The current leadership crisis rocking the Nasarawa State House of Assembly is avoidable but our problem is the Executive Arm of Government in the state led by Governor A. A. Sule and with active support of the Commissioner of police CP Maiyaki Mohammed Baba.
It is now an open secret that two people from the same party the #APC are vying for the office of Speaker of the 7th Nasarawa Assembly. Governor Sule even confirmed that he attempted to resolve them but to no avail. 13 of the lawmakers support Rt. Hon. Daniel Ogah Ogazi while 11 support Rt. Hon. Balarabe.
But that is not to stop their inauguration by the Governor. The essence of the inauguration of the House is to enable Honourable Members of the 7th Assembly to commence the discharge of their legislative duties. But the utterance of Governor Sule on national television shows that he is desperate to impose a Speaker his choice before inaugurating the House.
On the date set for inauguration, when he understood that the 13 members supporting Ogazi as Speaker mobilised themselves and went to the House earlier than others, he suspected that his candidate may not emerge as Speaker. He then made the Clerk of the House to announce via WhatsApp of a purported postponement of the inauguration till further notice for purported “security reasons”.
The group of 13 who knew what the Executive Arm could do in a situation like this decided to wait at the House of Assembly complex. When they heard that the 11 dissident members conducted election with the support of Governor Sule at the conferences hall of the Ministry for Local Government until they entered to affirm their choice at the floor of the House. They passed the night at the house to ensure that nobody short changes them later on.
On the next day, CP Maiyaki M. Baba went to the Assembly Complex and urged all Members of the 7th Assembly to vacate the House of Assembly Complex on the guise that he got superior order to evacuate and seal the complex until further notice. All the 13 members obeyed and left. Yesterday being 8th June, 2023, they got information that the 11 pro Balarabe lawmakers were coming into the complex so they went to the complex. Armed policemen on ground denied them access on grounds that both factions of the House are prevented from entering the complex until further notice. So they left.
After some time, Hon. Balarabe came with 10 other of his fellow lawmakers who support his candidature for speaker came and were escorted into the premises by CP Maiyaki while the policemen posted there ensured they had security to they hurriedly had a sitting an approved some appointments of the Governor. Obviously, the police are working in concert with Governor Sule to enthrone anarchy.
Section 96(1)(a) of the 1999 constitution, 5th Alteration (as Amended in March, 2023) provides that:
“(For) the purpose of inaugural & 1st sitting of the House, the quorum shall be at least 2/3rd of all the members of the House.” Any building on a faulty foundation is bound to crumble.
Instead of resolving the members if possible and allowing them to determine their leadership structure without let or hindrance, he is now promoting anti democratic principles by promoting the minority and suppressing the majority, a clear case of reverse thinking. Maybe he and his supporters are unaware of the provisions of the latest provisions of the constitution.
With the obnoxious role played by CP. Maiyaki, it will be in the interest of peace to transfer him out of Nasarawa state. Such open partisanship by the head of a respected security outfit like the Nigeria Police Force is a recipe for disaster. He is better avoided.
Now they are peddling rumours that former governors Abdullahi Adamu and Tanko Almakura are fighting him. I don’t know about that. All I know is that the principles of democracy respects the wishes of the majority, not the minority. If Governor Sule is sitting in that seat by virtue of the wishes of the majority, he wouldn’t be seen supporting the minority against the majority.