Snake saga: Ondo lawmakers yet to resume sitting

There seems to be no end to the cold war between the Ondo State House of Assembly and the State government, as the state governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu and the lawmakers tango over the decay of infrastructural facilities in the State of Assembly complex.

A month after the lawmakers threatened to suspend legislative sitting indefinitely until the Assembly complex is put into proper shape, following the alleged snake invasion into the Assembly Chamber, the lawmakers continued to shun legislative sittings.

Nigerian Tribune correspondent who visited the Assembly complex to find out the development after the snake saga, noticed that there was no renovation work ongoing at the Assembly complex while sitting had been suspended indefinitely as threatened by the lawmakers some four weeks ago.

A staff of the State Assembly informed that “though the lawmakers had been carrying out some legislative duties, they had suspended sittings since July after the snake incident.

“I can confirm to you that no renovation work has been carried out in the complex or at the Chamber and the lawmakers had suspended sitting ever since then

“We learnt the governor has put in place a panel to look into the request of the lawmakers but the state of the complex never changed since the face-off between the governor and the lawmakers”

He, however, expressed optimism that the differences will be settled soon and attributed the delay to the panel put in place to look into the matter and said “the governor is even on his annual leave”

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The lawmakers had accused the current administration of Governor Akeredolu and other previous administrations in the state of neglecting the Assembly complex and failed to release money for the renovation of the complex, insisting that this led to the invasion of a snake at the Assembly Chamber.

Apart from this, the lawmakers disclosed that the Assembly complex was in a state of dilapidation and needed urgent attention saying that the termites-invested hallowed chamber is the worst in the country.

The lawmakers said “It is pitiable that the Ondo State House of Assembly is the worst in terms of infrastructure in the whole country. It will also interest the public to know that the office of the speaker and the deputy speaker have no official cars.

Attempts to speak with some of the lawmakers were not successful as most of them deliberately avoided to speak on the matter.

A source within the governor’s office who spoke with Nigerian Tribune on condition of anonymity said Akeredolu will continue to hold the Assembly in high esteem and respects the principle of Separation of Powers,  but urged the lawmakers not to give room to destructive politics.

Meanwhile, the ad-hoc committee set up by the State House of Assembly to investigate the fire incident at Ojumole Oil field has called on the Chevron Nigeria Limited to clean up all the communities affected by the inferno.

The Secretary of the ad-hoc committee, Mr. Benjamin Jayeola,  who briefed journalists after the stakeholders meeting which was also attended by the Speaker, Bamidele Oloyelogun, said this directive is expected to be carried out by the oil company in line with environmental safety regulations.

He explained that the ad-hoc committee on Ojumole fire incident met with the critical stakeholders including Chevron top officials and representatives of the affected communities where it was agreed that the ongoing interface between the people and Chevron should be strictly monitored to ensure that beneficiaries of all the affected communities are reached in no distant time.

He said that the meeting also resolved that efforts should be geared up to put in place a permanent health facility in the affected communities and that Chevron should create jobs for the youths in the oil-producing communities.

According to him, the Committee resolved that Chevron should liaise with the state board of internal revenue on the issue of arrears of taxes owed by the company and quickly report back to the committee in the next one month.

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