We worked hard for the autonomy of judicial, legislative arms – Former speakers

Simon Lalong
Simon Lalong
We worked hard for the autonomy of judicial, legislative arms – Former speakers

Former speakers of state houses of assembly were responsible for the financial independence of the legislative and judicial arms of government, immediate past governor of Plateau State and former speaker of the state house of assembly, Simon Lalong has disclosed.

Lalong who made the disclosure during a press conference in Yola on Friday to mark the beginning of the speakers conference in Adamawa State noted that the forum has been working steadily and consistently towards the entrenchment of democratic values in Nigeria.

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He noted that the forum which was established in 1999 has been waxing from strength to strength and has been assisting the political trajectory of its members.

“The autonomy of the legislature and the judiciary is to the credit of this forum because we started the fight for autonomy for the legislature and the judiciary in 1999.

“Many people suffered for it. Some speakers were removed because there was no proper understanding, but we kept on fighting until the last constitutional conference.

“We worked, and we got, for the first time, financial autonomy for the legislature in every state. And also the financial autonomy for the judiciary,” he disclosed.

Speaking about the conference, whose main session is scheduled for Saturday, February 17, Lalong said the former speakers are all experienced people who have useful ideas to contribute to national development.

“As we meet in this conference, we will be harnessing what we know about the challenges of this country, which we may push for constitutional amendment where there may be a need,” he said.

He noted that the forum of speakers has supported its members to grow in political strength noting that so far the forum has produced three governors in Rivers, Plateau and Adamawa states and also has two first time governors in Ebonyi and Delta States.

The former governor noted that apart from state governors, the forum has produced a number of deputy governors, senators and house of representatives members within its fold adding that the forum has contributed significantly towards the political mileage attained by its members and will sustain the tempo.

Lalong noted that the conference in Adamawa will deliberate on the current challenges bedeviling Nigeria and will come out with strong recommendations which will help the country chart a way out of its myriad of socio economic challenges.

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