By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Some members of the Plateau State House of Assembly have appealed to the Inspector General of Police, IGP Alkali Baba to unseal the House to enable them continue with their legislative function, as there are numerous bills on ground which required legislative attention including the 2022 appropriation bill which was laid before the House by the State Governor, Simon Lalong.
Na’anlong Daniel, Majority leader, Plateau State House of Assembly made the appeal on behalf of his colleagues on Thursday evening in Jos.
The Members equally took a swipe at those criticizing the development in the House saying they would not hesitate to tackle them headlong.
It would be recalled that since the purported impeachment of the embattled Speaker, Abok Ayuba and the alleged emergence of Yakubu Sanda as the new Speaker few weeks ago, the Police had sealed the House to forestall the breakdown of law and order and the development has fueled diverse arguments in many quarters.
The Police had tried to broker peace between the two factions but the peace process failed hence the continued sealing of the House by the law enforcement agency.
Addressing journalists, the Majority Leader said, “It is imperative that we address you today and put the records straight in-view of the aftermath of the change of leadership in the Plateau State House of Assembly. We want to put it on record that due process was followed in the impeachment of the former Speaker Rt. Hon. Abok Ayuba, as provided in section 92, 2 (C) CFRN 1999 (As amended) that 16 out of the 24 members sign a resolution for his impeachment. This was complied with on the 28th October 2021.
“The public and members of the press should note that 17 members were present in the Chambers at the sitting on that day which is more than the required number that forms a quorum in any legislative business of a State House of Assembly. It is baseless and misleading to say that only eight numbers signed for the impeachment of the former Speaker, as being spread around in the social and mainstream media and by some individuals. The Clerk of the House is in possession of the names of all members who were in the House on that day. Unfortunately, some members of the other side who were there and even addressed the press afterwards have been involved in misinforming the public.
“We have since noticed a wide reaction from various people who are either ignorant of the true situation or being partisan for their selfish political interests. We are calling the attention of Senator Jonah Jang, Senator I.D. Gyang, House of Reps member Jos South – Jos – East Hon. Musa Bagos as well as the Lagos State house of Assembly, Former Senate President Bukola Saraki and many others to always cross-check their facts, as their action and comments are misleading and not a true reflection of what transpired on the floor of the house. Therefore we call on them to get their facts clearly before delving in to conclusions.
“Similarly, we take exception to the comments of the former Governor of Benue State Senator Gabriel Suswam who threw caution to the wind to use abusive language on Honourable members of the Plateau State House of Assembly. While we warn him to desist from disrespecting the Honourable members some of whom are far older than him, we thank His Excellency the Senate President Dr. Ahmad Lawan who called him to order and put him in his right place. Henceforth, we shall not hesitate to take him on frontally.”
He added that Ayuba was removed, among other things for, “refusal to reconvene the House since August this year, because he was asked to render account of his financial activities in the House,” stressing, “We have noticed with utter disappointment that there are external forces using the former Speaker to achieve their political ends.”
However, the APC Forum of Members, Plateau State House of Assembly, has declared its support to the Sanda led faction saying his election is an act of “divine ordination which manifestation is unveiled to men in a fashion designed by the most High.”
The forum through it’s Chairman, Benahel Andong and Secretary, Abu Nimmyel while speaking with journalists advised “anyone who is not satisfied with the House’s decision may wish to challenge it in court, rather than inciting people to disrupt the hard earned peace in the State.”