The Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures in Nigeria has called on the Governors of Edo and Bauchi states to “reverse their actions and act in accordance with the laws” by allowing proper election of principal officers into the assemblies. The group warned that it would not recognize or admit the speakers of the both houses into its ranks.
Chairman of the group, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, who is also speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly said: “A situation where the minority in a House of Assembly takes control of activities over the majority is condemnable. No lover of democracy in the country should support the charade that happened recently at both Houses of Assembly. If we must make progress, we must work in an atmosphere of peace, love and unity.”
Backstory: Edo and Bauchi states have held controversial House leadership elections. In Edo, the purported election of the Speaker was done by 9 out of 24 members while in Bauchi where they have parallel speakers, the recognized one was elected by 11 out of the 31 members.
Interesting point to note is that the Edo governor Godwin Obaseki is of the APC while the PDP Gov. Bala Mohammed is of the PDP, so the impunity is across party lines.
One more thing: Obasa also criticized the decision of a Bauchi State High Court to recognize the speaker elected by the minority.
“Specifically, Section 98(2) expressly states: “Except as otherwise provided by this Constitution, the required majority for the purpose of determining any question shall be a simple majority….Why should any reasonable court grant injunction in favour of 11 against 20? Why should the judiciary interfere in the business of the legislature which is supposed to operate on the principle of separation of powers?” Obasa queried.