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Bauchi gov, predecessor disagree over assembly inauguration

Gov. Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed of Bauchi
Gov. Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed of Bauchi state.

The inauguration of the 9th Bauchi State House Assembly slated for yesterday has been postponed until June 20.

Our reporter learnt that the postponement was as a result of a clash of interests between Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed of the PDP and his predecessor, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, on the choice of speaker.

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APC has majority in the House, and there are three major contenders for the seat of speaker, all of them members of the ruling party.

These include the former Speaker, Kawuwa Shehu Damina representing Darazo Constituency; Abubakar Suleiman Ningi, representing Ningi Constituency; and the former Majority Leader, Tijjani Mohammed Aliyu representing Azare /Madangala Constituency.

APC has 22 out of the 31 members, PDP has eight while NNPP has one member which gave the APC an edge over the ruling PDP to determine who becomes the next speaker.

According to reports, the former governor had held a secret meeting with some members of the yet to be inaugurated assembly in Kano where he asked them to maintain the status quo and elect Damina as speaker.

The APC in the state has already expressed its displeasure on the adjournment of the inauguration of the 9th Assembly by Gov. Mohammed.

The party in a statement, yesterday, by its secretary, Alhaji Bako Hussaini, observed that the governor lacked constitutional power to suspend the inauguration after a proclamation.

It alleged that there was a plan to scuttle the activities of the assembly and impose an unpopular leadership on the members which the party said started with the removal of the Clerk of the Assembly few days to the inauguration.

The statement added that APC has a clear majority in the 9th Assembly in the state with 22 members as against the ruling PDP with eight members.

It further alleged that with the knowledge that APC is in control of the house, Bauchi State government was employing tactics to create a situation similar to what played out in 2015 at the National Assembly to install minority over majority.

The statement said the APC leadership in the state will not fold its arms and allow the ruling party do anything contrary to the Constitution of Nigeria.

It therefore advised Governor Mohammed to bring back the removed clerk immediately.

However, speaking to our reporter on telephone, the PDP spokesman, Yayanuwa Zainabari, said the inauguration was postponed due to some pressing exigencies.

“Postponing the inauguration of the state House of Assembly does not mean that there won’t be inauguration. Gov. Bala Mohammed as the elected governor has the right to schedule the inauguration.

“The APC has to understand that the governor only wants a leadership in the house that will collaborate with him and work for the state. He is not trying to muzzle the house but to have a vibrant one that will be a partner in progress to the executive not a subservient one like the past assembly which became the rubber stamp of the executive.

 

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