ASSEMBLY ROWDY SESSIONBy Akawu Ibrahim

A debate on a bill to enforce equal and fair distribution of appointments into public offices has thrown Niger State House of Assembly chamber into rowdy session yesterday.

Trouble started when member representing Agwara constituency, Hon Bello Ahmad Agwara moved for the suspension of order 13 rule 4 paragraph 1 of the house standing order to enable the speedy passage of a bill establishing State Character Commission.

Hon Agwara hinged his argument on the fact that the said bill had suffered non assent by the executive after being passed by the previous 7th and 8th assemblies.

He said the reintroduction of the bill shows how important it was for the proponents and the state, urging members to lent support.

However, in his counter argument, member representing Gbako constituency, Hon Husseini Yabagi Akote said since the bill could not get the executive assent for two attempts, it will be proper for the bill to be suspended for further engagements.

In an attempt to wriggle out of the stalemate, the speaker, Hon Abdullahi Bawa Wuse called for vote count, after which 9 members voted against 6 in favour of suspending deliberation on the bill.

This action immediately threw the house into rowdiness with both proponents and opponents shouting at each other. When the situation became uncontrollable, the mace was quickly taken away by the sergeant mace bearer.

The bill was a private member bill sponsored by member representing Bosso constituency, Hon Malik Madaki Bosso and was in its second reading. When it is eventually passed into law, it will ensure equal and proportional sharing of all bureaucratic, economic, media and political posts at all levels of government in the state.

Contributing to the debate, member representing Suleja constituency, Hon Liman Iya said the people of Suleja have been sidelined in appointments into the state civil service.”You will hardly see indigenes of Suleja in the state civil service. And without prejudice Mr. Speaker, there are similar local governments with similar challenges. This bill is all about equality, it is all about balance, it is all about justice”, he said.

Also making contribution to the debate, Hon Gbara (Mokwa) said the matter had assumed a serious one, urging the house to treat it with caution.

He said the state created 44 years ago has witnessed peace among the tribes and feared that the bill may cause animosity and distrust among different ethnic groups in the state. He therefore supported the motion be suspended to allow engagement with the Secretary to the State Government.

Speaking during an interview with journalists, Hon Liman Iya (Suleja) said it was normal for members to disagree and assured that the bill will continue without any hindrance.

 

He argued that the bill was a replica of the Federal Character Commission which promotes equity and fairness in the distribution of public appointments, other opportunities and also other aspects of life that concerns all.

He said the geo-political dichotomy of those in support and those against was a clear evidence that one group is getting a favourable treatment in the state against the others and would not like the bill to scale through.

He said the bill would be reintroduced because all what it seeks to do was to entrench fairness, equity and justice in the allocation of opportunities to all Nigerlites.

TAURARUWA