20 out of the 25 bills passed by the present assembly were all from the executive which means, they have spent most part of their administration acting as servants to the governor. 4 out of the 5 bills which were legislative bills are said to be review of bills from previous administrations and only 1 being a newly sponsored bill. This is below the belt and justifies why their masquerade is now being made to dance at the market square by the governor.

Moreover, what was the contribution of the Kwara state house of assembly to the constitution amendment by the National Assembly? Kwara state is not among the 11 states in the country who supported the progressive amendments that was passed by the National Assembly. The 7th and 8th assemblies of the previous administrations in Kwara state supported the constitution amendment from the National Assembly but it is quite unfortunate that this administration has also become one of the bottleneck states to progressive reforms being made for the country.

It is clear that both the governor and members of the legislature in Kwara state do not know their left from right which is why they are bickering over digging of boreholes and other executive functions that ordinarily should have been handled by duly elected local government councils. The assembly members should just go and hire father christmas costumes and be dancing around entertaining our children since they have no understanding of their responsibilities.

My charge to Kwarans is that the only way to correct this anomaly and end this public display of shame is to vote out APC from presidential to state assembly elections, this will afford them the opportunity to study how to govern a state or country.

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