By Levinus Nwabughiogu
Abuja—The northern caucus in the House of Representatives has refuted a plot to commence impeachment process on the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila.
It would be recalled that an online platform (not Vanguard) had reported a grand plot by the northern caucus to impeach the speaker in the event that he failed to support the passage of the controversial Water Resources Bill into law.
The bill, which met stiff opposition and dropped in the 7th and 8th Assemblies, was recently reintroduced by the Chairman, House Committee on Water Resources, Sada Soli.
At a briefing at the end of yesterday’s plenary, the chairman, Northern Caucus, Sarkin Area, who was accompanied by the Majority Leader, Ado Doguwa; Minority Leader, Ndidu Elumelu; Chairman, Water Resources Committee, Sada Soli, among other lawmakers, said the online publication was untrue and existed in the imagination of the news platform.
He said: “It’s a day of mixed feelings. I don’t know how to describe it, whether to say sad. In my opinion, it’s a sad day. At a time we should be talking of how to unify this country to move forward together to provide good leadership, we are being dragged down by agents of destruction and destabilisation.
“Let me say clearly that what has been published that members of the northern origin are plotting to impeach the speaker is malicious, lies aimed at planting seed of discord among Nigerians.
“Anybody who follows the history lane in this country, especially this 9th Assembly, will know that Gbajabiamila enjoys the support of everyone of us, including those not from APC. From the beginning of his campaign, it was a joint task on nation building.
“If at this juncture somebody will insinuate that members of a particular region are plotting to impeach the speaker, that’s greatest disservice to this country and we should condemn it and shouldn’t allow it to go unchallenged.
Also speaking, Sada Soli, the House Chairman, Committee on Water Resources, said such a report was based on ignorance.
He said: “I can guarantee you all these reportages going on in our papers were based on ignorance, even on the basis of not passing the bill as a law in this country. Please, I urge all journalists to pick that bill and read it just for pleasure.
‘’The bill is not Sada Soli’s bill, I was not in the 8th Assembly, I was in the 6th Assembly. There were four water resources legislations in the water sector. The National Water Resource Act, Nigerian Institute for Water Resources, Kaduna, Nigeria Hydrological Service Agency and River Basin Development Authority Act.”‘
In his remarks, the Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Abubakar Fulata, said “whenever there is a bill, nobody has the power to impose anything on the House.”
In his contribution, the Minority Leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu, however, remarked that energy should not be dissipated on the impeachment publication but focussed on how to assist the government solve the issue of insecurity and get Nigerian students back to school, even though he said that impeachment publication was false.
He said: “I don’t think I should waste my time defending what is out there about impeachment but in a simple language, there is nothing like any threat to impeach Mr. Speaker. Second, the issue of a bill or no bill hasn’t even been dropped before us on the floor for consideration.
‘’Third, it is also not true that there is any attempt to put in any supplementary order paper for us to consider bill. Mine is to see how we can support government to confront insecurity. Of course, you are aware what happened yesterday in Abuja along Bwari law school, Abuja.”
Giving a tone of finality to the issue, the Leader of the House, Ado Doguwa, described the publication as mischievous and baseless.
He said: “We here as a united front in the face of the 9th House to tell the world that as far of the 9th House of Representatives is concerned, having been drawn to the fact that some publication went viral, insinuating that the House, through the northern caucus, is contemplating impeaching our able speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, like my colleagues have said sufficiently, I also rise to say without any fear of contradiction that such publication was only malicious.”