(OPINION) Idongesit Ituen’s Example of Indecent Dressing
The Legislature is said to be where the soul of democracy is embedded and without it, democracy is only flesh, without blood, indicating a state of in activeness, probably dead! Without Legislature, Democracy can also be described as a toothless dog which can only bark, without biting.
Since it is a law making body which makes laws that orders the direction of democratic wheel, then the legislature also should not be above these laws, hence they make a set of laws which also check their natural excesses, as man is without it.
What helps in checking and balancing their excesses is the set of the ‘Standing Order’ which is timely upgraded to meet up with Legislative practices around the world as deemed fit by a particular House.
A melo-drama ensued during House plenary of the 6th Assembly on Tuesday, 12th April, 2016 when the powers of these set of laws binding the activities of Honourable Members while performing their official functions was demonstrated by immediate past Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Uko who is presently the Chairman in charge of House Committee on Rules, Business and Ethics.
This Committee is in charge of the formation of these set of laws to check conducts of Members which should be generally acceptable by Legislative standard and practice. During this Tuesday plenary, Hon. Aniekan Uko who has just been saddled with the responsibility of this committee, swiftly woken this sleepy-only-barking dog by evoking the powers of the committee during the House plenary and clamped down the ‘Holier-than-thou’ attitude of Hon. Idongesit Ituen who was not worthy of appearing in the hallowed chamber, not to talk of even speaking for the people of Itu that day.
The former Speaker evoked Order 4 rule 4 sub 8 which deals with mode of dressing of members, stating that Members should appear in European Suit; French Suit with or without tie; and or Traditional attire. It was so unfortunate that Member Itu, Hon. Idongesit Ituen just barely a week after barring female journalists from participating in House plenary and covering their official beat just because their gown and Skirt were with a side slit; and a little above the knee, respectively.
There is an adage which says ‘those who lives in a glass house should not throw stone’. Hon. Idongesit Ituen never had a clue that it will be barely a week, that he who barred some female Journalists from performing their official functions just because of a ‘side slit’ on a gown and a ‘skirt-just-a-little-above-the knee,’ will be shut from speaking for the whole people of Itu State Constituency due to appearing like a ‘Papa–Ajasco’ with a casual folded-sleeved shirt and a long tie without even a suit! Idongesit Ituen’s move on stopping people with ‘indecent’ dressing would have been a welcome development if there was a prior notice to that effect, not just to wake up with a personal decision which did not only publicly embarrassed the Journalists but stopped them from performing their duties.
I believed in a formal environment, information has a channel on which it flows, may be through a ‘circular’ before an action is taken. It is when this is done that one who is operating in an official environment such as a Legislature can justify his/her action. More so, Idongesit Ituen maybe should have gone for the option of enacting a law or simply passing a resolution.
His action did not only come as a surprise to the ‘victims’ but they also wondered why others still within the Legislative Premise were seen going about their duties in ‘indecent’ dressing, according to Hon. Idongesit Ituen.
Actually, it seems the affected Journalists ‘edong anye esit’ (sympathized) with ‘Idongesit’ as ‘Iboroakam’ caused ‘Nemesis’ to take its course barely a week and they also have a word for him. If his intension was really right as others may have seen it that day, then he should apply civility to it by pushing it through a formal channel or enacting a law to that effect.
A resolution may not be totally wrong. And the move, if it should be for the further good of that arm of government, should not be a witch-hunting tool but it should be without fear or favour of anyone within that arm of governance. It is worth stating here that Idongesit Ituen’s move threw many aback by checking their wardrobe through, thinking of the current economic trend and how to fix their wardrobes with new ‘cassocks’ or ‘soutane’ and suits to fit-in Hon. Idongesit Ituen’s ‘dressing code.’
However, since economy is stringent to even consider wardrobe welfare for House correspondents, it is pertinent they will moderately make do with the available, since the envisaged is not available. It was simply ‘Nemesis’ or call it ‘Iboroakam!’
By Enwono-Abasi ELISHA