The Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Monday Igbuya on Sunday spoke on the challenges, gains and distractions in his first one year in office, even as he hailed his colleagues as wonderful people and described the first one year as tough.
Speaking with local and foreign journalists in Sapele, Igbuya said while the House passed a good number of bills, the harsh economic conditions that greeted and has remained in the country since they were inaugurated, had drastically affected the legislators in past one year.
According to him, “Before June 8, 2016, hopes were high. Some of us thought we were going to live in the past. Past Speakers had enormous influence and resources to assist the people. One year gone, the reverse is the case. We met serious recession. Subvention was reduced. In three months, things started getting worse. We started preaching the gospel of belt tightening. My colleagues have seen reasons to adjust. The situation is very bad, very difficult and tough. My colleagues are wonderful people. We passed a good number of bills. Administratively, we achieved a major feat. We were able to find solution to poor power supply” he said.
Demonstrating maturity and total understanding of what politics should be all about, Igbuya stressed on synergy between the three arms of government.
“Can you achieve result without fund? No legislature can work without fund. We don’t generate revenue. The executive does that. There must be synergy between the three arms of government. People should be talking about synergy, not independence” he said.
Empathizing with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Igbuya said the House would continue to make laws for the good governance of the state.
“I feel for Governor Ifeanyi Okowa. I wonder how he intends to achieve some of his dreams. We are looking inward and bringing some laws that can make Delta State generate enough revenue. Okowa means well for the people. He wants to set a standard. Deltans should continue to pray for this administration”
He commended the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state for positioning the party ahead of 2019 general election.
“There is no faction in Delta State PDP. The reconciliation committee is doing very well”
Igbuya rejected the proposed bill to establish and control grazing routes and reserves before the National Assembly.
“The resolutions of the South-South and South-East lawmakers are quite clear. We asked our representatives in the National Assembly to oppose it”
Attributing the defective and harsh socio-economic environment, lack of employment opportunities, environmental degradation, lack of infrastructure, general under-development and inadequate benefit of the resources from the region to militancy in the Niger Delta, Igbuya advised President Muhammadu Buhari to dialogue with the people.
“Mr. President should dialogue with the people. What are the problems? He should listen to the people. Power belongs to the people”
In the interest of peace, harmony and unity of Nigeria, Igbuya urged Buhari to review the ownership structure of oil wells in the country.
“How many South- South people are owners of oil wells in the country? He should allow 65 per cent ownership by the people of the Niger Delta region.
He also spoke on changes in Sapele, saying, “Sapele is developing. The dualization of Sapele Road from Amukpe roundabout is ongoing.. Beautification exercise is ongoing. We are going to focus on other roads in Sapele. We are trying to expose Sapele to the international community. We are going to make Sapele a major centre for foreign investors and tourists” he said.
“Olorogun Felix Ovudoroye Ibru was a man whose name spoke volume. He was imbued with gratitude, generosity, virtue, vision, ideas, spirituality, integrity and humility. He was, without doubt an architect first, before any other thing. It was however on the political turf that he etched his name on marble. Indeed, Senator Ibru left indelible prints on the Nigerian political space. He contributed greatly to the growth of the Nigerian State.
Together with Chief Simeon Ebonka, they formed a strong partnership and set the template for the development of Delta State. He also contributed a lot to the uplifting of the Urhobo nation.
He continued “Ibru death surely deprives the nation of one of its best minds. I however take solace in the fact that the first democratically elected governor of Delta State lived an inspired and fulfilled life by the manner he deployed his professional expertise towards the development of Nigeria. He will definitely be missed by friends, family, associates, colleagues and all those whose lives he positively touched in one way or the other. He will forever be remembered as one who came, and did his bit in a very great and impressive way. He will also be remembered by Nigerians, particularly Deltans as the man who reached the pinnacle of power but refused to be intoxicated by it. I sincerely join the entire family of Senator Ibru, his people at Agbarha-Otor and all patriots of Nigeria in celebrating the life of a great Nigerian citizen. I also bid our great leader and mentor a respectful farewell and a sweet repose.
He described Stephen Keshi as a patriotic Nigerian and a great Deltan, in the following words: “His death is a monumental national loss. It is very sad. It is very painful. He was a great footballer and coach. He brought pride to Delta State. He did the nation and the youth proud by standing out in the crowd not only as a skillful player but a coach imbued with maturity. We will definitely miss him,” Igbuya said.