By Miracle Enuji
Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly (DTHA), Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori has called on the leadership of Labour Unions to focus more on the interest of its members when carrying out agitations.
Oborevwori stated this on Tuesday, September 13, 2017 when he played host to Executives of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, who were on an exchange visit to the delta State House of Assembly.
Receiving the visitors to the Assembly Complex, the Speaker said, “Look at the staff, look at the realities, it is very important because there are things that you make request for and at the end of the day, it will also impact on the staff. Those are the things you should make request for and not just things you agitate for because of your personal interest. You people have come and there are things that you will learn from us here because it is not just everything that you just agitate.”
Oborevwori expressed his appreciation for the understudy visit saying that there are a lot of things that they will learn from DTHA that will redefine their agitation when they get back to Bayelsa and further informed them that the leadership of the house, Management and Members of PASAN are enjoying a robust working relationship even as major demands have been approved.
In his words, “On assumption of office, the first thing I did as Speaker was to meet with the management of the Assembly, just to ascertain what was on ground and to know the workings and all. I also met with the PASAN too, the same day and looked at all their demands and we are working on it. They also made a request on their Clinic which eventually, His Excellency, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa approved it. The other issue of outfit allowance, as it is today, His Excellency has also approved it. You know the bureaucracy passing through processes and all that, soon everything will be worked out because it has already been approved. So these are the two critical issues and the other ones are minor and we will look into those ones.
“Within the four months that I have assumed office, I have been able to achieve these two key demands- the clinic and the outfit. So we give God the praise and we would continue to work together to see that these assembly is in good working relationship,” Oborevwori said.
Responding on the Autonomy demand by Houses of Assembly, the Speaker said, “that issue is very key for all Houses of Assembly in this country it is not just for only PASAN, it will also benefit the legislators and the staff. We have been on it in the various Speaker’s Conferences. So we all pray that this time we will get it right.”
Speaking earlier, the PASAN chairman, Bayelsa State House of Assembly and leader of the delegation, Comrade Siso Simeon informed Speaker Oborevwori that the purpose of their visit is to understudy the departments and their functions noting that as a union, we have seen that we agitate mostly without finding out how things are done in other chapters of other state houses.
He said, “Hence, in line with our constitution and our objectives as a union, it is very clear to secure a united platform for members who are staff of the legislative houses and we have decided to work together, synergise, learn from each other, learn how the departments are operating so that we can also adopt such to our state where we are lacking, hence this parliamentary exchange and visit.”
“We know that your Assembly has been working very hard, we know from history that your Assembly is vibrant, we know from history that your Assembly has a nice environment just like as we have seen, we need to tap all this to our state house so that we let the right Honourable Speaker, the leadership and the management know what we have seen on ground here. That is why we are here, Comrade Simeon submitted.
He added that the courtesy call is also predicated on the constitutional amendment that is taking place with the Autonomy of the State Legislature as their main priority which the state legislators will make contributions to. “The autonomy will not only help the staff, it will also help the honourable members because when the legislature is autonomous, the issue of going with memos to government house to see His Excellency for signatures or begging for approvals will be eliminated and when the legislature is autonomous, it will help the State Houses of Assembly, the staff, more structures will be built, allowances will go up. So we want to at this juncture plead with the right Honourable Speaker and leadership of the Delta State House of Assembly that when the time comes, you should help us to vote for autonomy so that we are autonomous.”
Comrade Simeon appreciated the efforts of Speaker Oborevwori for committing to the welfare of the management and staff of DTHA and also encouraged him to leave legacies that will speak volumes when his tenure elapses.