By Ola Ajayi
IBADAN—THE Chairman, Speakers Conference in Nigeria and the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, yesterday, vowed that with the validation of harmonised standing orders for lawmakers in the South West zone, the era of illegality when speakers of legislative arm are removed by minority through governors will no longer be possible.
He said this at a meeting of adoption of the rules entitled Validation and adoption of harmonised standing orders for Southwest Houses of Assembly which held in Ibadan.
The conference, originally initiated by Development Agenda for South West of Nigeria, DAWN, some years ago had in attendance Speakers, deputy Speakers, Clerks, majority leaders, chief whips and Directors of Legal Services where the legislators had opportunities to brainstorm on how to move the zone forward.
The Houses of Assembly in the six states of the southwest region; Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti and Ondo states harmonized and adopted reports to have a common standing order and house rules to checkmate indiscriminate impeachment of speakers, house leaders as well as curb unwholesome activities in the legislative arm.
Obasa said: “This is beyond politics alone but a way to develop our democracy in the South West. Having same rules in the state Houses of Assembly in the region will beautify our democracy because there can’t be democracy without parliament.
“It will also remove the acrimony that we are witnessing in the past where few people try to remove the Speaker or change the system in the parliament. Once we have conformity in our rules, nobody can do something otherwise and get away with it.
”It will also checkmate the excess of the executive in influencing the leadership of the houses of Assembly without conforming with the provisions of the law because there is no way you try to change the rule of the house without considering the effect of such on other House.”
“The new rules itself has a measure to checkmate impeachment because you cannot act alone in isolation, if you do, we in the South West state can come together and say no, you have not follow our rules.”
Also, the Deputy Speaker, Oyo state house of Assembly, Mr. Musa Abdulwasi said: “This document makes the procedure to remove the speaker rigorous as it is to remove a governor, so nobody cannot just jump into the chamber and serve the speaker with notice of impeachment. It is not possible under this rule. You can only impeach the speaker with signature of one-third of the members of the house.”