By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA—Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said, yesterday, that the National Assembly would never tolerate a breakdown of law and order in any state House of Assembly.
The speaker said it was the responsibility of the apex legislative institution of the country to intervene in states where there was crisis. He said such interventions were seen in the amicable resolution of the challenges recently faced by the state legislatures in Bauchi and Edo states.
Gbajabiamila, who spoke through his deputy, Ahmed Idris Wase, at a round table Conference of Speakers of State Houses of Assembly organised by National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, NILDS, yesterday, in Lagos, said: “For the avoidance of doubt, the National Assembly is the head of the legislature in Nigeria.
“Events in recent weeks in some parts of the country tended to go in the wrong direction, but we are glad that intervention by the National Assembly has brought wisdom to play, particularly in Bauchi and Edo states.’’
The speaker said such interventions by the National Assembly were necessary to safeguard the institution of the legislature and democracy.
“I want to assure you that the National Assembly would not allow any breakdown of law and order in any state assembly, let alone contemplate any vacuum,’’ he added.
He tasked the speakers on the need for caution in the discharge of their functions, with a view to ensuring the sanctity and independence of the legislature as an institution.
He said: “My distinguished speakers, I must point out here that there is a need for caution. The caution lies in our collective efforts to ensure that the work of lawmakers, be it at the state or national level, does not suffer any infringement.”
“We must not only be seen to be working, but work in a way that our work would speak for us. Of particular note is the need to point out the sanctity of the National Assembly which must be recognised.”