The House of Representatives, on August 19, suspended all investigations, public hearings, and committee meetings as well as activities of standing and ad hoc committees until September in order to observe its annual recess.
However, Hon. Gbillah said the suspension of committee meetings would negatively impact on the work of Committees, especially those investigating corruption and impropriety within the Executive.
“It will impair the investigations significantly,” he said. “We are still in the realm of allegations and speculations, but when a three-week break has been allowed, compromises can be made; people can be appealed to, offers, overtures can be made to those carrying out those investigations. This is Nigeria.”
However, federal lawmaker, Akin Alabi, who also appeared on Sunrise Daily, rubbished Gbillah’s allegations as “purely politics.”
While Gbillah is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alabi Egbeda/Ona-Ara Federal Constituency under the aegis of the All Progressives Congress.
On Saturday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) criticised the leadership of the House of Representatives for frustrating the ongoing investigation of some government officials by going on a recess.
Powers of the Speaker
Hon. Gbillah started his faulting of the recess on Monday by saying the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has no power to suspend the work of a House Committee.
“There are no provisions in our law that give the Speaker that power to suspend the work of a committee,” he said.
“People have complied with it in the spirit of oneness and progress, but it is not out of place for those who espouse the rule of law to question that decision.
“The Speaker is given the power, in consultation with the principal officers, to remove Chairmen. Obviously, some Chairmen will be cautious in going against the order.”
Hon. Alabi disagreed with his colleague’s remarks.
“That’s false,” he said. “It is the tradition of the house not to have Committee meetings during the recess. And that is what’s obtainable in Congresses all over the world.
“The wisest thing is to pause. We will get back to the House in a couple of weeks, in September. Everybody knew the day of recess for about a month before we went on recess.
However, Hon. Gbillah maintained there was no law giving such powers to the Speaker.
“It is the first time in the history of the National Assembly that I am aware of as a ranking member that, by fiat, the leadership of the House is stopping the statutory activities of Committees,” Gbillah said. “And these activities are backed by a resolution of the House.
“And I personally believe that for any action to rescind the activities of those committees to be tenable, it should come by a resolution of the same House, not by fiat.”
Hon. Alabi noted that there was no need for a special law for the Speaker to be able to suspend a Committee.
“If the Committee Chairman has the power to put a committee on recess, the Speaker, who is the Chairman of all Committees in the House definitely has the power to order all committees on recess.”
House Committees have been at the centre of recent open questioning of public officials, including Federal Ministers.
Last week, in a televised public hearing, Minister of Transporation, Rotimi Amaechi, engaged in heated conversations over details of Nigeria’s financial engagements with the Chinese government.
A House Committee has also been in the middle of investigating financial misappropriation at the Niger-Delta Development Commission.
Hon. Gbillah on Monday suggested that suspending the work of committees could have been motivated by ulterior motives.
“This is a defining moment in the history of this ninth assembly, considering the altercations that the committees, especially of the House of Representatives, have been having with the Executive,” he said.
“This obviously has given credence to the allusions by Nigerians that this is a lame-duck legislature. It now behooves on the leadership to show that it is not a lame-duck leadership.”
Meanwhile, Hon. Alabi insisted that the Speaker has the power to set up committees, dissolve them, or pause their activities.
“There is no need for a special law to say that the Speaker has the power to pause their activities,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be stated in toto.
“This is pure politics. People are trying to destabilise the sanity of the House.
UK Group Task Ibomites to Support Their Leaders
The people of Akwa-Ibom state have been urged to celebrate their own rather than castigating leaders who have sacrificed for the development of their region.
The president General, Global Peace Movement International UK, Dr. Mike Uyi made this declaration in a statement on Thursday in London.
According to him, the people of Akwa-Ibom should see themselves as a region in Nigeria that are lucky to have a leader like the former governor of the state, Godswill Akpabio now minister of Niger Delta.
He said, “People of Akwa-Ibom state should learn to celebrate what they have. For any reason whatsoever, Sen. Godswill Akpabio is a palm tree, an iroko which is known by every native and international farmer”.
“Akpabio is tested and trusted. As commissioner, Governor, Senator, now a minister of Niger Delta, he performed excellently and still have outstanding performance among his minister counterparts. So, why attack him?”.
Uyi said assessing Akpabio’s political journey so far, one will not be wrong to call Akpabio a successful politician because of his antecedents.
“If not for anything else, he puts Akwa-Ibom state in the Guinness book of record. The state or region is currently enjoying what Akpabio left on the ground”.
“Global Peace Movement International UK is saying clearly that the future of Nigeria is in Akwa-Ibom”.
Dr. Uyi said Akpabio’s progressive portfolio has added a label (GSM) to his personality. The label GSM stands for: Governor (G), Senator (S) and Minister (M).
“His starling performance can not be compared to any in the history of democracy in Nigeria and in Akwa-Ibom state since the creation of the state”.
Uyi further stated that Akpabio has long transcended state or regional barriers. “His sole motivation has been raising the standards of living of Nigerians, promoting the good image of the country and empowering ordinary citizens of Nigeria to not only pursue their dreams but more importantly in providing them with the means to achieve these dreams”.
Stop Assaulting PMB’s Fundamental Right To Life, Nigeria First Cautions London Protesters
The protests by some Nigerians over President Muhammadu Buhari’s medical trip to the United Kingdom is unguided, unwarranted and an assault on his fundamental human right to life.
According to the Nigeria First movement, it is well within President Buhari’s right, like every other citizen, to seek routine medical checkup.
Speaking at a press conference on Sunday in Abuja, Secretary-General, Richard Adie noted that it is proper to put things in perspective and for well-meaning Nigerians to see the mischief propagated to whip up sentiments.
By travelling abroad, Adie noted that the president has not violated his Office or the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Nigeria First movement, therefore, urged the unsuspecting general public to disregard the mischievous comments and headline generated so far on the President’s routine medical check with his physicians that he has maintained for close to thirty years and still counting.
According to the group, those in the medical field understand the strategic importance of keeping medical records and maintaining the services of physicians that have your medical records and have rendered medical services at one time or the other.
The Nigeria First, however, warned mischief-makers to pull the plug on this campaign and instead channel their energies and resources to charitable ventures that would make life more meaningful for Nigerians.
Read the full statement below:
The leadership of Nigeria First welcomes you all to this press conference that became necessary due to the outcry in some segment of the country regarding the medical leave undertaken by President Muhammadu Buhari on a routine visit to see his physicians.
We must all agree that certain rights and privileges are guaranteed to every individual regardless of their status in society. And the right to seek routine medical checkup by President Muhammadu Buhari has indeed ruffled some feathers. Consequently, they have gone to press with all manner of narratives to mislead unsuspecting members of the public.
It is indeed worrisome, hence the press conference’s convocation to put issues in proper perspectives and for well-meaning Nigerians to see the mischief been propagated to whip up sentiments that might not augur well for our dear country.
Nigerians must come to terms with the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari has never hidden his intent and purposes whenever he embarks on trips for medical purposes. This much he has formed the habit of informing the citizens in good faith.
It, therefore, beats common sense as to why some misguided elements have elected to politicize the medical leave undertaken by President Muhammadu Buhari in a puerile attempt to heat the polity unnecessarily.
Nigeria First is aware that President Muhammadu Buhari acted within his rights. As such, the attempt to cast aspersion on his character or motives for embarking on medical leave should not be twisted by any individual or groups.
Nigeria First also frowns at the ethnic and religious dimension the Presidents medical leave has assumed and therefore call for caution from those individuals and groups whose stock in trade is to stoke tension in the polity through the propagation of fake news, illogical conclusions and mischief.
It is sufficient to state that President Muhammadu Buhari is a human being as a first who has a right to his personal life that includes the right to seek medical attention when necessary, as in this case. We are not convinced that the President acted in an ignoble manner. As such, the comments and reactions generated in some quarters are needless in this material instance.
Nigeria First is also in receipt of the plot by some politicians to turn the heat on President Muhammadu Buhari in select media houses, all in a bid to score cheap political points. In as much as these individuals and groups are at liberty to air their opinions, they must, however, be careful not to insult our sensibilities by attempting to make Nigeria a laughing stock among the comity of nations.
Our considered view remains that headlines should not be made about the President embarking on medical leave, especially when he has not violated his Office or the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The pertinent questions that must be asked are if the President is entitled to medical leave and if there are also constitutional restrictions on where the President can decide to seek medical attention.
Nigeria First, as a body of patriotic Nigerians across the federation, is using this medium to inform members of the unsuspecting general public to disregard the mischievous comments and headlines that have been generated so far with regards the President undertaking routine medical check with his physicians that he has maintained for close to thirty years and still counting.
It is also our firm belief that those in the medical field understand the strategic importance of keeping medical records and maintaining the services of physicians that have your medical records and have rendered medical services at one time or the other.
Nigeria First wishes to use this medium to call on the mischief-makers to pull the plug on this campaign and instead channel their energies and resources to charitable ventures that would make life more meaningful for Nigerians.
They should also do well to learn to call a spade a spade and not a cutlass as that task towards making Nigeria great does not rest on the shoulders of one man but rather a collective endeavour that requires active citizens’ participation.
Nigeria First has been in the vanguard of promoting good governance built on the tenets of transparency, accountability and patriotism. And we make bold to announce that the aforementioned has been the hallmark of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Nigerians must indeed rise to the occasion to ensure that mischief-makers and unpatriotic elements amongst us are denied the opportunity to ply their trade.
We thank you for your attention.
God bless Nigeria.
Assault Video: Usage Of ‘BIAFRAN Boys’ In CCT Chairman’s Statement Sparks Outrage
The usage of “BIAFRAN Boys” in the statement issued by the chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Danladi Umar, following the viral video, where he was caught on camera physically assaulting a security guard at a plaza in Abuja, has sparked outrage on social media platform, Twitter.
The statement which had been signed by his spokesman, Ibraheem Al-Hassan, not only had grammatical errors, the statement also said the crowd that had gathered at the scene of the assault consisted of “BIAFRAN boys.”
Part of the statement read, “As the few policemen in the complex were apparently overwhelmed by the mobs, consisting of BIAFRAN boys throwing matches and shape object to his car, which led to deep cut and dislocation in one of his finger, causing damage to his car, smashing his windscreen.
“At a point he attempted to leave the scene, these same miscreants, BIAFRAN boy ordered for the closure of the gate thereby assaulting him before the arrival of police team from Maitama police station.”(sic).
Twitter users have been reacting to the labeling of those who gathered as people from the south eastern part of Nigeria as Biafran boys.
Somto Okonkwo tweeted, “To Those Detribalised One Nigeria Igbos Who Say They’re Not Biafrans Or IPOB. News Flash: We’re All Biafran Boys. This Is How They See Us In Nigeria! The Only Time They Separate Us Into Igbo & Niger Delta Is When They Want Oil. But When They Want To Kill Us, We’re All Biafrans.”
Popular Twitter user, Sam Hart, fondly called Dede said, “Biafran Boys. At a business premises in Abuja. By a Senior Government Official. In an Official Press Release. If this is allowed to slide, we will know.”
FS Yusuf said, “I love the protuberant prejudicial profiling and ethnic-baiting in this grammatical challenged trash. “BIAFRAN Boys.” We are gradually splitting this country by our very own hands.”
Emeka Gift tweeted, “If you don’t know your enemy, your enemy knows you too well. Biafran Boys? Yes that is who we are, you can deny that to yourself but you can’t deny it to your enemies, no matter how hard you try to deny this identity, your enemies knows you too well. We are Proud Biafran Boys.”
Mazi Tochukwu tweeted, “The word “BIAFRAN Boys” from an official of Fed Rep of Nigeria has proven my argument that Igbo people have been at war with Nigeria for 54 years now. Nigeria is still fighting Biafrans till today and tomorrow. All the detribalised Igbos but Okpo, you’ve been put in your place.”
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