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Niger Assembly crisis deepens as Aliyu refuses to recognise two Speakers




THE leadership crisis in Niger State House of Assembly took a new dimension yesterday when the new Speaker, Mr. Isah Kawu and the impeached Speaker, Mr. Adamu Usman, were both removed from the protocol list at a public function in Minna.

Also at the occasion, the state governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, decided not to recognise any of the Speakers who were both present when he read out the names of dignitaries in his speech, but instead said “members of the state House of Assembly here present.”

The occasion was the commissioning of the ultra modern building materials market in Minna, the state capital, where the two speakers were in attendance.

At the event, the former Speaker who is still laying claim to his position as the Speaker despite his impeachment, decided to sit on the seat meant for the Speaker while the new Speaker sat beside the secretary to the state government.

Reacting to the development, Kawu told journalists after the occasion that he noticed the omission, especially when it was done in a public function, but however insisted that it does not change the fact that he remains the Speaker of the House of Assembly in the state.

“I saw the omission, it was not hidden, I am sure everyone noticed it but one certain fact is that it does not change anything.‎ I still remain the Speaker of the House of Assembly”, he said.

Although the governor in the suit for an interim injunction filed before the Minna High Court last week Tuesday to stop any impeachment process against him recognised Kawu as the Speaker, he had over the weekend sought the intervention of prominent leaders in the state, including traditional rulers, on the crisis, which has paralysed legislative activities in the House for a week now.

In a separate meeting with the two former heads of state, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar over the weekend, he was said to have pleaded with them to intervene in order to save him from being embarrassed before the May 29 handing over date.

This move is in addition to the court order he sought last week Thursday to stop any impeachment process against him. He also deplored armed policemen to seal up the Assembly complex to prevent any member from gaining access into the House.

An attempt by the 21 members of the House, led by its new Speaker to enter the Assembly complex on Tuesday last week met a heavy resistance from the police who teargas members and other members of staff of the Assembly.

The assembly is still under lock and key and under siege by the police even as reactions have continued to greet the occupation of the assembly by the police.

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