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Obasa Appeals To CSOs, Media To Protect Nigerian Democracy

The Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, on Monday, appealed to media practitioners and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to protect the Nigerian democracy.

Obasa made this plea at a parley with select media practitioners and some CSOs in the state at the Assembly premises.

The lawmaker, who spoke against the backdrop of recent snatching of mace at the Senate and Gombe State House of Assembly, said the legislature remained the kernel of democracy.

Rolling out the achievements of the House, Obasa said that the House had served the state and met the hope of the residents in the last three years.

“We have formulated laws for the growth of the state. We have passed nine bills into law and 45 resolutions. Some of these issues affect the environment, transport, power, arts among others.

“No meaningful development can take place in an unsafe place, we have equipped fire service for flood disasters under the year.

“CSOs and media have played great roles in the promotion of democracy, bridged the gap between the electorates and the government as the watchdogs.

“Legislature is the basis of democracy, I call on you to rise up to protect our democracy,” he said.

The Speaker said that the House had worked hard for the growth, development and peaceful coexistence of the state.

Obasa said that the House had been able to serve the state by working together with collaboration with the executive arms in the interests of our state.

Several participants took the opportunity to ask questions ranging from environment, lawmaking processes, oversight, security, land use charge among others.

One of the participants, Prof Ishaq Akintola, an academic and Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) commended the House for its achievements and peace in the last three years.

Akintola, who commended the House for its support for the Lagos State University (LASU), added that the increase of maternity leave for women by the state government from three to six months was a giant stride.

Dr Qasim Akinreti, the Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Lagos State Chapter, urged the House to come up with a bill on prompt payment of salaries of journalists.

Akinreti, who advocated for special salaries for journalists in state-owned media, harped on Media Enhancement Act.

An activist, Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, commended the House for its frequent interventions in peaceful resolution of conflicts in the state.

Mrs Titilope Akosa from Centre for 21st Century Issues, urged the House to intensify efforts in ensuring that members of the public participate in law making processes through ample notices.

Akosa, who urged the Assembly to look into gender equality and opportunity bill, advised that the state budget should be made available online for CSOs to do analyses and proper monitoring.

Responding to the issues raised by the participants, Obasa assured that the House would continue to protect the interest of the people.

According to him, the Land Use Charge Act was necessary so that the state government could have access to funds for developmental purposes.

He however, stated that a committee of the House was working on the issue so that it could be reviewed downward.

The Speaker explained that the House has been carrying the people along in lawmaking processes through public hearings.

He said that getting a special status for the state remained a must and that the state would continue to lobby for it for the good of all residents.

On the heaps of refuse across the state, Obasa said that the House did not recognise the new waste manager, Visionscape, saying that the Assembly has intervened on the matter.

The Speaker urged members of the public to give vital information to the House, adding that the House could not see everything.

Earlier in his welcome, Hon. Tunde Braimoh, Chairman, House Adhoc Committee on Information, Strategy and Security, eulogised the Speaker for his leadership qualities, which made the House to achieve much.

Braimoh stated that the House comprised individuals that were committed to making good laws for the state with constant interfacing and interactions with members of the public.

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