Members of Osun State House of Assembly have lamented the ‘harsh economic situation’ of the country which has subjected them to serious suffering and almost pitched them against the Assembly staff, relations and constituents.
The Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Akintunde Adegboye who spoke on behalf of all the 26 lawmakers in the Assembly in Osogbo on Monday, lamented that the cash crunch that bugs down the state has taken harsh toll on the lawmakers.
Speaking at a lecture organised to mark the 51st birthday of the Speaker of the House, Hon. Najeem Salam held within the Assembly complex, the Deputy Speaker said the legislators in Osun have to resort to their meager earnings from their private investments to settle certain critical financial obligations.
A Senior Lecturer from Ladoke Akintola University, Dr Moruf Hassan delivered the lecture on the theme: “Individual’s Rebounding in Economic Recession – Civil Servant, Public Servant and Unemployed in Focus” at the event.
Adegboye explained that the rise in the poverty index in the state has attracted more demands from their constituents.
He added that some of the staff of the Assembly have tagged the legislators as stingy individual, when the lawmakers couldn’t extend hand-outs to them as expected. .
According to him, “here in this Assembly, despite that our staffs get something at the end of the month; they still look at us as stingy people. How about thousands of our constituents, who depend on us, especially the sick and the unemployed youths, as well as others with different financial constraints?”
“As we speak, members of the Osun State House of Assembly are still using their private cars to do oversight functions. Most times, we sleep in darkness in our poky quarters, because sometimes we could not afford to fuel our power generating plants. But to the people in town, they thought we are the people with deep purse. That is the irony of the situation.”
“So, we often choose to take care of the poorest of the poor as a priority and I hope our staff who perceived us as stingy legislators can understand the skew of the priority now.”
The Deputy Speaker said the situation does not encourage flamboyant birthday for the Speaker as towns and villages in the state are not smiling.
He said people should not think the legislators in Osun are making money like their counterparts in the National Assembly who are enmeshed in the budget padding saga.
“You might be hearing about budget padding in National Assembly or purchasing of jeeps for the lawmakers while states could not pay salaries. But please do not commit fallacy of hasty generalisation by relating what obtains at the National Assembly to what we are experiencing in Osun”, he said.
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