House denies impeachment plot against Femi Gbajabamila
An online newspaper had reported northern lawmakers in the House are plotting an impeachment of the Speaker and perfected plans to bring up the controversial bill for passage when those opposed to the bill are not present in the House.
The report also said that the Clerk to the House has already been contacted to prepare an ‘addendum’ and plan to take their counterparts from the Southern part of the country unawares, to ensure the bill successfully passes through second reading.
The controversial Executive Bill, which was passed by the House in the last Assembly but rejected by the Senate was reintroduced in accordance with the House rules and passed by the House at the Committee of the Whole.
It however generated heated arguments, necessitating a recall of the bill and regazetted for second reading but some members of the House said it was not in the interest of the nation for the bill to be passed into law.
At one of its recent plenary, Chairman of the House Committee on Water Resources, Rep. Sada Soli Jibia, informed members that in accordance with his earlier promise and directive of the Speaker, copies of the bill have been sent to all members for close study in readiness for the second reading.
However, at the plenary on Tuesday a member, Chairman of the Northern Caucus, Sarki Adar, informed members of the publication alleging that northern lawmakers in the House were plotting to impeach the Speaker, stressing that the House remain united for a singular course irrespective of regional or political affiliations.
Addressing newsmen after the House sitting, both the House Leader, Hon. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, and his Minority counterpart, Rep. Ndudi Elumelu said report was just in the figment of the imagination of those who came up with it as the House was more determined to team up with the government to address the current security challenges in the country.
Doguwa said the northern lawmakers have never contemplated such thing, adding that the publication is malicious and not true.
He said: “It was only malicious, baseless, mischievously and unfounded. This House in every aspect of its all ramifications had never had an instance where we contemplated impeaching our able speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila.
“The House of Representatives under the leadership of Gbajabiamila has been a very stable House, united and we are even out to join hands with the executive arm of government to see to the development of our dear nation, Nigeria.
“The issue of insecurity as raised by my very good friend, the leader of the opposition is one major problem that we must have acknowledged and must also give it to the fact that the government is not resting on its oars. Mr. President is doing the best he could, the Armed Forces are also joining forces with the government to make sure that this thing comes to an end and it is my commitment that this government will fight insecurity to its knees.”
Minority Leader Ndudi Elumelu described the publication as ridiculous, saying the idea to impeach Gbajabiamila was dead on arrival as the lawmakers are more worried about the insecurity bedeviling the nation.
“I know my colleagues whether APC, PDP or any other party. It is not what we are thinking about. It’s very unfortunate that people will want sponsor that kind of stupid information. Nigeria is under siege, presidential guards were attacked yesterday.
“Recently Kuje prison was evaded. Also the Minister of Education just asked the students to go back home. We don’t even know if here will be invaded, the insecurity in the country should our concern. Whoever is dreaming about the impeachment of the speaker it remains a dream, it’s dead on arrival.”
Chairman of the Committee on rules and business, Hassan Fulata, explained that bills coming to the House have procedures and the passage of any of them can’t be imposed on anyone.
He said the insinuation that the northern lawmakers instructed the clerk to bring it after southern members might have left the chamber as quite unfortunate, adding that the northern members are solidly behind Femi Gbajabiamila.
Chairman of the Committee on Water Resources, who presented the Executive Bill to the House, Sada Soli appealed to journalists to study the bill as well as the water Act of United Kingdom, South Korea, USA and other jurisdictions and compare it with the ones in Nigeria
At the plenary, Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase, who presided, said the motto of the 9th House of Representatives which is “Nation building: Joint task” remains the guiding light of the House, stating the House is united in its assignment.
Wase asked the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges to investigate the matter, saying “I want to plead with my colleagues to toe the line of what has been mentioned to us, to trust one another and to believe that we are working as a family.
“We should not be carried by emotions and sentiments towards dividing us. We remain the symbol of democracy in this country and in any nation the parliament is a symbol of democracy.
“We are one here, there’s nothing like that going on, I’m a northerner and I’m not aware. Maybe they are planting stories to gang me against my colleagues but we are one and in unison in terms of our activities. I rule that the matter be referred to the committee on ethics and privileges.”