A mild drama ensued at plenary in the House of Representatives on Thursday as Rep Muhammad Abdu insisted that a report on the reviewed conditions of service in the National Assembly be stepped down.
The drama started when Speaker Yakubu Dogara called on the Chairman, Conference Committee on the Reviewed Conditions of Service in the National Assembly, Rep Simon Arabo, to present the report on Thursday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the agenda was in the item two of Presentation of Reports in the lower chamber’s Order Paper.
However, no sooner had Dogara given Arabo the floor to speak than Abdu (APC-Bauchi) who represents AlKaleri/Kerfi Federal Constituency, challenged the report presentation.
Abdu argued that the report was shrouded with controversies that needed to be resolved before its presentation.
According to him, not all members of the conference committee endorsed the report about to be presented by the chairman “because we were not aware of meetings where decisions were taken”.
”Some of our members, who are not here now, would have backed me up. I will plead that the report is not laid now because there are issues surrounding it.
”Some of us were not invited to the meetings and are not aware of the report,” he argued.
Arabo, in his response, said Abdu decided on his own not to honour the invitations to committee meetings.
According to him, a deliberate absence of a member will and shall not prevent the committee from completing its job.
“We have concluded the report but he can write a minority report if he feels strongly about it,” he added.
Some lawmakers also made contributions to the argument.
However, in his ruling, the speaker expressed surprise at the development after being assured by the committee chair that all was well on the report presentation.
”Rep. Arabo has, before now, assured me that issues over the report have been resolved.
”It won’t be the first time the parliament will be stepping down a report due to situations like this,” he said.
Dogara, who thereafter stepped down the presentation of the report, noted that a resolution of the issues of concern by the conference committee would make the report better on presentation.
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