Why NLC, TUC Must Protect Nigeria’s Democracy – Obasa

The survival of Nigeria’s democracy should be a key focus of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its affiliates, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, has said.

Obasa gave the charge Thursday at the 2022 Independence Day Anniversary Lecture with the theme ‘Nigeria in search for an enduring political structure: imperative of structural reform’ held at the NLC Ogun State headquarters.

According to him, Nigeria can only advance positively if the various unions and individuals play roles to keep the country’s democracy thriving.

The Speaker, who was chairman of the event, said that the country is seen as practising democracy because there are legislative arms of government in place both at the national and sub-national levels.

He, however, lamented the attempts by some individuals in position of authority to ‘pocket’ these lawmaking arms of States citing how, in some states, principal officers of Houses of Assembly are removed at the whims and caprices of single individuals in authority.

“It is hightime we all rose to protect Nigeria’s political institution, the parliament. We have seen cases where the civil society looked away while democracy faces danger from some individuals.

“We have seen cases where the parliament was closed and where a governor carried inauguration of legislature by midnight.

“When you have a legislature that is answerable to a single person, you can’t progress or meet collective goals or say we are practising democracy. We have heard of a state that already has four Speakers in less than four years.

“It is also surprising that even among the elite, you find that there are some people who do not know their representatives at the parliament. Yet, these parliamentarians make the laws that guide their activities and actions.

“As a union, our concern should not be about where we work, our salaries and welfare alone; we should also protect our institutions. I am not saying you should be partisan, but at least, play a role in guiding our democracy.

“In that way, it would be difficult for individuals to determine how the parliament, which is the true symbol of democracy, should operate,” Obasa said.

In his short remark, Rt. Hon. Olakunle Oluomo, Speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly, noted that Nigeria simply practises civil rule and not democracy.

“If you have a vibrant legislature, you have democracy,” he said.

In his address, Comrade Abinbola Bankole, chairman of the NLC in Ogun State, said though Nigeria faces many challenges, “as a labour movement, it is our considered opinion that blame-game shall take us nowhere as a people.”

He said if Nigeria must work, citizens must be interested in how their country is governed.

Guest lecturer at the event, Chief Mike Ozekhomhe (SAN), noted that the problems with Nigeria are fundamental and systemic. He suggested a new constitution for the country.

“No president who rules Nigeria will do well. Until we do serious structural adjustment or realignments, none of those who would rule Nigeria can make any spectacular difference,” Ozekhomhe said while expressing optimism that Nigeria will be successful again.

On his part, Nafiu Aiyedun, Ogun State Head of Service, who represented Governor Dapo Abiodun, promised that the government would continue to focus on the welfare of workers.

Obasa, Others Storm Pen Cinema Bridge, Work Commences On Failed Portion

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, on Wednesday led top government officials to the failed portion of the Pen Cinema Bridge which had, for days, caused motorists harrowing experiences.

Incessant flooding of the Okekoto end of the bridge had resulted in a gully further exacerbated by poor drainage system in the area.

Obasa who arrived at the failed portion of the bridge with members of the House Committee on Works led by Hon. Abiodun Tobun, expressed concern over the daily experiences faced by commuters on the bridge.

While noting government’s efforts to continue to develop Lagos and meet the yearnings of the residents, he tasked the agencies in charge of drainages and road maintenance to immediately commence work to alleviate the suffering faced by those who ply the bridge.

In a related message to the people of Agege, Obasa said: “Bothered by the latest experiences faced by motorists plying the Pen Cinema bridge, I was at the bad spot today with members of the House Committee on Works, leaders from the area and government officials whose offices are saddled with the tasks of road maintenance and drainages.

“I am happy to note that work has commenced immediately. Machinery has been deployed to the place and the drains are already being cleared.

“I want to implore residents of the affected area and the entire Agege to help maintain all government infrastructure, discourage themselves and others from clogging the drains with wastes.”

Those who joined the Speaker on the inspection tour include Hon. Yinka Ogundimu (Agege II), Hon. Rasheed Makinde (Ifako-ijaiye II), Hon. Mojisola Alli-Macaulay (Amuwo-Odofin I).

Others are Engr. Aramide Adeyoye, Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructures; Ganiyu Egunjobi, Chairman Agege Local Government Council; and Johnson Babatunde, his counterpart in Orile-Agege LCDA.O

LAGOS ASSEMBLY CHARGES COMMISSIONER FOR TOURISM TO ENSURE CONTINUOUS IMPLEMENTATION OF TOURISM LAW

  • LAGOS ASSEMBLY WANTS FULL IMPLEMENTATION OF TOURISM LAW

Lawmakers of the Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday called on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to direct the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf to ensure continuous awareness relating to tourism.

They also urged the Governor to ensure the full implementation of the Tourism Law including the creation of a Tourism Agency as stipulated in a bill passed by the House since 2018.

The lawmakers debated the motion in commemoration of World Tourism Day 2022 at a sitting presided over by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa.

The Chairman of the Committee on Tourism Arts and Culture, Hon. Fatai Oluwa, who raised the motion, stated that the purpose of this year celebration themed ‘Rethinking Tourism’ is to focus on reviewing and redeveloping tourism after Coronavirus Pandemic.

He said Lagos State, being the Centre of Excellence, hopes to ensure that tourism potentials are explored in every area of the State.

“The House of Assembly passed the Lagos State Tourism Agency Law 2018 in order to develop and promote the State tourism investment, which aims to enhance revenue generation for the State. Unfortunately, this law is yet to be implemented,” he said.

He added that if this agency is established, it would encourage provision, improvement and marketing of tourism facilities in the State locally and Internationally.

In his contribution, the Deputy Majority Leader, Hon. Noheem Adams said the main objective of the World Tourism Day is to celebrate and sensitise the world on the long term planning and development of tourism.

Globally, he said, tourism has been found to be lucrative and impact positively on the lives of the residents and users of tourist destination.

He urged the government to pay more attention to tourism in the State.

Also speaking, Hon. Adewale Temitope noted that Lagos State has lots of tourist sites.

He said these sites are tools for Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and that most countries see tourism as sources of financing government.

“Since the House has passed a law to enhance tourism in the State, it is on point to call on the commissioner and all other agencies that are attached to tourism board with immediate effect to implement the law,” he said.

On his part, Hon. Victor Akande added that tourism helps create jobs and income generation.

He further noted that through tourism, foreign investors can be attracted thus creating economic value for the State.

Hon. Desmond Elliot, who also contributed, commended Lagos for currently building a Film Village.

He, however, noted that the State had more to do in relation to the sector.

The House adjourned to Monday, October 3, 2022 after a voice vote by members present.

Breaking: Lagos Assembly Passes Victim, Witnesses Protection Bill

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday passed a bill to protect witnesses and victims in the state.

The ‘bill for a law to provide for the rights and entitlements of victims and protection of witnesses and for connected purposes’ was passed during plenary presided over by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Mudashiru Obasa.

The bill stipulates provision of assistance and protection to victims and witnesses who have vital information that could help ensure effective prosecution of cases, but who face intimidation due to their cooperation with the prosecution or law enforcement agencies.

A part of the bill further states: “Every person, including security agents shall render assistance to victims of accidents or crimes and ensure that such persons are taken to the nearest hospital for immediate
care and treatment.

“A public or private hospital shall provide immediate and adequate treatment to an accident victim or any person with gunshot and severe injuries or wounds.”

It stipulates a fine for any medical facility that fails to comply with the related section of the bill.

“A private hospital that receives accident victims with severe injuries or wounds for treatment under this section must inform the agency within Forty-Eight (48) hours of his admission, and forward a request for reimbursement of medical expenses where family members or relations cannot be identified or where the victim is indigent, and subject to the approval of the request by the agency, it shall forward records of the treatment to the agency,” the bill states.

With the bill scaling a third reading during plenary, the Speaker directed the Clerk of the House, Barr. Olalekan Onafeko, to send a clean copy to the Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for his assent.

Obasa to Remi Tinubu At 62: Your Roles In Nigeria’s Democracy Are Indelible

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, has congratulated Senator Oluremi Tinubu on her 62nd birthday.

Dr. Obasa, in a statement by Eromosele Ebhomele, his Chief Press Secretary, described the former First Lady of Lagos as one whose love for Nigeria and roles in national unity and development are worthy of emulation by every well-meaning citizen.

The Speaker added that Senator Tinubu has continued to etch her name in the history of Nigeria as a politician of repute, a champion of the downtrodden and an advocate for the youth, the aged and good governance.

He noted Senator Tinubu’s passion for a greater Nigeria both as a crusader for a more vibrant democracy and as a serving member of the National Assembly.

“As the loving wife of our dear leader and presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, you have been a major pillar of support and progress.

“That Nigeria practises democracy today is partly as a result of the roles you played while the military held on the the government of the country. History is replete with how you worked tirelessly against the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election result won by Chief MKO Abiola and how you took care of many exiled members of the National Democratic Coalition and citizens of Nigeria who were at the time under the radar.

“As First Lady of Lagos State, your love for the education of the underprivileged in the society and the need to raise standards gave birth to your pet project, The Spelling Bee Competion, which, delightedly, has produced great minds and future leaders.

“Lagos is blessed with you and we are happy that you have remained a major support for the growth and development of our State. You have also remained a mentor to many Nigerians whose lives you have touched with your New Era Foundation and various scholarship programmes.

“On behalf of my family and members of the legislative arm of Lagos government, I congratulate you on your birthday and pray that God continue to bless you with good health, strength and divine capacity ahead of the bigger task before us all, amen,” Obasa prayed.

Queen Elizabeth: Lagos Assembly Wants More For Nigerian Traditional Rulers

The Lagos State House of Assembly has called on the government to improve the honour given first-class and prominent traditional rulers before and after their death.

This motion followed a Matter of Urgent Public Importance raised by the lawmaker representing Mushin Constituency 2, Hon. Olawale Abdulsobur Olayiwola, during on plenary on Monday.

Referring to the celebration that accompanied the burial ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II of England, Hon. Olayiwola observed that traditional rulers in Nigeria are never given adequate honour and recognition before and after their death.

In his comment, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa emphasised that while it might not be easy to honour all the traditional rulers in the state, first-class royal fathers should be celebrated.

The Speaker said that he shared the idea of celebrating those who make up the traditional institution adding: “We should learn how to elevate our own. If foreigners are coming to celebrate us through their documentaries, we should think deeply about celebrating ourselves too.

“The Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs should fashion out how best our Obas should be celebrated.

“Occupiers of recognised thrones that have been in existence for many years should be celebrated,” he said.

Earlier in his argument, Olayiwola had said: “Queen Elizabeth II left after over 70 years on the throne and the burial was attended by a delegation from Nigeria led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

“But here in Nigeria, we don’t celebrate our traditional rulers in death. An example was when the former Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, joined his ancestors recently. He was not celebrated as he should,” he lamented.

Olayiwola, Chairman of the House Committee on Local Government and Community Affairs, called on the Lagos State Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs to celebrate the traditional rulers in the state while they are alive and during their demise.

This was accepted by all the lawmakers at plenary.

Obasa Celebrates Deputy Governor Hamzat At 58

– Praises Hamzat for his dedication to service of Lagos

The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, says the State remains proud to have Dr. Obafemi Hamzat as its Deputy Governor.

Dr. Obasa said this on Sunday in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Eromosele Ebhomele, celebrating Dr. Hamzat, who clocks 58 on Monday, September 19.

According to the Speaker, the Deputy Governor has shown, consistently, his commitment, dedication and passion to the goal of making Lagos an enviable State in Nigeria and one admired by the world.

He added that Hamzat at 58, remains a perfect example of a technocrat who is not only effective in the discharge of his duties, but uses all within his powers to ensure the good of the majority.

The Speaker further noted the seamless running of the Lagos government made up of the Executive, legislative and judicial arms, attributing this to the knowledge, wisdom and zeal of leaders including Hamzat to make the State constantly habitable for the residents.

“I congratulate Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, my brother and friend in the service of Lagos and the nation as he marks his 58th birthday.

“To say Lagos is not tired of him is just saying the obvious. He has helped, over time, to lift the civil service of our dear State to an enviable height.

“We are happy to have him serve Lagos as Deputy Governor at this time, especially with his knowledge of how our dear State works.

“Again, it is noteworthy that our Deputy Governor has consistently shown beyond every reasonable doubt what a dependable ally in the scheme of progress he is.

“He has always been a loyal team player with fantastic knowledge and managerial skills. His records of service and achievements cannot be under-emphasised and have been sources of encouragement for many.

“We remain proud of him as we wish him more divine knowledge, wisdom and vitality to carry on in the service of Allah and the people.

“Happy birthday from me and my colleagues at the Lagos State House of Assembly,” the statement read.

Breaking: Lagos Assembly Summons Commissioner For Failure To Honour Previous Invitations

The Lagos State Commissioner for Waterfront Infrastructure, Arc. Kabiru Abdullahi, was on Tuesday saved by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa, from being sanctioned by lawmakers during plenary.

The lawmakers had expressed anger that Arc. Abdullahi disrespected the House of Assembly by refusing to honour an invitation of a committee of the House which has oversight functions over the Ministry of Waterfront Infrastructure Development.

They also prayed that the Committee on Waterfront Infrastructure of the House be mandated to carry out a holistic investigation of the Ministry since Abdullahi’s appointment while the House places the confirmation of commissioner’s appointment on hold.

However, Obasa appealed to the committee and members of the House to reconsider their prayer just as he urged them to give the commissioner another opportunity to appear before the House.

In this regard, the Speaker directed the Clerk of the House, Barrister Olalekan Onafeko, to write to the commissioner to appear with all necessary documents on Thursday, September 15, 2022.

“I have listened to your submissions and I want to appeal to the chairman and the committee and members to sheathe their swords while we give the commissioner another opportunity to appear before you on Thursday unfailingly. He should also appear with all necessary documents,” the Speaker appealed.

In his complaint, Hon. Muyiwa Jimoh, who chairs the committee, told his colleagues that the commissioner had always made the committee’s oversight functions difficult with his refusal to honour invitations or present needed documents.

“It would be noted that it is this House that approved his appointment,” Jimoh said adding that the commissioner had refused to submit the mid-year budget report for review and appraisal.

“Currently, the Ministry has been invited but as I am talking, the commissioner has refused to honour the invitation.

“The House Committee on Waterfront Infrastructure be made to carry out a comprehensive investigation. The House should also place on hold the confirmation of his appointment pending when the investigation is concluded,” he moved.

Supporting him, another lawmaker, Hon. Bisi Yusuff, noted that the legislature is the most important arm of government in a democracy and, as such, must be respected.

In their contributions, Hons. Abiodun Tobun and Gbolahan Yishawu urged the House to allow a full-scale investigation into the commissioner’s activities in office for treating the House with levity. Their positions were supported by Hon. Adedamola Kasunmu, Sa’ad Olumo and Victor Akande.

Another lawmaker, Hon. Adewale Temitope, noted that the primary responsibility of the House, beyond representation, is oversight. He suggested that the commissioner be made to appear to defend why he would not honour previous invitations.

In a related development, the lawmakers read the Lagos State Electric Bill and the Office of the Public Defenders Amendment Bill for the first time. They also took the presentation of a report of the Victim Assistance and Witness Protection Bill.

Breaking: Lagos Assembly Passes Bill On DNA, Forensic Centre

A bill for a law establishing the Lagos State Deoxyribo-Nucleic Acid (DNA) and Forensic centre to support criminal investigations, law enforcement, preservation of evidence for the judicial system and for other connected purposes has been passed by the Lagos State House of Assembly.

The bill was passed by the House after it scaled the third reading at plenary on Monday with all lawmakers in attendance giving their approvals.

The report on the bill had been adopted at an earlier sitting presided over by Speaker Mudashiru Obasa.

A part of the objectives of the centre includes to provide for the use and regulation of DNA based technology in the Lagos State in order to carry out profiling or analysis.

The centre is to also “carry out other forensic disciplines including, toxicology, drug chemistry, finger print examination, firearms examination, tool mark examination, ballistics, trace evidence analysis, questioned document examination and digital forensics to obtain evidence relevant to the investigation of criminal offences.

“Provide for the use of DNA profiles in the investigation of crime and the use of such profiles in proving the innocence or guilt of persons.

“Provide for the conditions under which the samples for DNA profiles may be retained or destroyed.

“Establish a DNA database and a DNA Index System in the State as well as establish a DNA bank for storage of reference DNA samples.”

The bill gives powers to the centre to take specified bodily samples from certain categories of persons for the purposes of DNA analysis;
collect, examine, document and preserve evidence which can later be used in the identification of offenders amongst others.

The bill also allows the centre decode family ties and relationships of individuals in order to establish identity as well as the identification of abandoned or disputed children and other related issues.

The centre is expected to recommend methods for optimum use of DNA techniques and technologies for administration of justice.