Drama as eight lawmakers impeach Plateau Speaker
• 14 members, HURIWA discredit exercise
Plateau State House of Assembly is in disarray as eight of the 24 members, yesterday morning, reportedly impeached the Speaker, Abok Ayuba, and installed Yakubu Sanda (Pengana-Bassa constituency of Jos North Local Council) in his place.
The Guardian gathered that the eight members were loyal to Governor Simon Lalong. They were reportedly at the assembly complex by 5.00am and finished the impeachment by 6.00 am.
At the gate, only members, who were against Ayuba were allowed by the security personnel to enter the chambers, while those loyal to him were not allowed in, until when the exercise was about to be rounded off.
Then, Timothy Dantong (Riyom Constituency) immediately went and seized the mace, but Baka Hassan (Jos North-North) went and snatched it from him and replaced it.
The impeachment business over, they summarily drove straight to the Government House, Jos, to present Sanda to the governor.
Ordinarily, two-third majority (16 members) is needed in the house of 24 members to impeach an errant speaker.
Unmoved by the development, Ayuba immediately moved to another venue with 14 members loyal to him. The 14 passed a vote of confidence in him and suspended the eight impeachers.
Meanwhile, at the Government House, Sanda and cohorts were received by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Danladi Atu, on behalf of the governor, according to the statement issued by the Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr. Makut Simon Macham.
Majority Leader of the House, Naanlong Daniel, reportedly said: “The new speaker emerged after 16 of the 23 members of the House signed a petition to impeach Abok over series of allegations.”
REACTING, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has described as illegal, unconstitutional and undemocratic the impeachment of Abok by one-third of the house.
The National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, and National Media Affairs Officer, Miss Zainab Yusuf, in a statement, yesterday, described the impeachment as mere display of political witch-hunt against the Speaker, who had been checkmating the failures of the Lalong administration in the state.
HURIWA said the early morning show of shame in Jos could be equated to a sham marriage, which, in law, is null and void.
According to the human rights group, the removal of Abok, who championed the need for Christians – reportedly the bona fide owners of Plateau – to be protected from Fulani bandits and genocides, shows that Governor Lalong is a puppet of the Sokoto caliphate.