Vanguard for Transparent Leadership and Democracy (VATLAD) has totally rejected Femi Gbajabiamila’s stands on 9th Minority Principal Officers of the House of Representatives as it poses a direct threat to survival of their hard earned democracy.
VATLAD strongly condemned it, saying it is targeted at jeopardasing President Muhammadu Buhari and All Progressives Congress promise to bring about major constitutional changes to restore hope to Nigerians and the actualisation of the three-point Agenda of President Buhari.
Igbini Emmanuel, National President, VATLAT, said that having carefully and dispassionately watched the video of the proceeding at the House of Representatives on Wednesday, July 3, 2019 where Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila attempted to read out names of Ndudi Elumelu and three others as Minority Principal Officers of 9th House of Representatives amid strong protests by members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), is a shenanigan too many that must not be condoned by Nigerians irrespective of political parties or affiliations.
“That Gbajabiamila has caused further global embarrassment on the President Buhari-led APC government after the recent shameful act of vote-buying to induce members-elect to vote him as Speaker.
“While Nigerians are yet to forgive him for this shameful act, shenanigan and desecration of the hallowed chamber of National Assembly on June 11, 2019, he has added another act of lawlessness, illegality and unconstitutionality.”
“We must remind President Buhari and APC that if they must succeed in causing the needed alterations of some critical provisions of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, as amended, to for example, urgently resolve the raging insecurity problems in Nigeria, the votes of a minimum of 2/3 majority of the 360 members of House of Representatives (240 members) must be constitutionally obtained in strict accordance with the provisions of sections 9 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, as amended”
‘’This effectively means that President Buhari and APC will never succeed if PDP with over 150 members of the House does not vote in support of any proposed alteration of the Constitution of Nigeria
“It is, therefore, for this reason that President Buhari and APC must immediately compel Speaker Gbajabiamila to unconditionally dump his plot and to read the names so submitted by PDP as Minority Principal Officers, the same way President of the Senate (Sen. Ahmed Lawal) rightly did on July 2, 2019”
“That the attention of Gbajabiamila must be drawn to section 60 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution, as amended, which subject to the provisions of the Constitution of Nigeria, gives power to the Senate or House of Representatives to regulate its own procedure.
“It is the Standing procedure of the House of Representatives since May 29, 1999 for the Political Party with the highest number of members in the minority group to officially write to the Speaker indicating names of members chosen by members of the Minority Parties to be their Leaders in the House. This same procedure was adopted in making Gbajabiamila the minority leader of the 7th House of Representatives when his then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) on behalf of other political parties in minority in the 7th House of Representatives, announced him Minority Leader and was accepted. There was no attempt to consider any other list from the other political parties with lesser number of members than his ACN”
“ It is also imperative to state here that there is no provision in the 1999 Nigerian Constitution which gives powers to the Speaker to appoint minority leaders for the House as he attempted to do”, Emmanuel said.
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