By Saviour Ekpe
The Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon. Aniekan Bassey has debunked rumours making the rounds that he is media shy and that he cannot face the media.
Hon. Bassey who heads the 7th Assembly of the State lawmakers, himself a-2-term representative of Uruan State Constituency while meeting with print media Chief Executive yesterday under the aegis of League of Newspaper Proprietors in the state said that in as much as he sits as the Assemble umpire, he is being restricted by law to make public pronouncement, else his statements may be misconstrued, “I want to state here categorically that I am not media shy as peddled by many. If you understand the office of the Speaker of state Legislature that is not under autonomy, we will then know that such speaker supposed not to speak anyhow in public knowing that whatever he says may mean opinion of the Assembly”.
He pointed out that only member that can speak on any issue bearing in mind that their personal opinions are not binding on the Assembly until such opinions are made legal. He also explained the fact that he as speaker can neither lead in a debate nor sponsor bills, “I have to remained an unbiased umpire that is why I cannot lead in a debate as speaker. For instance, if my colleague brings a bill and I grant interview touching the bill, I have already given my opinion and my colleagues will need to tow that line. So I remained as umpire that is why I don’t grant press interviews except when it is very necessary”.
The speaker spoke extensively on the just concluded screening of Commissioners and Special Advisers and explained that the Assembly needed to adopt new strategies that will conform to the current technological innovations as well as meeting up with the global best practices in legislative business.
While challenging the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Akwa Ibom State Council led by Comrade Amos Etuk whom he described as the best hand for the job to propose a bill that will protect Journalists and strengthen the practice of Journalism in the state, promised that he will put machinery in motion that will sponsor such bill.
He called on media executive to support Governor Udom Emmanuel to continue to drive what he referred to as completion agenda to a logical conclusion, “I want to call on all of you to use your various media organizations to support His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel. He is the vision carrier and we must ensure that we support him to succeed because when he succeeds, the state will continue to move forward”.