NASS Crisis: Speaker Dogara Explains Why He Shunned APC’s Letter

dogaraThe Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has explained that he was unable to act on the letter forwarded to him by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress because of a pending court case.

Speaking at a parley with former House Representatives members, Representative Dogara, however, said that the fracas that occurred in the House of Reps chambers last Thursday (June 25) was inexcusable and unacceptable.

The Speaker said that although he had wanted to act on the party’s letter nominating some persons as principal officers of the House, as a law abiding citizen he was compelled to do otherwise as a result of a pending court case instituted by about 36 APC lawmakers from the North Central zone.

The APC lawmakers alleged that the party had schemed them out in violation of constitutional provision on Federal Character Principle.

He said that the tradition has been that the six principal positions are shared evenly among the six geopolitical zones of the country in accordance with the Federal Character Principle.

The national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had decided on the party’s position on principal officers of the 8th House of Representatives.

According to reports from the National Assembly on Tuesday, June 23 2015, the APC had written to the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, listing out the lawmakers that should fill the party’s remaining four leadership positions.

For House Leader, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila from South-west zone was selected and Honourable Ado Doguwa of the North-west zone was nominated for the position of Deputy House Leader.

Honourable Mohammed Monguno from the North-east zone was chosen as the Chief Whip while Honourable Pally Iriase from the South-south zone was selected for Deputy Chief Whip.

Plenary at the House of Representatives was disrupted by some members over the nomination of principal officers. The disruption on Thursday by some lawmakers, who protested a call by the Speaker for an Executive Session, turned the session into a rowdy one.

 

House Apologises To Nigerians Over Fight During Plenary

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The members of the House of Representatives struggle for the mace

The House of Representatives has apologised to Nigerians over the actions of some lawmakers who disrupted the proceedings in the House and attempted to seize the mace during plenary on Thursday.

Addressing reporters after the rowdy plenary, the Chairman of the House ad-hoc Committee on Media, Honourable Sani Zorro, condemned the lawmakers’s actions, saying “the House sincerely apologises to Nigerians for the events of the day”.

His meeting followed other briefings by the Peoples Democratic Party’s caucus and the All Progressives Party’s caucus in the House of Representatives.

After what turned out to be a very turbulent day, the House had adjourned for the day until July 21, but the storm was far from over.

The large number of lawmakers in the All Progressives Congress (APC), who spoke to reporters, blamed the Speaker for the disagreement that resulted into a fist-cuff.

They said he refused to read a letter sent to him byt the leadership of the APC, stating the party’s position on its choice of principal officers.House-of-Representatives-in-Nigeria-fight

One of the APC lawmakers, Nasiru Daura, from Katsina State, said the position of the APC caucuses was that a particular zone should not be allowed to produce more than one principal officer.

Another lawmaker of the APC, Pally Iriase, from one of the zones (south-south) that had spoken against the party’s potion on zoning, also expressed his displeasure with the decision of the party’s leadership.

Giving his opinion on the rift within the APC, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, Leo Ogor, from Delta State, said that the APC lawmakers had started on the wrong note.

For the House ad-hoc Committee on Media, the conduct of some members is in contempt of the House and violates the orders of the House.

The committee Chairman said the House, under the leadership of the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, would pursue the needs of Nigerians, a promise Nigerians will expect them to keep.