Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, AKHA, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, on Friday, urged members-elect for various state constituencies in Akwa Ibom to surpass the achievements of the 7th Assembly, as the 8th Assembly takes off soon.
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Bassey was speaking at the opening of a-three day orientation workshop organized by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, NILDS, for the recently elected members of AKHA at Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos State.
The Speaker told the members that the responsibility of legislators could be challenging, in view of the task of law making, oversight and representation which he said are the nucleus of legislative business the world over.
“May I intimate you that the work of a legislator is peculiar and as well challenging in many respects, because of the strategic duties of law making, oversight and representation among others that are domiciled in the legislature. Therefore, the importance of this orientation workshop, which is designed to introduce members-elect of the 8th Assembly to the rudiments of legislative practice and procedures, cannot be overemphasized.”
While urging members-Elect to give the workshop their best, Rt. Hon. Bassey attributed his many successes, recognitions and climbs in the legislature to the positive impact of legislative training he had attended over the years.
“Today, I am serving as the Vice Chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislature in Nigeria, Chairman of the South-South Speakers’ Forum and as an Executive Committee Member of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Africa Region. These could not have been possible, but for the training I enjoyed.”
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Bassey therefore, appealed to the members-elect to make the best use of the gains of the workshop and form a collective front with the Executive and the Judiciary for the progress of Akwa Ibom State.
On his part, the Director General of NILDS, Prof Abubakar Sulaiman, congratulated the members -elect on their success at the recent elections, disclosing that the legislature is one arm of government whose rules of proceedings are unique.
“The legislature has over One Hundred and Eleven (111) powers in the 1999 Constitution and its Schedules. This short orientation workshop will give you a cursory overview of your powers, privileges, immunities and the limitations in exercising these powers. In order to be effective, you must apply yourselves to understanding these basic principles and rules.”
The orientation workshop was further dissolved into the technical sessions that were handled by capable resource persons from NILDS and topical issues were discussed at the interactive sessions, some of which the Opening of a New Parliament, Structure and Operation of the Nigerian Legislature, Constitutional Powers, Privileges and Immunities of the Nigerian Legislature.
In attendance at the orientation workshop were Deputy Speaker, Princess Felicia Bassey; House Leader, Sir Udo Kierian Akpan; the Chief Whip, Otuekong Emmanuel Bassey; the Deputy House Leader, Barr. Aniefiok Dennis Akpan; the Deputy Chief Whip, Otuekong Nse Essien; Hon. KufreAbasi Edidem (Itu); Elder Mfon Idung (Ika/Etim Ekpo); Elder Udeme Otong (Abak); Chief Effiong Johnson (Mbo); Otobong Bob (Nsit Ubium) and Asuquo Nana Udo (Ikono).
Also in attendance were Prince Aniefiok Attah (Nsit Atai), Uduak Ekpo-Ufot (Etinan), Uwem Peter Imoh-Ita (Mkpat Enin), Selinah Isotuk Ukpatu (Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo), Moses Essien (Ibiono Ibom), Ubong Attah (Ibesikpo Asutan), Friday Udobia (Esit Eket Ibeno), Bassey Pius Bassey (Okobo), Itorobong Etim (Uruan), Uwemedimo Asuquo (Uyo) and Lawrence Udoide (Ini),
Others were Precious Selong Edem (Urue Offong/Oruko), Nsidibe Akata (Eket), Emem Udom (Ukanafun), Sampson Idiong (Oruk Anam), Kenim Onofiok (Oron/Udung Uko), Sunday Udofot Johnny (ONNA), Eric Akpan (Nsit Ibom), Prince Ukpong Akpabio (Essien Udim) and Jerry Anso Otu (Ikot Ekpene/Obot Akara).
The Principal Officers of the State House of Assembly, led by the Clerk, Mrs. Nsikakabasi Orok, Heads of the Legal Services and Legislative Matters were also in attendance.