The spokesperson to Bauchi State governor, Dr Ladan Salihu, has said the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Abubakar Suleiman Ningi, was legitimately elected by members of the House.
He disclosed this while reacting to claims by the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) that his election was null and void as well as the alleged use of security agents to harass lawmakers on the inauguration day.
Ladan said the election of the Speaker was conducted and pronounced adding that he delivered his acceptance speech, just as the same process was followed for the election of the deputy Speaker, Danlami Ahmed Kawule of the PDP.
He said all the processes were conducted inside the main chambers of the Bauchi state House of Assembly, in public view of the people who witnessed this occasion.
“And there were 13 members who were sworn-in contrary to what was paraded in the media, not 11. The quorum that was needed to elect a Speaker out of the 31 members of the Assembly was met. This Speaker was legitimately elected by a duly constituted State Assembly.
“So, anybody who says there are two Assemblies in Bauchi is just something conjured up in the inner recesses of his own imagination.
“As far as we are concerned in Bauchi state, there is only one Speaker, Abubakar Suleiman, who was duly elected and recognized by all the parties and he is a member of the APC.
“This is the most authentic election ever” while pointing out that the other members chose to stay away for whatever reason they did.
“Later, they came and congregated him outside the Assembly and stood before a model of a Mace; and what do you have, you had an elected member presiding as the Clerk who presided over the so-called oath,” he said.
He however berated the immediate-past Speaker of the 8th State Assembly for their conduct saying that, their action was an illegality which mocks democracy.
“What Hon. Kawuwa Damina and his group did, was to downgrade their political esteem from political heavyweights to political paper tigers. They downgraded the esteem of their own political being from being members of the inner chambers of the Assembly to members of a garden outside premises of the Assembly.
“There has never been any Assembly that sat in a garden under the shadow of a model of a Mace without a Clerk, without other supporting staff, without a Mace, without other paraphernalia and regalia of the Assembly. They just made Bauchi state to look like just like a banana state,” he added.
He informed that the same members who are crying foul over the Speaker’s election were the same members who sat down, 11 of them and abrogated the state anti-corruption law and re-enact another law for the creation of additional districts, village and hamlet areas which they had earlier abrogated.
“The same people are now turning around and are saying, no, there was no quorum. I think it is not only shameful, it is a travesty of democracy and the people of Bauchi state are looking at them as not only a laughing stock, they are a group of political charlatans and profiteers.”
“They are there simply because they are doing the bidding of the former Governor and that is unacceptable. Bauchi has only one Governor, for now, he has a term of four years and that is Bala Mohammed, that is what the people have spoken, whom they have spoken for and that is the path we will continue to pursue,” he noted.
He also absolved Governor Bala Mohammed of any wrongdoing on what happened on the inauguration day as alleged by the opposition party, APC, saying, the Governor is a democrat and a parliamentarian who knows the rules.
“So, there is no handiwork of government in what happened. And keeping quiet will be suicidal. We have to come out and speak because it is our own government that has the constituted authorities of the Executive which I belong to, the legislature and the judiciary which is also an aspect of government and government does not operate in a vacuum. I had to speak because it is in the overall stability of government,” he added.
He explained that he decided to speak on the State House of Assembly issue because it has not appointed a spokesperson and had adjourned sitting indefinitely.