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Kogi Assembly Boil Over Speakership

Joseph Ahmedu in Lokoga who has been following the crisis arising from the election of the Speaker of the House from the PDP, reports of the continued threat by the APC members to boycott the proceedings should their protests and interests be ignored.

The 11 lawmakers of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the Kogi State House of Assembly have vowed to constitute a factional leadership on Monday next week if the on-going intervention by meaningful citizens of the state to reverse the alleged imposition of leaders in the House by the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) fails at the end of the day. The APC lawmakers in a statement made available to journalists in Lokoja said that as responsible leaders of their various constituencies, they have decided to respect the on-going efforts by Kogi stakeholders to resolve the current leadership tussle rocking the new beginning of the 6th Legislative Assembly. They maintained that all what they are after is that a fresh election which must follow due process be conducted to produce more acceptable principal officers that will pilot the affairs of the house devoid of ranchor and acrimony.

It would be recalled that shortly after the proclamation of the 6th Kogi House of Assembly by Governor Idris Wada on Thursday 4th June 2015, the 11 APC lawmakers in the house addressed the Press on the looming leadership crisis among the new legislators. The eleven elected All Progressives Congress members of the 6th Kogi state House of Assembly had cried out for the imposition of leadership on the house by the PDP and called for the reversal of the action which they described as illegal. The members also threatened to appoint a factional speaker and other leaderships of the house and parallel executive in the House.

The spokesman of the APC elected lawmakers, Honourable Abdulmumini Rabiu Ibrahim representing Ankpa I constituency who addressed journalists along with his colleagues stated that the PDP members of the House had imposed the speaker without any input from the members of opposition Party in the House. Ibrahim explained that shortly after Governor Idris Wada, his Deputy and other dignitaries left the floor of the House Honourable, Friday Sani of the PDP nominated the speaker and brought out a long list of officers, noting that when the APC member raised up hand for observation and the PDP ignored him. He stated that when they were not allowed to make any contributions into the nomination process, the eleven members of APC walked out of the Assembly complex, stressing that there is no speaker as far as the APC members are concerned.

He added that even if they have a preferred candidate, the PDP legislators should have allowed them to participate in the nomination process of the leadership of the house. He lamented that the PDP is yet not prepared to imbibe the spirit of change as it has not relented to continue to perpetrate what he cosidered illegality and impunity which, he said will not be allowed to continue under the 6th Assembly. The spokesman pointed out that the APC lawmakers would resist all attempts to impose leaders on them, calling on whoever is the sponsor of this illigality to desist so that the house will be peace.

The APC members had therefore boycotted the nomination of the immediate past speaker of the House, Right Honouarable Momoh -Jimoh Law In his reaction, the immediate past Deputy Speaker of Kogi House of Assembly, Emmanuel Omebije at the weekend called on new members of the House to de-emphasize party politics. Omebije who made the call while speaking with newsmen in Lokoja said what the constituents expected of their elected representatives was good representation culminating in good governance and overall development.

He said that rather than be divided along party lines, they should work together in unity, harmony and cooperate for the welfare, progress and development of their constituencies and the state in general. “When you come into the House of Assembly you forget about what party you belong, what is important is your relationship with your colleagues. “ Even within your own party, it would be hard for you to make any headway if your colleagues say no to your views and motions. So, you need to cooperate. My advice for them is to work in harmony with their colleagues.

“They should listen less to too much advice from out there because it does not help in the house. They should know that politics in the House is different from the politics outside”, he emphasized. On his achievements in the last eight years in the house (2007 to 2015), the immediate past Deputy Speaker said he attracted several development projects in education, health, roads, youth empowerment and sports sectors to his constituency.

He said that he attracted over N200 million for the construction of Okura township roads from the government of Governor Idris Wada, organized and sponsored football competitions and single handedly constructed a Skills Acquisition Centre at Anyigba. Omebije added that he influenced the on-going rural electrification project of the State Government to start from his constituency: “It was in my constituency that it was first inaugurated and I know it will spread to other constituencies.” The former legislator regretted that because of the unending human needs, he could not provide all the needs of the constituency but expressed optimism that his successor, Hassan Abdullahi to continue from where he stopped. THE UNION reports that 11 APC members of the 25-members of the assembly are at loggerheads with PDP members over perceived anomalies in the elections of principal officers of the house.

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