Plateau assembly logjam: Sanda declares self substantive speaker


The crisis in the Plateau State House Assembly has further  escalated with Mr Yakubu Sanda declaring himself as the substantive Speaker of the Legislature, vowing that members of the house would resume sitting on Tuesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) recalls that Abok Ayuba, the Speaker of the Assembly, was on Oct. 27 impeached by 8 members of the assembly and elected Yakubu Sanda as the new Speaker.

But Ayuba and members of the house loyal to him held a session outside the assembly complex same day during which they suspended six of the members that impeached him, and declared himself (Ayuba) as the authentic speaker of the house.

Gov. Simon Lalong had since recognised Sanda as the new speaker of the assembly.

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However, Ayuba and the lawmakers loyal to him gained access  to his office on Monday and were holding an executive session preparatory for a sitting but the complex was taken over security personnel led by  Commissioner of Police in the state , Edward Egbuka.

The embattled speaker was later led out of the complex by the police commissioner and his men.

However, Sanda and lawmakers loyal to him arrived the assembly’s premises some minutes to  6 p.m. on Monday and held a brief session.
The new speaker who briefed newsmen shortly after the sitting, said that it was a welcome development for people of Nigeria to hear the truth.

“It is unfortunate that the former speaker who congratulated me after I was elected as speaker would still go round and parade himself as the speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly.
“And that today he finds himself here in the chamber which is illegal, I almost declared him wanted, but in the spirit of give and take as a honourable member like me, I said no but he should stop it. 

“All he needs to do is that he should return the constructed mace that is on his car.
“Of course you are aware that he has been impeached and I am the substantive speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly,” Sanda said.
He said that they were were 13 members of the house including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members when Abok was impeached and not the number that was being reported.

He said that 16 members of the legislature signed the impeachment of Abok.
Meanwhile, the Majority Leader of the House, Mr Daniel Naanlong,who is in charge of rules and business, has commended journalists for their doggedness in strengthening democracy.
“Let me make it categorically clear that to do business in the house, what you need is to form a qorum and to impeach a speaker you need a two-third majority because the House rules is very clear.

“Whatever we have done in the house is legitimate and whoever must have come after us is illegal.

“As long as your are not a leader you don’t have the right to convene members because it is illegal.

“So,what they must have done today is illegal and we have written to the police to take adequate action,” Naanlong said. (NAN)

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