By Agnes Igwe
As the Ebonyi State 5th Assembly legislators conduct their valedictory session to make way for the 6th Assembly, the Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development and member representing Abakaliki South constituency, Hon. Mrs. Franca Okpo has solicited for involvement of more women in lawmaking processes of the state.
Mrs. Okpo who is the one of the 3 women from 5th Assembly re-elected to serve in the 6th Assembly expressed worry that they were just 3 women in 5th and shall also be the only 3 women out of 24 members in the 6th Assembly, which according to her is far from the 35 percentage affirmation for women.
She pleaded for more support and encouragement, both financially and otherwise to enable women be in corridors of power to contribute their laudable quota in enacting developmental laws that will uplift the state to greater heights in the country.
Meanwhile, the Ebonyi state 5th Assembly valedictory session where 8 members out of 24 bowed out of service, featured the presence of a group of former legislators who suggested promulgation of laws to stipulate provision of allowances to former lawmakers as is obtainable for the executive for their contributions to progress of the state.
In his speech, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Francis Nwifuru, being elected the third time into the House since 2011 to represent Izzi East constituency revealed that the 5th Assembly made history by passing a total of 49 bills to laws which are all now assented to by the state Governor, Engr. David Umahi, as well as 285 landmark resolutions which are impacting positively in the lives of the constituents.
He said, “It is worthy of note that within the 5th Assembly which I presided over as honourable Speaker, we initiated the reconstruction of the hitherto obsolete legislative chamber and with approval of the Governor, Engr. David Umahi, we started and completed this beautiful legislative complex within 18 months.”
“The fifth Assembly passed the highest number of bills in the history of Ebonyi State House of Assembly. We passed a total of 49 bills to laws which have all been assented to by the Governor and 285 resolutions which are impacting positively in lives of our highly revered constitutes.”
“We equally handled effectively letters emanating from the office of the Governor seeking legislative approvals and authentications. We screened and confirmed Governor’s nominees for appointments and other issues of legislative concerns brought before the honourable House, including valedictory sessions for our departed former Honourable Members”, Nwifuru added.
He also noted that it was under the 5th Assembly that they were able to influence the Governor to constitute the House of Assembly Commission within six months of their inauguration.
He commended the members for their courage, maturity and sense of brotherhood which he said gave room for the smooth operation of legislative business of the House throughout the four years.
The Deputy Speaker, Odefa Obasi Odefa and other Lawmakers took turns to share their experiences as members of the 5th Assembly and commended their constituents for giving them the opportunity to serve.
Out of the 24 Lawmakers that formed the 5th Assembly, 16 of them including the Speaker and Deputy Speaker were reelected and formed part of the 6th Assembly that was inaugurated on Tuesday 11th June 2019 by state Governor.
Those who didn’t make it to the 6th assembly are the House Leader Hon Joseph Nwobashi, the Chief Whip Hon. Chike Oguji, the Deputy Chief Whip Hon Frank Onwe, Hon. Barr. Luke Nkwegu, Hon Maria Nwachi, Hon Barr Augusta Udeh, Hon Val Okike and Hon Oselebe.