Is This The Change We Voted For? Exchange of Blows In NASS

 Is this the change Nigerians for voted for?  As APC member in the House of Representatives, Nasiru Sani Zangon Daura, representing Zango/Baure Federal Constituency of Katsina State, has issued a press statement on the physical battle that ensued in the Green Chamber during plenary on Thursday. At the plenary, the tension and divided interest among the legislators led to a brawl between the two factions in the chamber. The statement - We are here on behalf of our colleagues of the APC House Caucus to explain to you the unfortunate occurrence during today’s plenary session. The action that occurred inside the chamber of the House of Representatives was in reaction to the illegal and unconstitutional action taken by Speaker Yakubu Dogara of the House of Representatives, an action in his usual tradition of total disregard to the wishes of the majority members of the APC Caucus, the Party itself and the spirit of the APC 

Therefore, We are aware of a letter sent by our Party, APC, dated 23rd June 2015, conveying the approval of the party’s principal officers vis a vis the APC House Leader, the APC Chief Whip, the APC Deputy House Leader and the APC Deputy Chief Whip for the House of Representatives. This letter by the Party is in compliance with the expressed wish and mandate of the Majority Members of the APC Caucus in the House of Representatives. This action of the party and the APC House Caucus is in compliance with the Nigerian Constitution, the House rules and parliamentary tradition, practices and precedents in Nigeria and all over the World. But to our surprise and in breach of our privilege and rights as contained in the Constitution and extant House Rules, Mr. Speaker refused to read the letter from our party. The Speaker and Deputy Speaker are not Party Principal Officers but are House of Representatives Presiding Officers and by precedent and practice are expected to provide a level playing ground for all members, while the Party Principal Officers are supposed to be the main advocates for their individual party positions.

"Dogara" The Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives are elected by all members of the House of Representatives irrespective of party affiliation and it is also possible under our extant rules for a Speaker and his Deputy to be elected from a minority/opposition party in the National Assembly. Therefore, Speaker Yakubu Dogara of the House of Representatives cannot under extant laws and House rules appoint, choose, select, dictate or even provide guidance on how Party Principal Officers emerge or are elected or selected. That responsibility and authority lies with each Party and Party’s Caucus members in the House. But the question is, are they legislators fighting out of patriotism or selfishness?