Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi on Friday said his administration had granted financial autonomy to the state legislature and the judiciary with a pledge not to dabble into their affairs.
The resolve, according to him, is based on his belief in the independence of the legislature and judiciary as arms of government and in furtherance of his administration’s commitment to the principle of separation of powers.
Bello made the declaration in Lokoja during the anniversary session of the state House of Assembly marking the end of the first session of the 6th Legislative Assembly.
The governor said there was need to ensure the separation of powers for the sustenance of the ”tripod of democracy”, adding that money that accrued to the arms were paid directly to them since he assumed office.
He assured that he would not interfere in the functions of the legislature and neither would he tamper with their finances.
“We will ensure that every kobo meant for the assembly is remitted to it when due. I assure you that if anyone will interfere, it will certainly not be Yahaya Bello. Kogi House of Assembly will not be tied to the apron strings of the executive, your money will come to you as and when due,” he said.
He said that the same applied to the judiciary.
On the leadership tussle which had factionalised the House, the governor said, ”it is a family issue”, and appealed to the legislators to lay their differences aside and unite for the overall good of the state.
He commended the legislators for discharging their responsibilities and ensuring good governance ”in the face of highly acidic attacks”.
Factional Speaker, Alhaji Umar Imam appealed to the governor to intervene in the leadership impasse in the House to facilitate reconciliation and restoration.
He said that the journey in the last 365 days of the assembly had been turbulent, attracting unpalatable comments and re-christening leadership of the House with ”embattled speaker and factional speaker”.
Imam said that the challenges from the crisis should not be allowed to overwhelm the House to cause anxiety in the state.
He added that even in the face of challenges, the House was able to sit for 185 days against the statutory 180 days and passed 161 resolutions.