Today, the majority Leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Hon. Naanlong Daniel reiterated reasons why they removed Rt. Hon. Nuhu Abok as speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, replacing him with Rt. Hon. Yakubu Sanda.
He made these reasons known at a press conference held today in Jos.
THE TEXT OF THE PRESS BRIEFING BY HON. NAANLONG DANIEL GAPYIL, MAJORITY LEADER, PLATEAU STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY 11/11/2021.
Gentlemen of the press, it is imperative that we address you today and put the records straight in-view of the aftermath of the change of leadership in the Plateau State House of Assembly.
We want to put it on record that due process was followed in the impeachment of the former Speaker Rt. Hon. Abok Ayuba, as provided in section 92, 2 (C) CFRN 1999 (As amended) that 16 out of the 24 members sign a resolution for his impeachment. This was complied with on the 28th October 2021.
The public and members of the press should note that 17 members were present in the Chambers at the sitting on that day which is more than the required number that forms a Quorum in any legislative business of a State House of Assembly.
It is baseless and misleading to say that only eight numbers sign for the impeachment of the former Speaker, as been spread around in the social and mainstream media and by some individuals. The clerk of the House is in possession of the names of all members who were in the House on that day. Unfortunately, some members of the other side who were there and even addressed the press afterwards have been involved in misinforming the public. We want you to beware.
SOME REASONS WHY MEMBERS REMOVED THE FORMER SPEAKER
- REFUSAL TO RECONVENE THE HOUSE
You will recalled that since August this year, the house was unable to meet to undertake it’s Legislative business, because the former Speaker refused to reconvene the House because he was asked to render account of his Financial activities in the house. Siince then, he closed the house and refused to allow us to consider many crucial bills still pending. In fact, three times the Governor approached the House to lay the 2022 appropriation bill but the former Speaker refused. It took a lot of pleading and begging for that to happen. Is it his father’s House or personal property?
Because of his inability to reconvene the house for Legislative business, Bills, Motions and matters of urgent Public importance that could have helped the people of the State, the State has suffered a serious setback which the new Speaker Rt. Hon. Yakubu Sanda is determined to correct.
- DICTATORIAL TENDENCES.
Despite the passage of the Autonomy Law by the Governor Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong who was the first to do so in the country because he was one of those who started the struggle for autonomy in 1999, the way and manner the Former Speaker ran the house was more or less like his personal business venture, taking unilateral decisions, as against the funds Management Law, which stipulated that, Principal Officers, and financial Management Committee need to take collective decisions in regards to approvals or any important decision and Financial Management. Because he violated that law and was called to give account, he started running away and using other members who probably benefited from his misconduct divide the House.
- GROSS INCOMPETENCE
All these matters mentioned above constitute Gross Incompetence, high headedness and financial recklessness, in the management of the house affairs which cost the former Speaker his seat.
- USING FAKE MACE AND HOLDING AN ILLEGAL SITTING OUTSIDE THE HOUSE
Soon after we impeached the former Speaker, he went and constructed a fake maze to convene a kangaroo sitting at an event centre in Zawan. This worsened his already bad case and made us to suspend him and some members who joined him in committing the infractions.
- EXTERNAL FORCES USING THE FORMER SPEAKER TO DESTABILISE THE HOUSE AND THE STATE
We have noticed with utter disappointment that there are external forces using the former Speaker to achieve their political ends. Our conclusion is based on the fact that upon the removal of the former Speaker, he immediately congratulated the new Speaker Rt. Hon. Yakubu Sanda in a communication which is available.
Similarly, he personally wrote a resignation letter and pleaded with the new Speaker to accept his resignation and give him soft landing so that the record of impeachment will not hang in his neck. While that was being considered, he was incited by those who want to exploit the situation and became hysteric. This escalated the situation leading to the security breach and destruction of some parts of the House. We advise those fuelling this matter to desist as they will be required to pay for their actions in due time.
We have since noticed a wide reaction from various people who are either ignorant of the true situation or being partisan for their selfish political interests. We are calling the attention of Senator Jonah Jang, Senator I.D. Gyang, House of Reps member Jos South – Jos – East Hon. Musa Bagos as well as the Lagos State house of Assembly, Former Senate President Bukola Saraki and many others to always cross-check their facts, as their action and comments are misleading and not a true reflection of what transpired on the floor of the house. Therefore we call on them to get their facts clearly before delving in to conclusions.
Similarly, we take exception to the comments of the former Governor of Benue State Senator Gabriel Suswam who threw caution to the wind to use abusive language on Honourable members of the Plateau State House of Assembly. While we warn him to desist from disrespecting the Honourable members some of whom are far older than him, we thank His Excellency the Senate President Dr. Ahmad Lawan who called him to order and put him in his right place. Henceforth, we shall not hesitate to take him on frontally.
In any case, the biggest questions many have not asked are:
Why are the PDP in the State the ones crying more than the bereaved? Is the Former Speaker their member? It is because they have lost relevance in the political space of the state? Or is something they are hiding from the People of Plateau? Because their actions and comments are inimical to the peace and unity of the state, and we will not seat and watch them disrupt the hard earn peace in the state.
As it stands, the house has met-up the Constitutional requirement in removing its Speaker and anyone who is not satisfied with the house decision may wish to approach court to seek redres than inciting the public and whipping sentiments. As far as we are concerned, the former Speaker did not come to the House as Speaker. He was first among equals given the privilege to lead. When he lost confidence of his colleagues, he had to go. This is standard Legislative practice.
As democrats and beneficiaries of the democratic process, we will stand against any internal or external forces that are bent on destroying or giving the legislative arm or the State bad image.
We want to assure our constituents and the people of Plateau that we will continue to operate a people oriented legislature, and work closely with the other arms of Government in providing the needed dividends of democracy, as our doors are open for meaningful dialog and consultation for the interest of Plateau.
I want to use this medium to appeal to the Inspector General of Police to unseal the house to enable us continue our legislative function, in-view of the numerous bills on ground which required legislative attention including the 2022 appropriation bill which was laid by the Governor.
I equally want to commend men and women of goodwill, the APC Leadership at both the National, State and Local Government levels and other stakeholders who have made several inputs in the reconciliation process, we remain indebted to your wise counsel.
Finally, we thank you the media for your support and urge you to remain balanced, fair and objective in your reportage.
Thank you and God bless.
Hon. Naanlong Daniel Gapyil, Majority leader, Plateau State House of Assembly
11th November 2021