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Bauchi Assembly Crisis Escalates as APC Lawmakers Renounce Peace Pact

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Seventeen aggrieved All Progressives Congress (APC) members of Bauchi Assembly sworn into office last Friday following reconciliation with their colleagues have renounced their inauguration.

They made the decision after meeting with President Buhari.

The lawmakers were led to the meeting by Hon. Kawuwa Shehu Damina, who had earlier laid claim to the Speakership of the Assembly.

He and his aggrieved colleagues sheathed their swords and accepted Abubakar Suleiman, who was elected by 11 members at a previous inauguration of the House as Speaker.

The 31-member Bauchi Assembly is comprised of 22 APC members; eight Peoples Democratic Party members and eight New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) members.

Speaking with State House correspondents after the meeting with Buhari, the lawmakers said they no longer abide by the reconciliation they reached with their colleagues and the State Governor, five days earlier.

Speaking on their behalf, Damina said they demand a fresh proclamation for inauguration of the Assembly so that a new Speaker can be elected.

Damina said: “The purpose of our coming to see Mr. President is at the instance of our party.

“So we came to brief him on what is happening in the Bauchi State House of Assembly since the purported inauguration which as you are all aware, two leaderships emerged. Primarily he (the President) was fully briefed directly from us.”

Asked what the true situation was having been inaugurated earlier, he said, “The situation is as it is now because in Arithmetic, there is nothing that will make 11 to be greater than 20; and later that 11 grew to 13. So that is the position.”

On how they intend to resolve this issue, he said: “Let me clearly state that this is not about any individual.

“All what we from the APC are asking for is a sane institution irrespective of who emerges as a leader.

“All we are saying is that the right thing based on constitutional provisions should be done – with a proclamation issued, specifying date, time and venue should be announced.

“Once that is done election should be conducted and whoever emerges as leader, fine and good.”

He added: “If you are following the event where parallel leadership emerged, our senior colleagues at the National Assembly threw a motion by one representative from Bauchi, which resulted in its adoption and later setting up a committee.

“They even visited Bauchi and reported back to the plenary for the House of Representatives, which already a decision was taken, given a four weeks ultimatum to the State Governor within which to issue a fresh proclamation for proper inauguration of the state assembly to take place.

“So we have briefed Mr President being the leader of our party and father of the country and a custodian of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria as amended, to seek his advice.”

Asked the position of the constitution regarding proclamation and if it was right to make proclamation two times, the factional speaker said: “I don’t want to go into the details. But what actually happened was, on the day the initial proclamation was made was for a date which was Thursday, a time of 10am and a venue of the House of Assembly Chambers.

“All of us especially of the APC were ready in compliance with the invitation. We arrived in the chamber at 7:53am and to our dismay as at the time of our arrival, 11 out of the 31 members of the Assembly members were already there and had conducted election for the speaker and other principal officers.

“So what we did since the invitation letter was reading 10am, we decided to wait in the chamber. But unfortunately just as we were trying to wait at the chamber, a teargas was released forcing us to leave the chamber and one of us who is an asthmatic patient was affected and rushed to hospital.

“What we did was to comply with the constitutional provisions of waiting for 10 o’clock which we did.

“We gave an additional time of one hour to see if the governor and other members would come so we can do the needful but they didn’t so we conducted our elections. That is how the second parallel leadership emerged.”

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