By Ekemini Simon
As President Muhammadu Buhari has signed Executive Order No. 10 of 2020 for the implementation of Financial Autonomy of State Legislature and State Judiciary, below are members who should forever remain silent on the matter.
These are the ones who had the opportunity in their hands to decide whether to remain in the financial shackles of the Executive or be financially independent. Instead of grabbing their freedom with both hands, sadly, they opted to be detected to and spoonfed at the mercies of the Executive.
They are: Rt Hon Aniekan Bassey, Member Uruan State Constituency, Rt Hon Aniekan Uko, Member Ibesikpo Asutan State Constituency, Rt Hon Nse Essien, Member ONNA State Constituency, Rt Hon Aniefiok Denis, Member Etinan State Constituency, Rt Hon Effiong Bassey, Member Oron/Udung Uko State Constituency, Rt Hon Mark Esset, Member Nsit Atai State Constituency, Rt Hon David Lawrence, Member Eket State Constituency, Rt Hon Uduak Ududoh, Member Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo
Rt Hon Asuquo Archibong, Member Urueofong Oruko State Constituency, Rt Hon Mfon Ekong of Nsit Ibom State Constituency and Hon Monday Eyo of Uyo State Constituency who are no longer serving at the Assembly.
Anytime the State Assembly will sit, it is expected that they would comment on the issue. Almost all of them have returned to the 7th Assembly. Watch them, listen to them when they stand to eulogize what they rejected. Will they have the gusto or freeness of speech?
It would be a wise course for these lawmakers to let sleeping dogs lie and forever remain silent on this matter. They should focus on enjoying the funds when it flows in. Yet, what would their conscience tell them?
Conversely, posterity will always remember the following members who stood firmly for financial autonomy of the State legislature kindly.
They are: Ime Okon of Ibiono Ibom, Udo Kieran Akpan of Oruk Anam, Usoro Akpanusoh of Ibeno/ Esit Eket, Idongesit Ituen of Itu, Samuel Ufuo of Mbo, Nse Ntuen of Essien Udim, Emmanuel Bassey of INI, Friday Iwok of Abak, Gabriel Toby of Ika/Etim Ekpo, Otobong Ndem of Mkpat Enin, Otobong Akpan of Ukanafun, and Idongesit Ntekpere of Ikot Ekpene/Obot Akara.
The just mentioned names will forever keep their heads high and also enjoy the dividends of the decision they took with clear conscience.
I felt pained that some of the players of this ignoble history are those who have held high offices in the State Assembly. Among them are those who may have attempted to distinguish themselves in lawmaking and have earned my respect and friendship as the case may be. Yet, these ones flattered so easily when it mattered most.
There are certain things that are never expected in life. Yes, no matter the intimidation or pressure, a man worth the name should never use his hands to destroy his lifeline to freedom thus remain in perpetual bondage. Let it be that opportunity was not given for freedom.
May this remain a lesson to our lawmakers that posterity records all our deeds and it will playback either in our lifetime or generation to come. May this awaken their consciousness that lawmaking does not only require panache in public speaking, knowledge and intelligence. Courage is the orbit which lawmaking revolves. An obtuse and imprudent decision may forever leave a dent on you. May that sad moment in the history of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly never repeat itself.
Moreover, anytime a discourse on Legislative Autonomy comes to the fore, those 11 members of the 6th Assembly should forever remain silent!