Special Adviser to Kwara State governor on New Media, Fafoluyi Olayinka, has discredited the domestication of the Freedom of Information Bill in Kwara State.
The SA, who said the FoI bill does not need to be domesticated before the government can be transparent, informed civil society organisations that they were wasting their time if they wanted to discredit Governor Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman for not passing the bill into law.
Speaking during an interview on Royal FM, a radio station in Kwara State, Olayinka noted that the state’s Assembly was already scrutinizing the activities of the government in the absence of the bill.
He said, “Those who want to use FOI to discredit the governor are just wasting their time. It is only someone who wants to hide something that will be afraid.
“The House of Assembly is scrutinizing us already.
“Our House of Assembly are autonomous and are not annex of the state government. “They have a liberty to look at the bill sent to them by the governor and pass it or not. Our governor is not the Speaker of the House of Assembly who have not worked on the bill.”
Recall that Governor Abdulrazak vowed to sign the bill into law.
The governor had in July 2019 returned the bill to the Assembly after making an amendment to it.
The governor asked that the bill be amended from seven days to 14 days, while the N100,000 is increased to N500,000.
Reacting to the statement by the governor's aide, Dr Alagbonsi Abdullateef, Coordinator of Elites Network for Sustainable Development (ENetSuD, described the statement by Olayinka as a direct confrontation to the CSOs.
He also added that the statement is a reflection of the government's current thought on FOI bill, and negatives the governor's letter to the Assembly.
"The governor's aide open declaration that CSOs advocating for open governance, transparency and accountability through the domestication of FOI Act in Kwara State is a direct confrontation to the CSOs that attempt to silence advocates of open governance.
"The statement is also a reflection of the reason for the delay in the passage and assent to the bill, as the legislature might have conspiratorially ignored action on the bill.
"The statement reflects that the current administration of Kwara state government is not ready for transparency and accountability," Abdulateef said.