Niger State House of Assembly

Niger State House of Assembly

By Akawu Ibrahim

Immediate past Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Hon Ahmed Marafa Gunu, has said that he was still in the race for the Speakership position.

The House of Assembly held its valedictory session on Friday to signify the end of the eight assembly and opened the door for leadership contest in the House.

When asked whether he was still in the race for the Speakership position during an interview with journalists at the members’ lodge, the former Speaker answered in the affirmative. He said he was in the race to lead the House for the second time, and that he was confident of winning.

He said the recent amendment to the House standing rules which only allows ranking members to contest leadership position in the assembly was not meant to deny new comers opportunity to contest positions in the House.

“Tell me where this is not obtainable. All over the world, parliaments respect this tradition where members who served more than once are privileged to become leaders over those who are new. It’s a natural phenomenon,” he said.

He said, amendments to the House standing rules had started since 2015, about four years ago, and the Rules and Business committee which handled the work were very slow.

He said, he had on several occasions called their attention to expedite work on the House standing rules which was last amended since 2008.

Hon. Marafa said, the insinuations from certain quarters was uncalled for, since it was a collective work and not individual, and was not in any way meant to deprive new members anything, only that it was a standard practice.

He said, the eighth assembly has surpassed it’s predecessors in performance, especially in the number of bills passed and assented to, as 42 bills had been passed by the assembly, while only 25 were assented to by the governor.

While contradicting the assertion of Hon Malik Madaki Bosso who lamented that no single member bill was assented to by the executive, Marafa said seven private member bills were assented to.

He thanked his colleagues for the support and team work, saying the peaceful assembly was the reason for their superlative performance.

Members during the valedictory session sought for forgiveness from each other and urged those who could not make it back to the House to take solace that only God gives and takes back power.