Eighten out of the 31 lawmakers-elect of Bauchi State House of Assembly, yessterday held a parallel inauguration.
The members-elect who held plenary outside the Assembly complex under the stature of the symbol of a mace, elected the former Speaker of the Assembly, Kawuwa Damina and Tukur Ibrahim as parallel Speaker and Deputy respectively.
Recall that 11 out of the 31 elected members of the ninth Bauchi State House of Assembly on Thursday, elected Abubakar Suleiman as the speaker of the House.
The opposition All Progressives Congress has 22 members-elect, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, has eight members-elect while the New Nigeria People’s Party has one lawmaker-elect in the Assembly.
The Clerk of the House, Yusuf Gital presided over the sitting of the House, which began at 7:00 a.m. with only 11 members-elect in attendance; eight from the PDP, two from the APC and one from the NNPP.
Suleiman, the member representing Ningi Central Constituency (APC), emerged unopposed after he was nominated.
Also elected was Danlami Kawule representing Zungur/Galambi (PDP) as the deputy speaker.
The 18 APC members had gone to the House as early as 8:00 a.m. as against the 10:00 a.m. official commencement of the sitting possibly to hold their sitting and carry out out their election, only to discover that the PDP had outsmarted them by being there as early as 7:00 a.m, had their sitting and elected the two principal officers.
The lawmakers, who were obviously aggrieved, grabbed the mace and tried to take it away but were stopped by the Sergeant-at-arms and other security operatives present.
Immediately that happened, the newly-elected Speaker, Abubakar Suleiman, adjourned the plenary indefinitely.
In an interview with newsmen shortly after his purported election as the Speaker of the House, Kawuwa Damina said the parallel election and inauguration is aimed at enhancing democracy and not for personal or selfish reasons.
He said that invitation letters were dispatched to all lawmakers to be at the Assembly for swearing-in Thursday, 20th June by 10:00 a.m.
“We came here some minutes before 8:00 a.m. but to our dismay and surprise, we met 11 out of the 31 members in the chamber and (they had) purportedly done an election and had even sworn in the speaker and his deputy,” Damina said.
Bayelsa Assembly Committee on Environment To Curb Unlawful Sand Dredging Activities.
With various complaints and pettitions by communities impacted by the activities of illegal sand dredging and mining in the Bayelsa State, the state House of Assembly has organised a public hearing on a bill to regulate the operations of sand dredging to ensure that the environment is not adversely impacted on.
The bill tagged ” Regulation of Sand Dealing and Dredging Operations Bill 2019″ according to the House Committee on Environment is aimed at gathering inputs from experts, technocrats and the public in order to formulate a people-friendly bill that will serve the best interest of Bayelsans.
The House Committee Chairman on Environment and member representing Nembe Constituency one, Hon. Ebi Ben Ololo noted that the public hearing became necessary on the need to remediate the environment and tackle the challenges posed by sand dredging operations in the state.
” The importance of this bill cannot be overemphasized because it can save lives. You are aware a number of times so many communities and their representatives have sent pettitions to this House, specifically the Chairman House Committee on Environment as per the environmental degradation that has taken place as regards the illegal sand dealing and dredging activities in various communities all around the state”, he said.
“With those number of complains and pettitions we thought it wise to put up a bill to take care of those issues. Most important thing is that we all know that public hearing is a mechanism by which parliamentary Committees obtain information, deal with the information obtained and also exchange views with experts and the public so as to fine-tune whatever bill there is for the public hearing to come up with a top class bill that will be people- friendly and also save lives of the people in Bayelsa”, he added.
” Lots of suggestions, contributions, opinions and interactions have been made as regards this very important bill, like we have assured the representatives of the various groups that we will go back in our committee, look at those very important areas where they have suggested and also fine tune the bill. So that in no distant time we will come up with a very formidable bill that will stand the test of time. That the people will benefit from”, Ololo reassured.
He lauded participants for their insightful contributions and opinions during the public hearing, promising that the Committee would do justice to come up with a bill that would meet the expectations of Bayelsans.
In her contribution, House Chief Whip and member representing Yenagoa Constituency 2, Hon. Ebiowu Koku Obiyai lamented the deliberate connivance between communities and the sand dealers, warning that if nothing is done to regulate the activities of sand dredgers Bayelsa communities will be eroded away.
The House Whip also expressed concerns on the activities of companies carrying out dredging business near bridges and sued a delibrate efforts by all in order to save the bridges from collapse.
By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.
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