President Muhammadu Buhari, has promised to work with the relevant constitutional bodies to resolve the crises rocking the Houses of Assembly in Bauchi and Edo states.
He urged the members not to give up their rights and the rights of those who elected them.
According to a statement issued on Wednesday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President gave the assurance while receiving members of the Bauchi State House of Assembly and other stakeholders at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Adesina, quoted Buhari as saying: “I am aware of the problem in Edo and Bauchi states and I try to appreciate my position as the President, the political situation vis-a-vis the constitution of our country, the role of the commissioners of police and the party. I always like to be on the side of the constitution.”
The President promised to liaise with the Minister of Justice when sworn in, and the Inspector General of Police, to ensure that the rights of the constituencies and individuals were not abused in any form.
Buhari advised them to stay firm, bearing in mind their responsibilities to their constituencies and always keep the party in the State and at the centre informed.
The party members led by the Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, had briefed the President on events leading to the crisis in the House.
However, the 17 aggrieved APC members of Bauchi State House of Assembly, who were sworn into office last Friday following a reconciliation with their colleagues, have made a u-turn and renounced their inauguration, after meeting with President Buhari.
The lawmakers were led to the meeting with the President by Hon. Kawuwa Shehu Damina, who had earlier laid claim to the Speakership of the State Assembly until 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.
Emerging from the closed-door parley with Buhari, the lawmakers told State House Correspondents that 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 now demand a fresh proclamation for the another inauguration of the State 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.”
When 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.
“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 advise.”
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