House:Tambuwal,Ihedioha Won't Be Sacked


Says defection constitutional SAN FRANCISCO, January 09, 2014, (THEWILL) -  The House of Representatives Thursday opened up on the reports that Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and his deputy, Emeka Ihedioha, would be replaced following the loss of majority status by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the lower chamber.

The House reconvenes next Tuesday from the Christmas and New Year break.

Chairman of the House committee on rules and business, Hon.

Albert Sam-Tsokwa, who disclosed this at a briefing said the leadership of the House would not be affected by the defection of members to the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC).

'For the avoidance of doubt, the Leadership of the House of Representatives as is embodied in the Presiding Officers emerged from the popularity of the candidates on one hand and the popular votes of members on the other and not strictly on party lineage.

'Therefore, defection or no defection, the leadership of the House of Representatives remains intact, having enjoyed and is still enjoying the confidence of the members,' he said.

The chairman explained that 'Nigerians are hereby assured and re-assured that defection or no defection, the House of Representatives remains and shall so remain Nigeria's House of Representatives bound together by one solemn constitutional duty i.

e "to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Federation or any part thereof.

"The House has a date with history as encapsulated in its legislative agenda and this date it must keep faith with in the overall interest of Nigeria.

' According to Sam-Tsokwa,  'Like the open letters, we are also into a season of defections and rumours of defections from one party to the other party/ cross carpeting, as it is commonly known, is neither a new phrase in democratic party lexicon nor a new phenomenon in Nigeria since 1999.

'Indeed it is on record that the ruling party has benefited from defection or cross carpeting of not fewer than four governors and numerous legislators to it since 1999.

It is time, therefore, to advise that we stop overheating the polity by not unnecessarily fuelling the imaginary embers of defection-linked political crisis.

'Nigerians ought and, indeed, deserve to know that apart from the 1999 Constitution, there is no legislation in Nigeria against cross carpeting or defection.

Indeed, the constitution subtly endorses cross carpeting or defection for which see sections 68(1) (g); 109(1) (g); 135 and 180 of the 1999 Constitution.

He disclosed that 'As the House resumes plenary on 14th January, 2014, it intends to pursue with vigour, as usual, legislations that will touch on the well-being of Nigerians and these include concluding the Constitution amendment process, Appropriation Bill, 2014, Petroleum Industry Bill, Support, in principle of the National Dialogue, Consideration of Reported Bills which include the Pension Reform Bill, the National Health Bill among others, deliberate and make conscious effort by each Chamber to concur on Bills passed by each.

He added that  the chairman said 'the House will ensure that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is well funded in the 2014 budget estimates which was laid in the House by the Hon.

Finance Minister shortly before the House went on break.

' Giving the stewardship of the House since June 2011, the rules and business chairman said a total of 660 have been introduced since the beginning of the 7th Assembly while 588 Bills have been read for the First Time, 72 are awaiting first reading.

Out these, 46 are executive bills, 610 are private member bills while four are from the senate.

278 Bills are awaiting Second Reading, 135 pending in committees while 25 are awaiting consideration.

75 bills have been passed with 18 negatived.
For motions, a total of 645 motions were introduced to the House, 275 referred to committees, 172 passed as resolution, 22 negatived and 12 withdrawn.

For petitions, the House has within the period under review considered and adopted 29 Reports of the Committee on Public Petitions.

By Saint Mugaga, Abuja