BANKOLE, AIDE ALLEGE THREAT TO LIVES
The alleged face-off in the House of Representatives between a few members and the leadership took a dangerous dimension over the weekend as the lives of the Speaker, Dimeji Bankole and that of one of his aides were threatened by some unknown persons.
The threat which was sent through a text message on Saturday morning to the telephone of Mr. Ebomhiana Musa, the Speaker's special adviser on media read thus: 'Mr. P.A, you & your boss are nothing but dead bodies but you wl be firstly face the consequences shortly, prepare your will now'. The text message was sent through GSM No. 07039828940.
According to a statement signed by Mr. Idowu Bakare, chief press secretary to the speaker, attempts by Mr. Musa to identify the sender of the message through repeated calls to the sender's number proved abortive as the owner of the telephone line refused to pick and subsequently switched off the telephone.
The incident has been reported to security aides of the Speaker and relevant security agencies in Abuja while aides of the speaker have been advised to take some preventive security measures to safeguard their lives as they have no officially assigned security. Meanwhile, a group, Nigeria Youth Awareness Initiatives has frowned at Mr. Independence Ogunnewe's verbal attack on Speaker Bankole last week describing it as national embarrassment.
In a statement signed by Messrs Olufemi Akindele Lawson and Ndubuisi Agwuziam, national co-ordinator and secretary respectively, the group said Ogunnewe's action impeded the House's debate on the Constitution. 'We were once again shocked that after a long wait to witness the conclusion of the ongoing process of the amendment of the 1999 Constitution and Electoral Act, the Nigeria House of Representatives failed to deliver.
'Reason for the inability of the house to arrive at the conclusion of the process at the Wednesday sitting of the House was attributed to the ugly conduct of a member of the house, Mr. Independence Ogunnewe who verbally assaulted the speaker of the house at the entrance of the chamber as reported in the newspapers.'
The group described the Rep Ogunnewe's antic as one too many and a total disrespect to the house.
'It is sad to note that Ogunnewe has continued to display total lack of respect for that institution which he belongs to. Last year he was suspended for a month for embarrassing the house on Live NTA and lost his committee chairman position.
His latest assault on the house speaker is not in any way as a result of any disagreement between Ogunnewe and the speaker but rather as a total disregard and lack of respect for the office of the speaker of the Nigeria House of Representatives and the institution of legislature, an act we regard as a national embarrassment,' the statement said.
The group called on the lower chamber of the National Assembly not to treat the incidence as 'a family affair but rather take necessary disciplinary measure against Ogunnewe who will not stop disreputing the image of this house.'