Mrs. Mandu Umoren, a philanthropist, thoroughbred bureaucrat and alumni of the University of Ibadan (Class of 1987), is the Clerk of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly. She joined the State Civil Service as a Personnel Officer II in the Bureau of Political and Legislative Affairs and rose through the ranks. She was posted to the State House of Assembly in 1999, where she served as Committee Clerk in various Committees of the House. Before her climb to the apex of her career, she was Head of Legislative Affairs Department.
What has been your experience, working with 26 different individuals?
The Seventh Assembly was sworn in on the 10th day of June, 2019, with 25 Honourable Members. Essien Udim State Constituency’s seat was vacant as at then because of a pending litigation. Today, the House is complete with all her 26 Honourable Members. So far, God has helped me through since the inauguration of this Assembly. As the Clerk of the House, my role has been impartial. I do not dabble into politics and politicking with Honourable Members. I do my work and make sure I get the result. I only go into whatever they do when my advice is needed. I have been very apolitical and my focus has been on my administrative work.
In the history of Akwa Ibom State, the Seventh Assembly is the first with 14 returning Members. It has never happened. These returning Members are very intelligent people and the new ones are also following their footsteps. It has been a very vibrant Assembly, a Working Assembly, and we are keeping the pace with them. I lead the administration as the Clerk and we are working hand-in-hand to move the state forward and the Assembly.
Prospect of the Seventh Assembly in the next three years
The basic function of the legislature is lawmaking, representation and oversight. I have seen the Seventh Assembly carrying out these three functions very well. I have seen a lot of private member Bills, people-oriented Bills and Motions. So, I believe, in the next three years, the Seventh Assembly will be ranked very high above the previous Assemblies, the way they are going and based on the quality of representation by Honourable Members.
I thank the leadership of this Assembly, led by Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey. He has been a working Speaker and we termed this Assembly the ‘Working Assembly.’ When we do not have sittings, the Speaker makes sure the Committees are working. I want to also thank the State Government for the assistance given to the House so far. I want to believe, with the Financial Autonomy of the Legislature and Executive Order signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, something will be worked out for the benefit the three arms of government. The next three years will be great.
Successes of the Seventh Assembly
More than 30 Motions have so far been presented and some have been resolved. About 29 Bills have been recorded and six, out of the Bills, have been passed. This is a very big success, in just one year. We sincerely believe the Governor will give assent to the Bills so far passed by the House.