The Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon. Sam Ikon, has said the legislature is not a rubber stamp for the state executive and described it as an arm of government striving to protect the interest of the people.
The speaker cautioned against misconstruing the cordial relationship that exists between the assembly and executive in the state to mean that state lawmakers were too afraid to discharge their oversight functions.
Ikon spoke in Uyo, the state capital on Monday, to herald the new legislative year.
He said, “The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly is not cowed by anybody or the executive. We are here to do our work, to protect the interest of Akwa Ibom people.
“In discharging our oversight functions, it does not mean we must be antagonistic with the executive once power struggling does not exist.
“Our cooperation with the executive in developing the state is not a weakness on our part. We have seen great transformation across the state and nobody can fault the executive in this direction. It is our duty to support the executive in the interest of the state”.
Ikon said to a large extent, the Fifth Assembly of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly had recorded some giant strides in critical areas that are within its purview, saying that they are there for everyone to see.
He stated that the House of Assembly had passed a number of bills into law, six of which were assented to by Governor Godswill Akpabio.
Ikon listed some of the bills that had been passed by the House to include Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission (Amendment) Law, the 2013 Appropriation Law, the Akwa Ibom State Scholarships Board Bill, passed March 26, 2013, and two private member bills -Widowhood (prohibition of obnoxious practices) Bill, 2012, passed February 28, 2013; and Akwa Ibom State of Health Technology Bill, passed May 23, 2013.