The member representing Ika North East Constituency in the Delta State House of Assembly, Honourable Anthony Elekeokwuri, has identified making laws that would impact meaningfully on the people as the primary function of every lawmaker.
Hon. Elekeokwuri disclosed in a chat with media correspondents in the House in Asaba, where he spoke on his stewardship as the lawmaker representing Ika North East for the past eight years.
The lawmaker appreciated God and his constituents for giving him the opportunity to serve, adding that he had a clear vision of what was expected of him as a lawmaker and how to fulfil the aspirations of his constituents.
“I am very grateful to God, Deltans and, especially, my constituents who gave me the mandate to represent them,” Elekeokwuri said.
“Coming to the House eight years ago, my responsibility was very clear and precise, and I know I am voted in because my people believed I have the capacity to deliver.
“Our primary mandate is to make laws that will impact meaningfully on the people of Delta State and perform oversight functions on the laws that we have made,” he said.
He said being in the House gave him the ample opportunity to interact with other lawmakers, lobby and defend them, adding that he was able to see his vision and key into it, especially when bills that would impact positively in the lives of the people were presented in the House.
“One of the things I did when I came in as a lawmaker was to build a team. I believe in team work and I believe every lawmaker in the House has the potential of giving out something positive on the floor of the House.
“Based on that realisation, I was able to work with the rest of my colleagues and, as expected, most of them became co-sponsors of my bills. They helped me to gather facts, did a lot of research work to make sure we came out with bills that were very impactful,” he said.
The lawmaker expressed belief that in the past eight years, he and the other lawmakers had done a lot for Deltans in the aspect of lawmaking and prayed that Deltans would continue to benefit from the quality laws made in the House.
Hon. Elekeokwuri said he sponsored and co-sponsored many bills in the House, and most of them were passed and signed into law by the state governor, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa.
“As the Chairman, House Committee on Public Account, I was able to bring transparency to bear on public spending in state. So, if you look at the Transparency and Accountability Bill that we did at the state level, you will discover that we were able to deepen the process.
“We believe that if we don’t institutionalise the fight against corruption, corruption will kill us,” he added.
He listed some of the bills he has sponsored and co-sponsored to include Transparency and Accountability Bill, The Urban Renewal Bill and The Criminal Justice Law at the state level.
Others included The Infrastructural Bill, Equipment Leasing Bill, Public Finance Management Bill, The Audit Bill 1and 2, Physical Responsibility Bill, The Power Sector Bill and The Good Governance Bill, among very many others.
He said he was leaving the House when the ovation for him was loudest, adding that “he came, he saw, and they all conquered as Delta State lawmakers”.
On his message to incoming fresh lawmakers, he said, “You don’t just come to the State House of Assembly because you want to make money. Reason being that lawmakers don’t have approval authority; they don’t have approving powers; they don’t give out contracts or execute contracts. So, what they do is just lawmaking and everything about lawmaking; that is why they need to be trained.”
He said the Speaker of the House, who happens to be the Governor-elect, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, has done so much in terms of training and retraining of the lawmakers, management staff of the House, including political aides of the lawmakers.
“So, if you have a trained workforce, you will be able to build a team work around you,” he said.
He advised the incoming lawmakers to ensure they engaged competent legislative aides and ensure money due to them is paid them, saying the aides would give their very best when so appreciated.