Kwara speaker seeks financial autonomy for state assemblies
Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Abdulrazaq Atunwa, has said that democracy cannot thrive in Nigeria unless state assemblies are granted financial autonomy which would insulate them from the control of governance.
The speaker, in an interview with newsmen in Ilorin at the weekend, stated that his interactions with his colleagues across the country confirmed that there is a problem in that area.
“Governors cannot begin to see themselves as the beginning and the end of governance. Just as people voted for the governor, people voted for members of parliament. I’ve nothing against the governors, but I am all for power to the people. Democracy cannot progress in Nigeria, unless financial autonomy is granted state assemblies. We are all responsible to the people, we were duly elected by the electorate, so the state assemblies must be granted financial autonomy to enable them perform their constitutional obligations to the electorates effectively.
The present scenario whereby the state assemblies survive at the mercy of the executive would never allow democracy to thrive in Nigeria. Whatever that is worth doing at all is worth doing very well, the path to a rewarding democracy is to encourage checks and balances within the system.
We cannot continue with the present structure in Nigeria, and expect democracy to progress. No it cannot, the earlier financial autonomy is granted our state assemblies the better,” he said.
Speaking on the communal crisis between Offa and Erinle, the speaker said the traditional rulers of both areas have a serious role to play restoring peace.
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