Osun Assembly And Oversight Function

Feeding fat on the state’s largesse the legislators of Osun have forgotten whatever they are supposed to be doing in the State House of Assembly. The PDP members were mainly selected on the basis of the ‘do or die’ mantra so beloved of Olusegun Obasanjo and his side-kick Maurice Iwu.

However they should be reminded that they have a statutory constitutional responsibility to oversee the functions of the executive. Of course the PDP members of the Osun House are intellectually challenged, nevertheless they should be able to go through the motions.

Their lack of a sense of duty starts from home. Most of the PDP legislators do not even have functional Constituency offices. One of them laughably has an office in front of a hotel belonging to one of the state executives of the PDP. There is however here only a suggestion box at the entrance of the office. This cannot be anybody’s idea of what a Constituency office is supposed to be. An understanding of their lack of appreciation of what their functions are supposed to be should start from this perspective.

If the majority of Osun’s legislators had paid even a little bit of attention or showed some interest in their statutory function the state would not be stuck in its current state of deprivation. In Osun state, to reiterate an obvious truism the oversight role is certainly more needed than almost anywhere else. This is because the cavalier attitude of the Oyinlola and administration means that a rigorous check would have to be placed on it to ward off disaster.

Oyinlola’s administration has scant regard for due process. It’s ridiculous notion of administration means that government is on an eternal spending binge of the reckless kind. In this kind of situation the legislative arm owes the populace a duty of care in carrying out its legislative functions.
The lack of oversight affects every sphere of life and all the various tiers of government. For example the Osun state government has virtually cannibalised the local government’s turning the Local Government’s into a cash cow to maintain their infertile extravagance.

The outrageous deductions from the allocations of the Local Government’s simply translates into a breakdown of the concept of local administration. Money that should have gone into Local Government administration to maintain infrastructure is now siphoned to keep Oyinlola’s legion of political jobbers and freeloaders happy. In his latest incursion the embattled governor is said to have deducted half of the Local Government’s October allocation from the Federation Accounts. This means that there will be delays in the payment for example of staff salaries and the execution of projects previously planned now be put on hold.

If the legislative arm had been taking their functions seriously they would have been able to checkmate the legislature on this score. They have not done so, which means that the Local Government are really up against it, with their backs to the wall. Lacking both the technical skills and the intellectual capacity the legislators have simply turned themselves into a rubber stamp for the executive to use as they deem fit. Nowhere is this more pronounced than in the issue of the budget. As long as they get their due the budget just does not seem to require scrutiny.

This year for example, in order to ensure the speedy passage of the 2009 budget, the embattled illegitimate Governor simply packaged a trip to the United States of America for the 26 Lawmakers of the Osun State House of Assembly. Absurdly, or is it stranger than fiction?, the Governor presented the N88.2 billion 2009 budget to the House while the Lawmakers traveled to the USA three days later. This ludicrous excursion will cost the hard pressed tax payers the whooping cost of 65 million. The opportunity cost of N65 million.

The opportunity cost of this bribe is best imagined if a calculation is made as to how many water system N65 million can build. If the Lawmakers learn anything at all from U.S. junket, it is that this is not the way appropriation bills are treated in the U.S. Having been bribed no one should expect any serious scrutiny of the budget.

This is not what the separation of powers was intended for. The people of course are the poorer for it. The Osun state legislators will have to render an account one day. On that day the will have to accept vicarious liability for colluding with the do nothing executive to hamper the prospect of the state. That day, mercifully might not be as far away as they think.