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Pressure group condemns exclusion of new MPs from house leadership

By Kenneth Ehigiator
Monday, May 26, 2003

THE North-West chapter of a pressure group, Northern Youth Network (NYN), has condemned the new House of Representatives’ rule which seeks to prevent new members from contesting leadership positions in the House, especially the speakership.

The group also called on the leadership of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the zone not to repeat the mistake made in the choice of Alhaji Ghali Umar Na’Abba as Speaker of the outgoing House of Representatives, and made a case for the Representative-elect for Kaita/Jibia Federal Constituency-elect, Dr. Bugaje as his replacement.

In a statement containing its reaction to the introduction of the new House rule (Rule 2(2) (2a), the NYN contended that the move was designed at imposing on the North-West Zone an incompetent returnee legislator as speaker, whose antics might not be far from the out-going one.

Signatories to the statement include Hon. Musa Garba of Zamfara State, Captain Maiyaki (rtd) of Kebbi State, Comrade Sanusi Maikudi of Kaduna State, Alhaji Aminu Goronyo of Sokoto State, Alhaji Umar Farouk of Kano State, Mallam Sani Garba Riko of Katsina State and Alhaji Sani Isa of Jigawa State.

"We are all aware of the conspiratorial insertion of the so-called Rule 2 (2) (2a) in the body of the rules of the House to make for a privileged caste that would sit on top of a heap of new legislators.

"Of course, non of the members-elect has been sent there from their constituencies to fag or slave for the so-called returnee members, nor does the constitution allow for a ranking of the legislators into senior and junior cadres. We don’t suppose anything more dull, pretentious or plain silly has ever been invented," the NYN stated. It cautioned PDP leadership in the zone on the choice of candidate for the speakership position, saying "recent experience has shown that the occupant of the office can make it either bigger or smaller.

"In this respect, it is only reasonable that North-Western PDP leaders in the zone, legislators-elect and all should clear their eyes, look well before they make the choice of which of the candidates they’d be putting forward for approval by the larger caucuses of the ruling PDP and, subsequently, by the members of the House of representatives."

The group noted that the zone could hardly afford to put forward a candidate in the mould of Alhaji Ghali Na’Abba whose excesses, according to it, led to the loss of confidence between the executive and the legislature, resulting in fatality for the interest of the zone. The NYN contended that in as much as it was not making a case for puppet of a speaker that the executive could ride roughshod on, it was also being careful in allowing for choice of a candidate that would take opposition too far, as exemplified by the out-going speaker.

Canvassing support for Hon. Bugaje as the candidate for the speakership position, the group implored the party leaders in the zone to "allow for the emergence of a speaker with a modicum of respectability that would command the support and loyalty of fellow members, who understands how the executive works, so can avoid needless frictions and protect the constitution."



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