Some members of the Cross River State House of Assembly have threatened to boycott all State functions for the remaining part of the year because according to them, their handshake with the governor is extending ‘beyond the elbow’.
They accused the governor’s protocol team of persistently taking them for granted and under minding their role as legislators in government business in the state.
Leading the pack, Hon. Hilary Bisong representing Boki 2 State constituency said: “Did you see any member of the House of Assembly at the Carnival unveiling in Lagos? None is there, we are boycotting the program, we are boycotting the event and we will boycott all other activities that the governor has lined up for the rest of the year, particularly the carnival.
“This is becoming too much. Since the days of Donald Duke, we have been doing carnival unveiling and the House of Assembly is properly and duly informed and carried along. The House of Assembly has a Committee on Culture, Tourism and Event Management, the members of this committee and the leadership of the House is supposed to be duly involved and carried along in this activities not as a favor but as part of our work as legislators of the state. These things have never been done in isolation and this government should not think that we will allow this to go on.
Hon. Bisong who is the Chairman, House of Assembly Committee on Culture, Tourism and Event Management, added that “This is not the first time this taking us for granted thing is happening. Members of the Assembly went to Obudu for the Governor’s thanksgiving, the protocol people did not make provision for House members in their program. We did not even get a place to sleep until we were given accommodation in a mosquito infested hotel. During the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria event at the CICC, members of the Assembly were given notice of the event less than 24 hours to the time and were not even given proper IVs, some members were even stopped by the gate and all that. Now you are going to do carnival theme unveiling and you still think it is not important that members of the Assembly should be present. This handshake is going beyond the elbow and we must retrace our steps.”
Two other members who spoke with CrossRiverWatch, but requested not to be mentioned ‘yet’, were equally very angry and said it was left for them as legislators to remind the governor that they must be an integral part of decision making in the state.
One of them from the northern part of the state said: “The governor has received generous support from the House since he came into office. We have overlooked a lot of things to ensure we speedily give him the legislative backing to do his work without hindrance. We cannot understand why his protocol people are taking our members for granted. I don’t think the governor needs these tension that he wants to brew. He must be careful and not ruin the relationship. Most of the members are now beginning to perceive him as wanting to run the state alone without the House and that is dangerous.”
The second legislator from the South was more emphatic, “If we don’t check this man, he will soon become a problem for the House. How can they be treating us like we don’t exist? Doing things without telling us and carrying us along? We have been telling ourselves the truth lately and just let the Speaker return from London then we will know what to do”
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House, Honorable John Gaul Lebo, is presently at the International Center for Parliamentary Studies in London, to complete the Professional Fellowship in Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.
CrossRiverWatch is still working to get a reaction from the government.
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