by WOLE OLADIMEJI AND TORDUE SALEM
***Group commends APC’s stand on Speakership
Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha would, in fulfilment of the provisions of the House Rules, but against the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, complete the tenure of the Speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, which is statutorily expected to end May 29.
It is instructive, that with a sleight of uncommon fate, Ihedioha, a member of the defeated Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, would lead the 7th House to its closure.
Tambuwal, governorelect for Sokoto State would be sworn-in on May 29. His tenure as Speaker and member of the House of Representatives ends on the same day
But to avoid a vacuum and to prevent a brewing constitutional crisis, Tambuwal, at a press briefing at the National Assembly yesterday, said the House would today, resolve the matter by “empowering the Deputy Speaker”, Emeka Ihedioha to preside till a new Speaker is elected for the 8th Assembly.
The House is expected to suspend the provisions of the 1999 Constitution and other relevant conventions, to effect the transfer of the power to Mr. Ihedioha who himself, flopped in his ambition to govern Imo State.
The House, which is expected to elect a substantive Speaker for the 8th Assembly in June, has been in a constitutional crisis on the issue of a possible leadership limbo on abrupt end to the eventful speakership of its helmsman Tambuwal. But Tambuwal himself announced a solution to the matter.
Though the House Rules provide for a Speaker Pro Tempore (provisional Speaker), their reign can only be established in the case of a removal of a Speaker by way of impeachment, resignation, death or indisposition.
Tambuwal will leave the House for Sokoto today, preparatory to his being sworn in as governor.
In his remarks at the press briefing, he commended the House Press Corps for helping in stabilising the Green Chamber and keeping faith with the tenets of democracy.
He pledged to continue his service to the nation as governor and the Nigerian people.
Meanwhile, the 8th Assembly Consolidation Group yesterday declared the position of the All Progressives Congress, APC, on the Speakership race in the House as a welcome development.
It would be recalled that the party has said that it would not interfere with the election to pick the leadership of the National Assembly.
The group also commended APC leader and President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement signed by Jagaba Adams Jagaba, representing Kachia/Kagarko federal constituency of Kaduna State in the North West; Zakari Mohammed, representing Baruten/ Kaima federal constituency of Kwara State in the North central; and Haliru Jika, representing Darazo/ Ganjunwa federal constituency in the North-East, the members urged that House should be given the free hand to choose their leaders without any external interference from some godfathers.
The group stated that this will further deepen and consolidate on the gains of the 7th Assembly under the leadership of Rt. Hon. Tambuwal.
They said: “It is our belief and conviction that this 8th Assembly will not only consolidate on the achievements of the previous parliament, but further exemplify the vibrant and brilliant qualities of a national legislature.
“Indeed, we believe the 8th Assembly will mark a turning point in the history of our nation from the business- as-usual syndrome to become a House of legislation per-excellence.”
As representatives of the people of the federation, the group noted, it is important that the House is seen as a bastion of freedom, liberty and justice.
“It is therefore imperative that the 8th session of the House of Representatives assembles a leadership that will reflect competence, experience, professionalism, discipline and independence,” the group said.
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