‘No party has selection formula for principal officers’

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Political parties’ leaders in the House of Representatives have not communicated to Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila their choice or selection formula for the election of other principal officers of the House, it was revealed yesterday.

The House is currently on a two-week recess and it is expected that the principal officers for the majority party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), and other minority parties, led by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), would emerge within the week of resumption.

Addressing reporters yesterday in Abuja, the nation’s capital, through the chairman of its ad hoc Committee on Media, Khadijah Bukar-Abba Ibrahim, the House said contrary to reports, no political party had made its intention on officials to its leadership.

She said today is the last day for the submission of letter of intent for preferred committees of the House by members.

The lawmaker said Gbajabiamila was set to begin his tour of troubled regions with visits to Zamfara and Borno states to assess the situation of banditry and insurgency.

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She said: “No political party has communicated its decision on principal officers to the Speaker. No party, be it the majority or minority has sat down to select its principal officer and they have not communicated to the Speaker yet on how they intend to go about it.”

Bukar-Abba noted that the Selection Committee had given lawmakers till today to submit their forms indicating their preferred committees where their competences would be best utilised.

Besides, the lawmaker, who was accompanied by other members of the committee, said office accommodation for the lawmakers would have been ready by the time the lawmakers return next week as the ad hoc Committee on Welfare had been working round the clock to ensure a hitch-free allocation process.

On the Zamfara and Borno states’ visits by the Speaker, Ibrahim said the reason behind it was for the Speaker to have first-hand knowledge of the situation of the people in the troubled region.

“The Speaker has always expressed concern about the country’s security situation. The visits would enable him to know what the people are going through and how to use the instrumentality of the legislature to address the situation.

“He is starting with Zamfara and Borno states before other regions. When he was hosted to a dinner by the Lagos State government, he also enjoined Nigerians to be patient and fully participate in the activities of the legislature by offering useful information and providing constructive criticisms.

“This, according to him, would make the job easier for the House to carry out its constitutional responsibilities.

“He also advised key stakeholders not to heat up the polity by their utterances and actions but have all hands on deck towards steering Nigeria to where it rightly belongs. He appealed to all Nigerians to be patient and follow due process while expressing their grievances,” she added.

by Dele Anofi

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