OrderPaperToday – A member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Mustapha Dawaki (APC, Kano State) has blasted his colleagues for rejecting committee positions allotted to them by the House leadership, saying their action reveals their motive of being after money and not service to the country.
Mr. Dawaki said it is the prerogative of the leadership to place members in committees and as such there should be no need for the rancour and rejection of slots if the reason for being in the legislature is to render service to Nigeria.
Recall that two members – Mr. Garba Datti (APC Kaduna State) and Hassan Saleh (PDP, Benue State) last week rejected their positions to chair the House committees on solid minerals and deputize on the local content respectively.
“Mr. Speaker wants this assembly to work and pass a record number of bills. Members must sit up and do the right thing. It will no longer be business as usual,” Dawaki said, adding that “if the motivation of these lawmakers is service why are they insisting on chairing certain committees? Why are they rejecting some committees? It means that their primary motivation is not service but personal interest.”
The Kano rep volunteered a breakdown of the allocation of committee leadership between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) and between supporters of Speaker Yakubu Dogara and Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila. He asserted that all interests were carried along satisfactorily in the sharing formula of the chairmanship and deputy chairmanship of the comittees.
According to him: “96 committee chairmen and their deputies were appointed and of these APC got 48, PDP 45; APC got 55 Deputy chairmen and PDP 39. Of the 48 APC chairmen 26 are Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila’s supporters; and of the deputy chairmen 29 are Femi Gbajabiamila’s supporters.”
Mr. Dawaki went on with the breakdown: “Some of the grade A committees allocated to Hon. Femi’s supporters include Customs and Excise which both chairman and deputy came from Femi’s group in the persons of Hon. Faleke and Hon. Chanchangi. Agriculture and many others are Grade A committees.
“There are some committees that naturally belong to some zones as obtained in previous assemblies which include Petroleum Resources and Gas and those committees were retained in those zones.
“APC got grade A committees such Agriculture, Appropriation, Finance, Police Affairs, Navy, Defence, Interior, FCT, Basic Education, Tertiary Education, Customs, Judiciary, Electoral Matters, Emergency and Disaster Management, Housing, Land Transport, Marine, Pensions, Public Safety and Intelligence, Rules and Business, House Services, Telecommunications, Water Resources and Solid Minerals”.
“Unlike in the previous assemblies, this time around, the ruling party APC does not have 2/3 majority in the House. The opposition party PDP has the numerical strength to block or frustrate any bill or motion which requires 2/3 majority vote which means that they must be carried along in the scheme of things as we cannot run an all exclusive government and that is why they too must be given committees to chair.”
Reported by Alex Okoro | Nov. 2, 2015