By Patrick Obia
The 9th Assembly of the Cross River State House of Assembly on Thursday 11th June, 2020 marked the end of first legislative year.
The House also promised to hold monthly press briefing to highlight activities of the House and give clarification where the need arises to Cross Riverians.
In an address by the Speaker, Hon. Eteng Jonas Williams, said their first year in office was almost blighted by the COVID-19 pandemic which ravaged the whole world early in 2020.
He lauded the House members and Governor Ben Ayade for the synergy both parties have enjoyed for the past one year adding that the fight is not over yet and urge all members and other well-meaning Cross Riverians to join Governor Ayade in ensuring that COVID-19 remains outside the State borders.
Mr. Williams further stated that the House will assist Committees to enable them engage Civil Society Organisations in a more robust manner and on regular basis.
“Exactly, one year ago, precisely on Thursday 11th June, 2019, the 9th legislature of the Cross River State House of Assembly was inaugurated in this hallowed Chamber. We all subscribed to the Oath of Allegiance and Office promising to perform our duties honestly, faithfully and in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
“One year down the line, I make bold to say that we have kept to our promise and have performed our duties diligently for the peace, order and good governance of our dear State.
“Hon. Members our first year in office was almost blighted by the COVID-19 pandemic which ravaged the whole world early in 2020. World travel came to a halt as airlines and other means of transportation became grounded and many borders remained closed. World economies buckled under due to a halt in production of goods and services. The tourism and hospitality industry experienced the worst patronage in years and above all, the virus claimed more than three hundred thousand lives in all continents combined.
“The Committee on Information will henceforth hold monthly press briefing to highlight activities of the House and give clarification where the need arises. Again, the House will assist Committees to enable them engage Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in a more robust manner and on regular basis.”
While fielding questions in an interactive session with pressmen in the chambers, the Speaker said issue of communal crisis in various communities and Local Government have been there but however the House has set up a Committee to look into the issues.
On the controversies trailing the House rejecting justice Akon Ikpeme as the substantive Chief Judge of Cross River State, Eteng Jones, averred that the House cannot be cowed against the constitution positing that, “I don’t think we acted against the constitution and the judiciary cannot force us”, relying on section 271 of the constitution.
Responding to the tag of the 9th Assembly being “a rubber-stamp”, the Deputy speaker, Hon. Joseph Bassey, refuted stating that, Governor Ben Ayade is not their enemy to antagonize him, that the House shares in his vision and partnership but sometimes contracdicts themselves to agree, enjoining the media and the public not to see the House in that perspective.
The 9th Assembly considered 29 bills and 7 passed, 22 bills pending before Committees, 17 motions taken, 8 matters of urgent public importance were considered and 61 resolutions taken as well as 17 reports presented.
Also, as part of one year in office anniversary, the Assembly launched its official website.
In a speech at the press briefing held at the Assembly chambers, the Speaker, described the website as a dream come true and a huge milestone recorded.
The functional website is www.crsassembly.com.ng which it said is temporal pending when the official one (crshoassembly.gov.ng) is ready.
It is hoped that the site will provide relevant information such as members details, Committees, bills, motions and a host of others.
See pictures below.
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