“Like comparing death with sleep”: Rep contrasts national, state assemblies

By John Ogunsemore

A member of the House of Representatives for Ondo State’s Oke-Igbo/Ile-Oluji/Odigbo federal constituency, Hon Festus Adefiranye, has decried the lack of autonomy of state Houses of Assembly.

Adefiranye, who was in the Ondo State House of Assembly from 2019 to 2023, said comparing the National Assembly to state assemblies was like “comparing death with sleep”.

In an interview with Premium Times, the federal lawmaker said the overbearing attitude of governors was responsible for the inability of state assemblies to achieve autonomy.

Read also: LG autonomy will end insecurity, poverty, others –NULGE

Adefiranye said, “There is no way you will compare the legislator at the state level with the lawmaker in the National Assembly.

“The gap between the two is just too wide because the state assembly has no autonomy. A state assembly is like the extension of the executive arm of the state government.

“There is nothing you can discuss on the floor of the state assembly; if the governor does not sanction it, there is no way it will fly. Even if you move it, the speaker will manage it to the extent that you will not be able to discuss it.

“You are free to say or discuss anything at the National Assembly because of the autonomy. If there is any issue that is going on, what you need to do is to consult your constituency. Once you consult your constituency and your constituency gives you the go-ahead, and you can speak for them on that issue, nobody will disturb you from saying it, unlike the state assembly.

“Let me tell you this: The autonomy of the state assembly when they tossed it to the state assembly, you know this is a factor that is going to affect them, we still worked against it. Why? Because the governor did not want it.

“So, as of today, the state assembly bill has been to the National Assembly more than two or three times but when the National Assembly passes the bill, when it gets to the state assembly, it will fail because we need two-thirds of the state lawmakers to pass that bill.

“So that is to tell you that anything that is happening in the state, the governor must give consent to it. So, the state assembly and National Assembly, you cannot compare them. It is like you want to compare death with sleep. So there are big gaps.”

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