Samuel Luka, Bauchi
Following the postponement of the inauguration of the 9th Bauchi state House of Assembly, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are enmeshed in a verbal exchange over the postponement.
While the All Progressives Congress (APC) alleges that the move is been masterminded by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to frustrate the APC which has the majority in the assembly, the PDP on the other hand describes the claims as untrue.
In a statement on Monday, the state Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Bako Hussaini observed that the constitution does not empower a state governor to suspend the inauguration of the House of Assembly after proclamation.
Alhaji Hussaini, who alleged that in order for the PDP to perfect their plan, the clerk of the assembly was removed few days to the inauguration and reminded Governor Bala Mohammad that the action was undemocratic.
According to the statement, APC has a clear majority in the 9th assembly in the state with 22 members as against the ruling PDP with eight members.
The statement further alleges that with the knowledge that APC is in control of the House, the state government is employing tactics to create a situation similar to what played out in 2015 at the National Assembly to install the minority over majority.
The APC warned that “the leadership of our party in the state will not fold its arms to allow the ruling party do anything contrary the constitution of Nigeria” and called on security agencies in the state to advise Gov. Bala to reinstate the removed clerk immediately.
However, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in a swift reaction dismissed the allegations made by the state chapter of the APC that the party is the mastermind of the postponement of the inauguration of the 9th assembly in the state.
The PDP Chairman in the state, Alhaji Hamza Akuyam, who described the APC allegations as false and unfounded, said that the postponement of the inauguration was based on a letter written by the clerk of the House requesting that the date of the inauguration be shifted.
Akuyam explained that “the clerk had requested that the inauguration be postponed because of logistics issues, as according to the clerk, the previous government was supposed to have made arrangements for the new speaker and other officers that will emerge, but it didn’t. So the extension was to give the government enough time to make all necessary logistics arrangements.”
The PDP chairman, who acknowledged that the APC is the majority in the House, wondered how his party the PDP with just eight members-elect would manipulate to win against the 22 APC members-elect.
On the allegations of the removal of the clerk of the House, Alhaji Akuyam denied any ulterior motive behind it, maintaining that the removal of the clerk was part of civil service procedure.
He said nobody should give it a different interpretation as according to him, the clerk is a civil servant who can be moved at any time in line with civil service rules.