Uneasy Calm As House Of Reps Reconvenes Today To Consider State Of Emergency Extension Request

There was tension at the House of Representatives on Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s (today) reconvening of lawmakers.
Findings showed that lawmakers across political party lines held a series of “strategic talks” on Wednesday, all aimed at check-mating a likely rowdy session today.
It was gathered that the majority Peoples Democratic Party and the leading opposition, All Progressives Congress members in particular, deliberated on strategies on Wednesday separately.
The Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, had reconvened the House today to hold a “special session” on the extension of the state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.
The House has been on break and it is officially scheduled to resume on December 3.
However, before the latest development, there were pending issues agitating members, especially the October 28 defection of Tambuwal from the PDP to the APC.
The PDP had claimed that by his defection, Tambuwal had lost both his seat and position as speaker.
The party had asked Tambuwal to give up his seat to a PDP lawmaker.
Moves by the PDP and its House caucus to reconvene the House before December 3 have failed till date, owing in part to the litigation filed by Tambuwal and the APC House caucus.
On its part, the APC caucus had vowed to oppose any plan to reconvene the House without Tambuwal’s seal or with plans to remove him from office as speaker.
Following his defection from the PDP to the APC, Tambuwal is currently without security personnel.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba, had withdrawn the Speaker’s police security personnel, claiming that under Section 68(1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution, Tambuwal was not entitled to security protection, having defected from the party on whose platform he was elected to the House.
The matter is still pending before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
But investigations showed that some PDP members planned to use the opportunity of today’s special session to bring up the Speaker’s defection.
One senior PDP said that some members had been positioned for this purpose.
“The matter has to come up one way or another. They are likely to insist that this is not the time to discuss the Speaker’s defection since the House is still officially on break.
“But, that will not be so easy; there has to be a way”, the source told our correspondent.
It was learnt that the APC caucus was wary of the plans of their counterparts in the PDP. The caucus had reportedly resolved that the session should not derail from the “main agenda, which is the state of emergency.”
One APC source noted, “Go and look at the reconvening order issued by the Speaker.
“It says a special session to consider the extension of the state of emergency. There is nothing else after that matter is disposed of.”
But, another influential chairman of a committee dismissed the view of the APC member.
He said, “Nothing stops members from raising other issues. This is a parliament; you don’t gag people by telling them not to speak on issues agitating them.
“If there are other issues, we will discuss them. Expect some drama naturally.”
When contacted, the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Zakari Mohammed, said that today’s session would be “strictly on the state of emergency.”
According to Mohammed, the House is still on break till December 3.
He explained that the reconvening was approved because of the “urgency of the matter at hand.”
He spoke further, “This is going to be a one-item agenda; the state of emergency. We discuss it and we wind down again till December 3. Nothing else.”
On his part, the Deputy House Majority Leader, Mr. Leo Ogor, agreed that the emergency rule was the key thing. However, he added that members were free to raise “any other issue of urgent national importance.”
He added, “Of course, there are issues, such as the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the budget. If a member considers the MTEF or any other matter to be of urgent public importance, we will look at them.”
Ogor declined to answer a question on whether the Speaker’s defection was the “any other matter” he referred to.
The APC caucus leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, was unreachable on Wednesday. However, a source in his office said that the caucus was “not aware of any other matter for debate outside the state of emergency.”
Apparently unsure of what might play out today, the personnel of the Sergeant-at-Arms Office held “security briefings” on Wednesday.
“It is normal procedure, not that anything untoward will happen.
“We just meet regularly to review our measures,” one source said
Close associates of Tambuwal were also said to be set to use today’s session to “test his popularity among members.”
“It is a test case; this is to test the ground on what to expect in the weeks or months ahead,” one source stated.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

Previous Post Next Post

نموذج الاتصال