Gbajabiamila, Dogara refuse to bury hatchet in running Reps battle

By Sanni Muhammed November 4, 2015 12:51

Gbajabiamila, Dogara refuse to bury hatchet in running Reps battle

The House of Representatives is set to be engulfed in yet another round of crisis as Speaker, Yakubu Dogara and House Leader Femi Gbajabiamila have refused to sheathe their swords over the composition of Chairmen of House Committees announced last week.

Strong reactions trailed Dogara’s decision to sideline members of his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, in favour of allocating “juicy” Committees to members of the opposition, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Gbajabiamila accused Dogara of undermining him and other Principal Officers, who he said were not consulted ahead of the appointments of Committee Chairmen.

Gbajabiamila in a letter dated October 20, addressed to Dogara, cautioned against undermining his office and the entire members of the House of Representatives.

      “I did this because of the incessant rumour that same had been composed.

“On each occasion you assured me that nothing had been done. From all indications, however, it appears that an announcement of Chairmen and Deputy Chairmen is imminent and such may be done this week.

“Honourable Speaker, I acknowledge your right and prerogative to determine the leadership of the House Committees and I intend to work with you after such determination has been made. I intend and have stated privately and publicly to work with you for the progress of the House.

“However, I am constrained at this point to ask that due consideration is given to the provision of our House Rules, Order 7 Rule 10 paragraph (a) which states that the Speaker shall in consultation with principal officers, appoint chairmen and deputy chairmen from among the members of the committees.

“On the role of the Majority/House Leader: Order 7 Rule 27 (2) c says that the Leader of the House shall ‘liaise with committee chairmen and other functionaries of the House.”

In swift reaction, Dogara through his media aide Turaki Hassan replied Gbajabiamila, and also accused him of escalating crisis and division amongst members. He reinstated that Principal Members were carried along in the House Committee Chairmen composition process.

He also insisted he had held meetings with Gbajabiamila before the 96 committees were constituted.

      “The announcement was around 3.30pm and the meeting between the Speaker, the Majority Leader and other principal officers, held between 9 and 11.30 in the morning, But he (Gbajabiamila) did not say anything there. He was exchanging banter.

“I hope somebody is not saying consultation is same as approval. The House Rule does not say the Speaker needs approval before appointing chairmen of committees or even relieving them; rather, it provides for consultation which he did,” Dogara stated

With this latest exchange, political observers have wondered if this is just another stop on they way to absolute chaos in the Green Chamber.