Executive-Legislative Cooperation: The Abia Example
We have heard of how governance was or is still at a standstill in some states due to avoidable bickerings between the Executive and the Legislative Arms of Government and the tension such political loggerheads caused the polity leaving citizens shocked as it becomes unbelievable how ridiculously low political leaders could go in a bid to outwit each other.
We have witnessed how divided Assemblies degenerate to the point of exchanging blows, carting away the mace because of factions between those who are for the Executive and those perceived as being against the Executive. It is even more embarrassing in some State legislatures where we have witnessed free for all fights with chairs and other office items converted to weapons and used on each other between factions that are for the Executive and those against it in the affected Assemblies, or even because of purely internal wranglings among the Assembly members.
But in Abia, it’s not so! And that boils down largely to the respective Heads of the Executive and Legislative Arms, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu and Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji.
The mutual respect and understaning between the two is deeper than even that of siamese twins to the extent that when some critical stakeholders who should know better tried to stoke tension and uprising between the two as individuals, and between the institutions they lead, both have always found ways of seamlessly dealing with the issues and resolving them quietly without any fuss.
And that is because Dr Okezie Ikpeazu whom the Speaker and Members of the 7th Abia State House of Assembly rightly recognise as the Executive Governor, Number One Citizen and Leader of Abia State, unlike in other States, does not carry himself about as a warlord on an ego trip and whose only motive is to conquer institutions, stakeholders and citizens.
Those who tried to stoke division between the Governor and the Speaker as individuals, and between the Executive and the Legislature as institutions have since learnt their lessons in repercussions for divisive tendencies that do the State no good. Certainly, others have also learnt their lessons and have learnt to conduct themselves and their affairs in manners tailored after the peaceful and cooperative characteristics of the Governor and the Speaker. And these include even their followers on the street because their body languages of solidarity, mutual respect, cooperation and collaboration, with the Governor accorded his well deserved respect as the Governor and Leader, speak louder than words.
But that is not to say that each Arm is compromising its respective Independence guaranteed it by the Constitution of the Federal Republic, but that each Arm, without compromising its Independence, works inter-dependently with the other. And the results have been very cheery.
While Abia State is among the most peaceful States in Nigeria, both politically and otherwise, she is also growing very fast in terms of infrastructure and human capital development, all thanks to the Governor.
Recently, Abia was put on the consciousness of the nation once again for good reasons as she was rated the State with the third highest capital inflow from investors in 2020 only after Lagos and Abuja.
That was followed by another record breaking initiative by the legislative arm as Abia became the first State in the entire federation to pass the Diaspora Commission Bill into Law, an initiative that has drawn accolades from even the Presidency.
All these have been made possible because of the calm atmosphere that pervades our political landscape coupled with the fact that, beyond the Governor and the Speaker, the 7th Abia State House of Assembly is peopled by highly responsible and responsive Members whose sole aim is to serve Abians with heart and might and not with dart and fight!
For Abia, the day is bright!
Jude Chijioke Ndukwe
Chief Press Secretary to the Rt Hon Speaker,
Abia State House of Assembly