BY NDAHI MARAMA, MAIDUGURI
Last week, precisely on Friday 26th March 2021, the Borno State House of Assembly had to convene for an Emergency Meeting of Public Importance at the complex in Maiduguri, despite the nationwide strike embarked upon by parliamentarian workers demanding financial autonomy.
The Speaker of the House, Rt Hon Abdulkarim Lawan spearheaded the meeting which had virtually/almost all the 28 Lawmakers in attendance to clear some unverified reports trending in some social media platforms that 23 out of the 28 legislators had planned to impeach Governor Babagana Umara Zulum with no concrete constitutional backup.
Ordinarily, the Speaker while addressing the Lawmakers at the flour of the House pointed out that the mischievous Impeachment report didn’t warrant any reaction, but due to unforeseen circumstances from the General Public, and looking at the cordial relationship that exists between the three tiers of government, which is the Executive, the legislature, the judiciary, and by extension the members of the fourth estate of the realm in the state, there is the need to react and act accordingly.
Lawan who described Social Media as a platform that always harbours fake news, especially in the Nigerian context need not be taken seriously in terms of its contents, as every dig and hurry can have access and send unsubstantiated posts without gatekeeping.
The Speaker in his submission at the floor of the House specifically commended the mainstream media for the display of professionalism in the matter by reporting objectively on what transpired in the house chamber, but however, a day after, he was quick to condemn Daily Trust Newspaper which published the proceedings with sentiments and injected independent opinion best known to the author.
……. HOW THE IMPEACHMENT RUMOURS STARTED
It all started last Thursday when a yet to be identified poster wrote and published in Opera News exclusively that the immediate past Governor of the state, Senator Kashim Shettima ‘Intervenes as Borno Assembly Moves to Impeach Governor Zulum’
The statement came as a shock to many across the country following the fact that Prof. Zulum is arguably one of the best governors in Nigeria and coupled with the fact that he has been doing tremendously well for the peace and development of the people of Borno state.
To this end, the Borno State House of Assembly (BOSHA) on Friday passed a vote of confidence on Governor Babagana Umara Zulum and strongly denied speculations in some social media platforms which went viral that the 23 Honourable House Members out of the 28 have concluded arrangement to impeach the Governor.
The Speaker, Rt Hon Abdulkarim Lawan said, although parliamentarian workers were on strike nationwide demanding total compliance with Financial Autonomy, the lawmakers had to convene at the Assembly complex for Emergency Meeting, in view of its public importance to clear some rumours of impeachment against Governor Babagana Umara Zulum trending in some Social Media platforms.
The passage of the Vote of Confidence at the floor of the House was sequel to an ‘Emergency and Matters of Public Importance’ moved by a member representing Kala Balge State Constituency who doubles as the Majority Leader, Hon Dige Mohammed, a motion which was seconded by member representing Abadam Constituency, Hon Jamuna Bang who stood on Orders 8 and 9 of the House.
Deliberating, all the members unanimously dissociated themselves from the purported move of impeachment rumours.
The lawmakers also denied reports in some online platforms linking them with baseless and unfounded allegations, insisting that they are strongly behind Governor Zulum to ensure peace return back to the state.
The House noted that “It firmly believes in the leadership style and capabilities of Governor Zulum’s all-inclusive governance, who is passionate about the plights of every Borno citizens irrespective of political, ethnic or religious inclinations.
The House unanimously called on those perpetrating such baseless allegations using social media, which is the only platforms for ‘gratification of fake news to desist, as it is ready to partner with security agencies to arrest and punish anybody who want to cause disaffection in the state polity.
Contributing, the Deputy Speaker of the House, Muhammed Askira described the impeachment rumour as “malicious ” stressing that it was something that no one can control.
“But what we can control is our resolve to continually support the governor at all times because he has done more than enough for our constituents”.
A member from the Dikwa state constituency, Honorable Mohammed Zakariya said ” let the media tell the world that we are not going to impeach our governor because he has not done anyone or the state any wrong”.
At the end of the contributions, the Speaker, Abdulkarim Lawan said “the house has resolved and passed a vote of confidence in the leadership style of Professor Babagana Umara Zulum.
“Ordinarily, the house would not have responded to that malicious report but we felt we should speak to avoid innocent members of the general public being misled to believing that false story especially considering the fragile security of our state and also the giant strides recorded by Professor Babagana Umara Zulum’s administration in all sectors of the economy.
“Fact is that we have a very cordial and harmonious working relationship between all arms of the Borno State Government. There was never any problem let alone the so-called attempt motive to remove our hardworking Governor who built and accelerated people’s confidence in governance.
“The house dismisses that news publication, we commend the mainstream media and reputable online media organizations for ignoring that mischief and we strongly call on relevant security agencies to bring to book, the perpetrators of that malicious news report” . Lawan stated.
Apart from the Confidence vote, the House also made other resolutions which include; “There was no any move or so whatever plan to impeach Governor Zulum, the House in strong terms disassociated itself from the unverifiable publication, called on social media users and by extension professional members of the press to always verify the information before publication, called on the general public to disown the said report and also called on the security agencies to fish out those behind the impeachment report with a view to bringing the perpetrators to book”