Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike inherited a damaged government structure from the immediate past APC administration in the state. Former Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi deliberately weakened the Rivers State House of Assembly, polarised it and ensured that a faction sat in the dinning hall of the Government House.
It was so bad that the Rivers State House of Assembly had two speakers and two different sets of House leaders. The principle of separation of powers was relegated and the dictatorship of the former governor was upheld.
One of the priorities of Governor Wike as he took over the leadership of the state was to enthrone the principle of separation of powers to guarantee open, inclusive and accountable governance.
Therefore, Governor Wike in his New Rivers Development Blueprint planned to: “Respect the sanctity and independence of the legislature and the judiciary. We shall not interfere but work harmoniously with the State House of Assembly and the Judiciary to move the State Forward”.
Since assuming the reins of leadership in Rivers State, Governor Wike has developed a functional productive partnership with the State Assembly with the aim of setting the legal framework for the growth of the State.
His first step was to proclaim the House of Assembly and re-open the Assembly Complex closed by the immediate past administration. This step sent the right signal that the House is Independent and ahould function within the ambit of laid down rules.
The governor also implemented the financial independence of the State Assembly, creating the right environment for the House to carry out her legislative oversight functions.
In the last two and half years, the Rivers State House of Assembly has passed 17bills into law for the good governance of the state. These laws cut across different spheres of endeavour. They have strengthened the machinery of governance and placed Rivers State above her peers.
The cordial relationship between the Rivers State Governor and the State House of Assembly built on mutual respect has translated into stable leadership at the State Legislature. This means that State Assembly has remained focused on lawmaking, rather than be pre-occupied the politics of survival.
Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr Ikunyi-Owaji Ibani maintains that the Assembly will always put up its best in the interest of the state.
Accordingly, the members of the State House of Assembly will continue to work with the Rivers State Governor to enhance the growth of the State.
He commended the governor for his outstanding achievements, which has been complemented by the State Assembly.
Since May 29, 2015, the Rivers State House of Assembly has passed two Appropriation Laws, 2016 and 2017.
Other prominent laws passed by the Rivers State House of Assembly include: Rivers State Education (Return of Schools) Amendment Number 1 Law, Number 1 of 2017,Rivers State Honours Law Number 2 of 2017, Rivers State Reserve Fund (Repeal) Law Number 3 of 2017, Rivers State University Law Number 4 of 2017 and Rivers State University Teaching Hospital Law Number 5 of 2017.
Others are: Rivers State Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori ( Amendment) Law, 2015, Rivers State Kidnap (Prohibition) Amendment Law, 2015, Rivers State Traditional Rulers Law No.4 of 2015
, The Rivers State Local Government (amendment No.1) Law Number 5 of 2016 and the Rivers State Administration of Criminal Justice No. 7 of 2015.
Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr Martin Amaehwule , in an interview stated that the numerous projects of Governor Wike which attracted countless awards can be linked to the quality laws and resolutions of the State Legislature.
He said: “Since the beginning of the 8th Assembly we have come up with several resolutions which definitely impact so well on the running of the state. Of course, the executive arm implements most of what we do. The numerous projects are products of the Appropriation Laws passed by the Rivers State House of Assembly.
“If we don’t play our part, it might be difficult for the executive to come up with the relevant programmes and policies. So you see , we work hand in hand. The executive arm of government that led by Governor Wike is doing so much for Rivers State. It is one thing to come up with laws, but it is another thing to have a governor to implement the law. We have a performing governor who carefully implemented all laws passed by the Rivers State House of Assembly “.
Amaehwule praised the determination for his commitment to leaving worthy footprints on the sands of time in Rivers State.
He said: ” I am proud that in my own time we were able to come up with a law that set up a teaching hospital for the Rivers State University and of course the College of Medical Sciences is also there.