Apparently referring to Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu's recent disclosure that President Goodluck Jonathan signed an agreement to serve for one term, the speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Hon. Adamu Usman, has said that the legislative arm of the state was behind the governor on his stance on the issue.
While receiving members of the Ex-Councillors' Forum in his office yesterday, Usman said that the governor had come out to express himself and that the Assembly members had at one time or the other collectively and individually expressed their support.
According to him, the support was borne out of the fact that the Assembly had good working relationship with all the arms of government in the state for the overall development of the people.
The speaker said, "In a matter of this nature, the legislature needed not to be naïve because, everywhere in the country, everybody is aware of what is exactly happening."
If by the will of God an agreement was reached, he stated, "it is therefore a moral burden on all parties to take responsibility and honour the agreement reached without any attempt to renege".
"We should not be afraid; we should be courageous," he declared, adding that the best institution that a leader like Governor Aliyu needed for support at this time is the legislative arm of government.
Hon. Usman said the legislative arm remained the fulcrum of democracy globally.
Earlier, the leader of the Ex-Councillors' Forum, Mallam Aliyu Abdulmalik, said that the forum would continue to support all activities of the present administration in the state.
Meanwhile, Governor Aliyu has said that Nigeria needed interpretation of the vexed sections of the constitution from the judiciary more than the present attempt at constitution amendment.
Aliyu, who declared open the 39th conference of the chief judges, grand khadis and the presidents of customary courts yesterday in Minna, said the judiciary must wake up to its responsibility of interpreting the laws of the country in line with the realities.
The governor also stated that the judiciary has the capability to bring sanity to the northern parts of the country through diligent discharge of its duties, saying that if the lawlessness is allowed to go on, the region would, in a few years to come, be in ruins.
Globally, according to Aliyu, the constitutions of democracies are not often subjected to amendments. The Constitution of the United States of America, for instance has not been amended more than five times since the constitution came into being, he said. "Judiciary is synonymous to democracy; we need interpretation of the constitution, not amendment. The judiciary should wake up to its responsibility to ensure the entrenchment of democracy."
On the non-payment of salaries to workers by some state governments in the northern part of the country, Dr Aliyu said such action was against the decision taken by governors in the region. He said the Northern States Governors' Forum agreed, at one of their meetings, to make the payment of salaries "first-line charge", adding that refusal to respect the agreement is breeding corruption in the civil service.
Earlier the chief judge of Niger State, Justice Jibrin Ndajiwo, said there has been tremendous improvement in terms of access to justice in Niger State because the state judiciary enjoys excellent working relationship with the executive and the legislature.
He, however, regretted that most states of the federation were not complying with section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution and therefore urged the Niger State governor to intercede on behalf of the judiciary for the implementation of the section.