Is this the Change we were promise ? Is this the Progressive we have been longing for?
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
By Adebayo Hassan
Members of the House of Representatives loyal to the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, have sued the speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, and the deputy, Yusuf Lasun, over the allocation of key leadership positions in the house.
Two aggrieved lawmakers asked a federal court to restrain Mr. Dogara from refusing to accept nominees sent by the party leadership as majority leader and deputy; and majority whip and deputy.
The move was the latest twist in a long drawn crisis that has engulfed the National Assembly since its inauguration June 9, over struggle for leadership positions.
At the House, the APC backed Femi Gbajabiamila to be elected speaker. After Mr. Gbajabiamila was defeated by Mr. Dogara, the party proposed he be named Majority Leader, alongside other lawmakers as majority whip and deputy.
Mr. Dogara and his supporters reject the party’s nominees, citing federal character principle since the deputy speaker, Mr. Lasun, is from the south west, as Mr. Gbajabiamila.
In a bid to pressure Mr. Dogara to shift ground, two loyal to the APC leadership, Abubakar Abdullahi (Niger State), and Olajide Jimoh (Lagos State), asked the court to grant an order restraining the Messrs Dogara, Yusuf, Clerk of the House, Sani Omolori, from preventing the announcement of the APC’s nominees as principal officers.
The APC lawmakers asked the court to determine whether Section 14 of the Nigerian Constitution on federal character applies to the internal workings of the National Assembly and, in particular, the House of Representatives with respect to the appointment of principal officers and, in particular the positions of Majority Leader, Deputy Majority Leader, Majority Chief Whip, and Majority Deputy Chief Whip.
“It is an indisputable fact that the positions in question are party positions, that is, principal offices of the APC, albeit that they concomitantly are also principal positions within the House of Representatives,” they said.
“Consequently, the 1st and 2nd Defendants (Speaker and Deputy Speaker) shall in accordance with Article 9.2 of APC constitution, which states, ‘members of the party shall be obligated to affirm the party’s aims and objectives’, implement the party’s aims as contained in the party’s nomination letter”.
Besides Mr. Gbajabiamila, the APC wants Alhassan Doguwa (North West) as Deputy Leader; Mohammed Monguno, (North East), as the House Whip; and Pally Iriase, (South South), as the Deputy Chief Whip.
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