Bauchi Assembly crisis: Factional Speaker, 16 others make U-turn, insist on fresh proclamation


The former Speaker, Bauchi State House of Assembly, Damina Kawuwa has suggested a compliance to the decision of the House of Representatives while called on the State Governor Bala Muhammd to make fresh proclamation for inaugurating the State Assembly in order to end the leadership crisis.
Mr Kawuwa’s latest stance on the Bauchi Assembly crisis appears to be in contrast to the decision himself and 16 other members had taken five days ago when they bowed to pressure and agreed to be sworn in by the current speaker whose election they earlier opposed.
The Bauchi State House of Assembly was in June thrown into deep leadership crisis following the election of the current speaker by only 11 out of the 31 member-assembly.
Though the speaker, whose election is being contested, is a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), the opposing group have alleged that his loyalty was to the governor of the state, who is of the opposing Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The factional majority, who are obviously being backed by the former governor of the state, Muhammed Abubakar, had to inaugurate Mr Kawuwa as their speaker, thereby plunging the assembly into a chaotic situation.
The Federal House of Representative had to inaugurate a committee to wade into the crisis. The committee visited Bauchi, held a public hearing after which it recommended to the National Assembly that the present leaders of the Bauchi House should be voided and the state governor should issue a fresh proclamation for the re-inauguration of the Assembly
It could also be recalled that just a day to the submission of the Reps committee report, the speaker and 12 sworn-in members of the Bauchi Assembly had to obtain a court order restraining the Committee from interfering with the status quo until a substantive suit filed before it concerning the matter has been resolved.
Last Friday, the factional speaker, Mr Kawuwa and his 16 colleagues appeared at the chambers of the Bauchi Assembly where they eventually agreed to be sworn in by the speaker at a ceremony attended by the governor, Mr Muhammed.
Surprisingly, on Wednesday, the former speaker and the 16 newly sworn-in members, appeared at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, together with the former governor, Mr Abubakar, where they met President Muhammadu Buhari, whom they told the crisis was yet unresolved.
Though the president said he would ensure the matter was looked into for peaceful resolution, after the Sallah holidays, the 17 lawmakers told journalists at the presidential villa that the only way out was to conduct fresh elections for the Assembly leadership.
The Assembly said they were spurred by the APC national leadership not to accept the present leadership of the Assembly even though they had indirectly recognized its authority by agreeing to be sworn in by the disputed speaker.
“The purpose of our coming to see Mr President is at the instance of our party,” said Mr Kawuwa.
“So we came to brief him on what is happening at the Bauchi State House of Assembly since the purported inauguration which as you are all aware, two leaderships emerged. Primarily he (the President) was fully briefed directly by us.”
“As it is now….because, in Arithmetic, there is nothing that will make 11 to be greater than 20; and later that 11 grew to 13. So that is the position.”
On how they intend to resolve this issue, the former speaker said, “Let me clearly state that this is not about any individual. All that we from the APC are asking for is a sane institution, irrespective of who emerges as a leader. All we are saying is that the right thing, based on constitutional provisions should be done – with a proclamation issued, specifying the date, time and venue should be announced. Once that is done, the election should be conducted and whoever emerges as a leader, fine and good.”


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