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Autonomy for states Houses not cause for executive, legislative rift, says PDP chief

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Uche Secondus

The Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Assembly Service Commission, Andrew Unwanta, has said granting autonomy to states Houses of Assembly was not tantamount to creating a rift between the legislature and executive.

He made the assertion while speaking with The Guardian in Uyo, insisting that any state House of Assembly that misinterpreted financial autonomy for a face-off with the executive, would be failing in their responsibility of making laws for their states.

“It is a mistake to think that because of autonomy, houses of assembly will be at war with the governors. It is not possible because when that happens there will be no progress in such state.

“Autonomy does not change the situation at all. Bills like the appropriation act will still be sent to the assembly before the governor’s assent. So, both arms of government cannot be at war constantly.

“The only thing is little financial autonomy, you see what you want at a point in time without going to the executive to ask for such money; it does not mean not relating with the governor,” he stated.

However, Unawanta said it was not time for celebrations over the granting of autonomy, noting that its success or failure depended on the modalities and the amount of funds that would be made available to state legislatures.

“We are waiting to see how the modalities would be worked out and what percentage will accrue to the state lawmakers and the judiciary. That is yet to be worked out,” he said.

On PDP’s preparedness for the 2019 general elections, he said the state was not intimidated by fears that the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the federal level would use it powers to remove PDP from power in the state.

“PDP must defeat the opposition in Akwa Ibom State. Other parties too want to take over power and those in power want to retain it. We want to retain power in Akwa Ibom because Governor Udom Emmanuel is doing very well.

“We need to tell everybody to believe us, once we have the majority, it means the people have spoken,” he added.


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