Speakership intrigues stall inauguration of Nasarawa Assembly
•14 lawmakers reject decision as gov order ‘arrest’ of ‘dissidents’
Scheming for speakership seat, yesterday, forced postponement of inauguration of the Seventh Nasarawa State House of Assembly.
The decision was never without a drama, as one of the top contestants for the seat, Daniel Ogazi, and 13 lawmakers-elect loyal to him sternly opposed the verdict.
They were said to have forced their way into the complex after being denied entry by security operatives, who cited ‘order from above’.
In postponing the ceremony scheduled for yesterday, the Acting Clerk cited security reasons for his action. But the 13 lawmakers insisted on the inauguration holding.
Addressing newsmen outside the complex, Ogazi (APC: Kokona East) punctured the excuse.
He said: “As you can see, 13 members-elect of the Assembly are here and waiting patiently to perform our constitutional responsibilities.
“A proclamation was already issued by Governor Abdullahi Sule to the (Acting) Clerk and a day has been scheduled for inauguration, as such, nobody has the right to interfere again.
“We are here based on the letter of invitation by the (Acting) Clerk, which signifies that the proclamation had been issued, and inauguration of the Assembly will hold today (yesterday).”
He added that they were stopped by security men at the gate from accessing the complex, citing instructions from above.
At about 2:00pm, the 13 members and Ogazi forced their way into the complex.
Ogazi continued: “Governor Abdullahi Sule has ordered that the 13 members should be arrested. We are intact here. We will not leave until the inauguration takes place today (yesterday), as announced by the Acting Clerk of the House.
“We are aware that the Acting Clerk is in Government House right now.”
A source in the seat of power claimed the governor and his predecessor in office, Tanko Al-Makura, were behind the Assembly leadership tussle.
Alleging that Ogazi is being backed by Al-Makura for the position, he added that Alhaji Balarabe Abdullahi (APC: Umaisha/Ugya), who was Speaker of the Fifth and Sixth Assemblies, enjoys the Governor Sule’s backing.
Also in the race is Danladi Jatau (APC: Kokona West).