The controversial and hotly contested Lagos traffic law is not sacrosanct. A review is possible for as long as it is desirable by majority of the people of Lagos State, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, said Tuesday.
Ikuforiji, who spoke with journalists at his official residence in Ikeja on the expectations in the New Year, said the law passed by the assembly was a product of hard work and thorough process which involved the input of the generality of people through public hearing.
The Lagos Speaker, who expressed satisfaction on the performance of Governor Babatunde Fashola in the state, however, decried the degree of domination of the local governments across the country by governors, saying the local governments should be the business of the assemblies instead.
Still on the traffic law, he said no law passed by the state assembly is rigid, much less the traffic law despite its attendant controversies but that any amendment of such a thorough process must come from majority of the people as a collective resolve for the change.
"The traffic law is subject to review and other laws alike. The traffic law was hotly debated and contested across board. But the passage was based on the larger number of Lagosians who rooted for sanity on Lagos roads.
"So, a review too will be based on the position of the majority and the rest remains the responsibility of the assembly," he said.
Ikuforiji, who also alluded to the law of cremation, said it was not compulsory for anyone averse to it but an initiative embraced for the sake of those who desire it, citing as another critical factor the issue of abandoned corpses in mortuaries across the state.
"The issue of cremation is also there; it was also as controversial. But it is not compulsory except for those who choose to. Also, cases of unclaimed corpses have become an issue and of course, health hazard."
But speaking frankly on the clamour for autonomy for local governments, Ikuforiji said indeed, states are the federating units and as such, local governments cannot be included as a tier of government.
However, he condemned instances of over-bearing attitude of some governors on the local governments, saying the state assemblies are actually the ones concerned with affairs of the councils.
"Most of the governors are over-bearing over the local governments and it is because most of the assemblies are sheer annexes of the executive. The local government commission is really the business of the assemblies," he said.
Ikufiriji, therefore, commended Fashola for buying into the idea of legislative independence, saying the Lagos assembly remains the only truly independent assembly in the country and that it was because the Governor saw the need and reason with the idea.
"For Fashola to have tolerated the idea of an independent judiciary is novel. And the Governor has done very well through constructive and productive engagements. I say it anywhere, he has really done well in terms of governance and it is evident," he said.
As a result, Ikuforiji noted that the success so far recorded by the state has been made possible because of the cooperation with the legislature as a critical stakeholder in the governance of the state. "Fashola has succeeded very well because the assembly has played key role."
Whilst observing that the New Year would be challenging because it is the last year of real governance before the politics of 2015 takes over in the coming year, Ikuforiji promised that the assembly would ensure that the promises made to the people in terms of delivery are kept by the Governor as well as guarantee better output of the legislature through training and retraining of its members and support staff.