By Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
Stakeholders in Nasarawa state on Friday revealed how 10 Members-elect of the 24-member state assembly allegedly borrowed a mace belonging to a local government in the state and used it for an illegal sitting outside the Assembly Complex.
“The G-10 went to a local government in the state and borrowed the mace of the legislative arm which they used for their sitting outside the Assembly. They do not have the authentic mace”, the stakeholders said. This was as they cautioned the state Governor, Engr. Abdullahi Sule against engineering any crisis in the legislative arm, saying his interference in the leadership recruitment process of the assembly is a recipe for disaster and an invitation to anarchy.
Convener of the Stakeholders, Comrade David Manga who spoke at a news conference Friday in Abuja said the current imbroglio at the Nasarawa State House of Assembly has led to chaos and disrupted the peace of the state, putting Nasarawa in the news for all the wrong reasons as it is being said that the state has two House of Assembly Speakers.
He said; “It is therefore to our utter shock, that the peace in Nasarawa State would be disturbed to the extent that it has now become a laughing stock due to the selfish and unpatriotic tendency of the Governor and a few individuals to impose their wishes on the people.
“With a 24-member House of Assembly, at the time of inaugurating the Assembly through a proclamation by the governor, 13 of the members had indicated their intention to have a new speaker in the person of the Honourable Member representing Kokona East State constituency, Hon. Daniel Ogah Ogazi.
“This is in order to pave the way for an inclusive and quality leadership that respects the views of members and one that represents the wishes and aspirations of the people of the state. “But to our consternation, on getting wind of this legitimate and appropriate thing to do, attempts were made to seal the Assembly complex in order to disrupt proceedings and to prevent the members from carrying out their legitimate business.
“Following the disruption, a few of the members went and held a purported sitting at the Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, a venue outside the jurisdiction of the state House of Assembly, coming out to claim that they had elected the immediate past Speaker of the House Rt. Hon. Ibrahim Balarabe- Abdullahi, as Speaker for the third consecutive time.
“The move however was dead on arrival as 13 members representing a majority, sat at the House of Assembly complex and elected Hon. Daniel Ogah Ogazi as Speaker of the Assembly. On seeing that their plans had failed, they have been going about with heavily armed police and Airforce personnel claiming that Nasarawa State now has two speakers.
“The real fact on ground is that Nasarawa State House of Assembly does not have two speakers but one in the person of Hon Daniel Oga Ogazi
“We therefore call on Balarabe-Abdullahi and his misguided honchos to see the handwriting on the wall and give up their claims of electing a Speaker since it never happened and lacks legitimacy to stand”, he stated.
On his part, a former Chairman, Karu Local Government Area of the state, Akala Samuel, noted that sitting outside the chambers or complex of the assembly was akin to “legislative rascality”.
He said; “The meeting of the 10 lawmakers outside was a meeting of a group of friends and not sanctioned by law.
“They are Members-elect. Until they avail themselves of their presence at the State Assembly to be sworn in, they remain Members-elect.
“We have called on the Inspector General of Police IGP to intervene and call the Commissioner of Police to order either by replacing him or dispatching a team to the state to do the right thing. All we want is to allow the 24 members access to the Assembly and let them decide among themselves what to do.
“The governor cannot be a product of democracy and then refuse to uphold the tenets of democracy. That is an invitation to anarchy”, he stated.
The former Council chair accused the police of taking sides with the minority group in order to please the state governor.
He said the majority of members had approached the CP to seal the assembly Complex in the interest of peace, only for the police boss to secretly reopen it for the minority group to gain access and purported to have approved the governor’s list of special advisers.
The stakeholders consequently called on security agencies to steer clear of the state House of Assembly and also stick to their responsibility of providing security for the good people of Nasarawa State instead of being partisans in the matter.
“Balarabe-Abdullahi cannot afford to set the State Assembly and Nasarawa State in confusion simply because things did not go his way this time.
“It is the same majority that gave him the mandate to serve as speaker in the past Assemblies that have now decided it should be the turn of another”, they declared.