PAUL OMOKUVIE, Bauchi
As the leadership crisis rocking the Bauchi State House of Assembly over the emergence of two speakers lingers, the newly-sworn-in Special Adviser to Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State on State and National Assembly matters, Hon Mohammed Burra, has called on the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, to be fair to the people of the state.
Speaking shortly after his inauguration, Burra stated that the governor of the state came with the zeal to work and cannot achieve much with a legislature in disarray.
It would be recalled that the 12-member adhoc committee headed by Musa Sarkin Adar was saddled with the task of finding out the circumstances that led to the emergence of two speakers in the Assembly.
A public hearing was conducted by the committee at an undisclosed venue in Bauchi on last Tuesday before its members left for Abuja.
As the decision of the House is being awaited, Burra, opined that the best recommendation the House under the leadership of Gbajabiamila would make was to leave the speaker elected by 13 members of the state Assembly.
Burra who was a former member of the state Assembly from 2003 to 2007, said: “On 20th June, 2019, the clerk of the House issued a prior notice to all the members that the 9th Bauchi State Assembly would be inaugurated at 10’o clock prompt, but 18 members went to hide themselves somewhere trying to determine who would be the speaker, who would be the deputy speaker and then the 13 that were in the chamber, when it was 10’ clock, the clerk had the right to go ahead with the proceedings of the House. So they went ahead and the first issue was the election of the speaker so the clerk went ahead with his duty to elect the speaker, the deputy speaker then the speaker inaugurated the remaining members. Based on my own knowledge of the Standing Order of the House, there was nothing wrong with the election of the speaker and deputy speaker of the House. For the remaining 18 members, they denied themselves the right to vote or to be voted for because they hid somewhere outside the chamber because the speaker and deputy speaker must be elected with the clerk in charge and there must be a mace, the symbol of authority. For the 13 that elected the speaker, Abubakar Y Suleiman and the deputy speaker, Danlami Kawoye, the conducted everything within the chamber and according to the Standing Rules and the Nigerian constitution. There was nothing wrong with that election except if they want to just create an unnecessary crisis in the state and the speaker is from APC so what are talking about?
The special adviser, who contested for Senate (Bauchi Central) in the last general election, argued that if members of the state Assembly identify some weaknesses in the leadership elected by 13 members, they have the right to change it.
He added: “When we were in the Bauchi State House of Assembly, the first Speaker we had, we were not comfortable with him and we impeached him and brought another speaker. So the members of the state Assembly have the right to change the leadership at any time or moment they feel like.
“The National Assembly should be fair to the people of the state and allow the current leadership of the House to stay so that our state can witness some development within the first 100 days because the governor has a lot of projects he wants to execute within the 100 days in office and already we have exhausted 44 or 45 days.
“If not because of the current crisis, I am sure the state would have started witnessing many tangible projects. I am calling on the committee sent by the leadership of the House of Reps to be fair to the people of Bauchi State to be sincere and fair to us to allow the current leadership of the state Assembly to continue.”