June 10, 2009

Niger Assembly impeaches Speaker

By Wole Mosadomi

MINNA — Barely a year after surviving impeachment moves, Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Mr  Mohammed Mohammed Alkali, was yesterday impeached and replaced by Sheidu Ndako Idris.

Removed by 18 of 25 members which account for two-third of the House, the erstwhile Speaker who was away attending to some constituency projects was kicked out of office for allegation of poor performance and over romancing with the executive arm of government.

In a brief session chaired by his deputy, Bashir Lokogoma, the House unanimously relieved Alkali of his post through a motion by the Minority Leader, Isah Mohammed Ibbi, of Mashegu constituency and seconded by the Minority Whip, Afinki Dauda of Gurara constituency.

Ibbi, while moving the motion, accused the former Speaker of abandoning his primary constituency, romancing with the executive at the expense of the lawmakers and lack of focus for the House.

Supporting the motion, Dauda accused the former Speaker of not carrying the members along in decision making and in-activeness, while she also re-echoed the allegation of the
Speaker playing the bidding of the executive arm of government at the expense of the House.

After a serious debate, the House unanimously elected Sheidu Ndako Idris to replace the former Speaker and was immediately sworn-in by Alhaji Mohammed Rijau,  Clerk of the House.

In his post election speech, the new Speaker promised to carry the members along and move the state forward, pledging his loyalty to the state with a promise to re-position the House and put the legislature in its rightful position.

Speaking with newsmen after sitting, House Committee chairman on Information, Isah Kawu of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said that the decision of the house to remove the former Speaker was based on the general disenchantment of members of the house of the leadership style of the impeached Speaker.

According to him, “It was the opinion of the members that is leadership style of being sluggish and not apt enough. We have to vote the way we did, more also as we are now in the second half of the term, when things should be moving thoroughly.

It is our conviction that with the former Speaker at the helm of affairs, the house cannot make progress.”