To emphasize legislative experience, the ranking rule practice states that the more a member stays in the chamber, the higher his or her ranking status, which is considered in the occupation of positions of responsibilities that include the leadership and headship of some committees.
The legislature plays important role in domesticating and monitoring the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and as well, ensuring that government is accountable to the public for national progress on them.
The legislature controls through legislation all economic, social, and political activities of the nation. It also scrutinizes the policies of the executive and provides the framework for the judiciary to operate.
These hallowed responsibilities require that principal officers possess ranking legislative experience, and capacity and are in constant communication and dialogue with the citizens they represent.
Talking about the legislative experience, the common dictionary meaning of the word ‘experience’ is the process, or an instance, of personally encountering, or undergoing something. It also means the knowledge gained from such a process.
Therefore, when we talk about the legislative experience in consolidating democracy in Nigeria, we are talking about the knowledge we have gained in the discharge of legislative functions over the last 23 years of democratic practice in the country.
There is, no doubt, that, in the past 23 years of uninterrupted democratic and legislative practice, the legislative arm, both at the National and State level has learned some useful lessons that have continued to serve it in good stead.
As campaigns for the 2023 general election begin tomorrow (Wednesday) according to INEC’s timetable, it has become necessary for the experience and capacity of some legislative aspirants to be laid bare and for the question to be asked: “are they good enough for legislative oversight functions, especially at a time when the best brains with ranking experience are needed to nurse our nascent democracy”?
Cross Rivers state is of particular interest here. It is a state where Rt. Hon. Hillary Bisong hopes to continue a quality representation for the good people of Boki II State Constituency, which saw his election to the Cross River State House of Assembly in 2015 and 2019. Going by his progressive ideologies, his political constituents are upbeat about re-electing him in 2023.
Hilary Ekpang Bisong; a graduate of Geology from the famous University of Calabar and a former Personal Assistant to former Gov. Liyel Imoke is undoubtedly one of the most talented, and most outspoken lawmakers the Cross River State House of Assembly has ever produced.
As a focused young man who was prepared for the job, he became the first house of assembly member to produce an action plan for constituency engagement called the Citizens Legislative Agency Project (CLAP), which was designed to give the people direct access to engage their representatives about their welfare and development.
As a young legislator then, he was the first to break the history of passing 27 bills within four years in office, which is the primary responsibility of a legislator. furthermore, his love for Empowerment had cost the Honourable millions of Naira within six months in the office with the distribution of motorbikes, Radios, etc.
Additionally, paying many staff on his payroll, trained seventy youth on entrepreneurship, working in collaboration with the Boki chairman and Mr. John Owan to bring the first Micro Finance Bank in Boki with a donation of one million Naira to support small skill business owners amongst other achievements are testimony of his commitment to wealth creation.
Riding on the crest of the desire of his political constituents for more qualitative legislation/oversight functions in a way that promotes service delivery and a better standard of living for the people, Hon. Hilary Bisong massively got re-elected for a second term bid in the Cross River State Assembly in 2019.
Consolidating on the legislative experience gathered during his first term in the State House of Assembly, he has continued to implement his pledge of satisfying the desire of the people of the Boki II constituency and the state at large for quality legislation and representation.
Hon. Hilary Bisong has been visible on the floor of the Cross River State House of Assembly through his legislative engagements and oversight functions, perhaps due to his wealth of experiences as a ranking member of the chamber, successful entrepreneur, astute politician, and administrator of repute, with a proven record of success in administrative governance and business management.
A hardworking, innovative, and strong team player, Doro Fresh Air as he is popularly called, has within the period in review moved significant motions, sponsored inspiring bills, and supported several motions that are geared towards his basic areas of interest, which he is ready and willing to continue to implement, for the good people of his political constituency.
Beyond legislative and oversight functions, Hon. Hilary’s activities as a social reforms advocate and a bridge builder is inspiring. In line with his focus-driven representative commitment to his constituents and his desire for a better society, he has severally demonstrated his passion for youth/women empowerment and employment creation.
Perhaps, among others, it would be pertinent to mention that in June this year, the media reported that Hon. Bisong gave a cash donation as a Palliative to UNICAL Lecturers of Boki II State Constituency to help cushion the effect of the months’ none payment of salary to ASUU members in Nigeria, occasioned by the ASUU strike.
Also, although, the 2022 New Yam celebration of the Boki nation may have come and gone, but the worthy memories will leave for a long time. It would be recalled that for years, Boki 2 State Constituency was under siege by a militia group that held the constituency to Ransome.
Given returning the lost glory of the constituency, Rt. Hon. Hilary Bisong sponsored the first ever large gathering of Boki sons and daughters to come together and participate in different events on the festival day, to promote unity, foster peace, and above all keep the festival alive.
The festival, the first of its kind, witnessed mass participation from all the wards of Boki II. There were several competitions; ranging from the best farmer, best-dressed masquerade, best dance masquerade, and best farmer from each ward amongst others.
Cash prizes were given to the respective winners to boost their participation and harvest ahead of the next edition. Incidentally, his desire for wealth creation, education, health, security, and urban renewal has earned him several recognitions in Nigeria and abroad.
However, for him, the reward for his excelling contributions to a better society is not just in the plagues that dote around the wall, but it is in seeing the less privileged cared for, seeing equity in wealth distribution. Supporting youths and women to build back their economy and social life are some of the projects that fire up his passion.
Given his achievements so far, there are no doubts that Rt. Hon. Hilary Bisong, who rode to the Cross River State House of Assembly twice on the crest of the desire of the people for a progressive ideology and agenda is better equipped to improve the dynamism and functionality of quality legislation and the true meaning of representation if elected in 2023.
This is because experience counts in occupying principal positions in the chamber, which will in turn attract more dividends of democracy for the good people of Boki II State Constituency.
- Written By Kennedy Onyegbado; a media, research, and communications strategist. (+2347064715591, email@example.com)