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Leadership crisis rocks Bauchi Assembly as court sacks speaker, deputy

Barring any last-minute development, the Bauchi State House of Assembly will elect Babayo Muhammad as its new speaker, a move expected to put an end…

Barring any last-minute development, the Bauchi State House of Assembly will elect Babayo Muhammad as its new speaker, a move expected to put an end to the leadership crisis in the assembly.

A reliable source confided in Daily Trust that the lawmakers, after a closed-door meeting with the state governor, Bala Mohammed, on Tuesday, settled for Babayo Muhammad representing Hardawa Constituency from the central zone while Ahmad Abdullahi, representing Dass Constituency, was settled on for the deputy speaker.

Daily Trust reports that the assembly was thrown into pandemonium on Tuesday following the nullification of the elections of its former speaker and the deputy speaker by the Court of Appeal in Abuja.

While the appellate court on Friday sacked the erstwhile speaker, Abubakar Suleiman, and ordered a rerun at his constituency, Ningi Central, his deputy, Jamilu Umaru Dahiru, who was naturally expected to take over the speakership was also sacked by the same court on Monday, a situation that created a leadership vacuum in the assembly when it reconvened for plenary on Tuesday.

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Findings indicated that the house was preparing to receive the state governor on Thursday for the presentation of the supplementary budget for approval by the house when the news of the sacking of the deputy speaker came to the assembly.

Bauchi’s 10th Assembly comprises 31 lawmakers including 22 members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and eight members from the main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) and one member from New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP).

The Court Appeal in Abuja has now sacked three PDP lawmakers bringing down the number of the ruling PDP members to 19, a number still enough for the party to maintain the majority in the state assembly.

Investigations revealed the permutation for the new Speaker of Bauchi Assembly was that he should come from the central zone of the state because the present governor is from the southern part while his deputy is from the northern part of the state and therefore the next speaker most emerged from the ruling PDP in the state.

The majority leader of the house, Saleh Hodi, representing Desina Constituency, who was next on the pecking order after the sacked speaker and deputy, was, however, schemed out due to the zoning formula because Hodi comes from the northern zone.

Although the two sacked lawmakers are loyalists of the governor and have claimed at several fora that they’re not afraid of a rerun election, analysts, however, said their connection and loyalty to the state governor may not guarantee their return.

When contacted in a telephone interview, the chairman of the Bauchi House of Assembly Committee on Information, Hon. Musa Wakili Nakwada, said, “As lawmakers, we will not do anything but we will follow the procedures and the real thing that is supposed to be done by the law and the constitution.”

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