By Emman Ovuakporie and Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA- A member of the ruling All Progressives Congress ,APC, in the House of Representatives, Garba Mohammed Datti, representing Kaduna Tuesday turned down his appointment as Chairman of the House standing committee on Solid Minerals Development.
The list of the standing committees was released last Thursday by the leadership of the House.
In a swift reaction the House leadership Tuesday accepted Datti’s resignation replacing him with Rep Suleiman Samaila from Kaduna state.
This development was confirmed by the House spokesman, Rep Abdulrazak Namdas in a telephone conversation.
To register his anger and disdain Datti walked out of the plenary presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Sulaimon Yussuff Lasun.
The Speaker, Yakubu Dogara last Thursday named 96 standing committees for the 8th House, coming after weeks of waiting apprehension.
The speaker had said the action was predicated on the need to comply with the revised standing orders of the parliament.
The constitution of the panels had been delayed as result of the review of the standing orders carried out by the Orker Jev-led adhoc committee to that effect, and concluded a fortnight ago through the unanimous adoption of its report by the larger House.
But Datti who turned down the appointment through a point of order he raised on the floor yesterday said his rejection of the plum committee was predicated on his “principled” disposition as a democrat.
Datti , a former Deputy Minority Whip of the House during the Seventh Assembly, stunned his colleagues at plenary Tuesday, explaining that he declined the offer because the Speaker announced his name “without due consultation.”
“I feel as a former principal officer I should have been consulted before my name was announced. I just heard of it on the floor. And I have my own principles. I have decided on my own to withdraw as the chairman of that committee,” he said.
Answering questions from journalists at the lobby, Datti explained that his withdrawal as Chairman was a personal decision and not as a result of external influence.
On why he failed to decline the appointment immediately after his name was announced on Thursday last week, the lawmaker explained “I have to find out what happened first before I take my decision. And is only today (yesterday) that the approval has been given. For that reason I decided to withdraw.”
“I should have been consulted. If the president wants to appoint his ministers, I think before the announcement he has to consult them.”
He expressed confidence in the Dogara-led leadership of the eight assembly, adding that the Speaker was democratically elected by the 360 members of the parliament.
I don’t have any qualms with the leadership as presently constituted, because the election was democratically done here. The election was done. I am not against anybody but I am against the decision of coming to announce my name without consulting me. That is my reason,” he declared.