Members of Nasarawa State House of Assembly.
Cecilia Onah, Lafia
The lingering crisis at the Nasarawa State House of Assembly has been resolved following the decision of Hon. Daniel Ogazi to jettison his speakership ambition for the immediate past Speaker of the assembly, Rt. Hon. Ibrahim Abdullahi.
Recall that crisis broke out June 6, 2023 when the 24 members-elect of the 7th assembly were to collectively elect a new Speaker for the House. Since then, there had been several litigations from the both contenders of the speakership position.
While Abdullahi represents Umaisha/Ugya constituency, Ogazi represents Kokona East constituency in the State Assembly.
Speaking during a press conference in Lafia on Friday, Hon. Ogazi explained that he decided to set aside his ambition for the interest of the state and it’s residents.
He said, “We are worried that while other states of the federation since the inception of this new dispensation have recorded tremendous successes in the areas of infrastructural development, people oriented projects and programs, for we in Nasarawa State, governance have been negatively impacted due to lack of a functional state Assembly.
“The situation has plunged the state into needless constitutional crisis, attracting negative attention from within and outside the state. I am equally worried that my ambition to be Speaker of the 7th Assembly has aroused opposition with an attendant negative consequence on governance in the state.
“This unfortunate development is a serious course for concern for any well meaning Nasarawa citizen. It is a known fact that I contested the Speakership position in the State Assembly, with the support of members and won by a simple majority votes.
“However, I wish to appeal to the good conscience of all patriotic citizens of Nasarawa State, especially our most esteemed supporters to see reasons with us on why Nasarawa State must make progress regardless of my ambition or any personal interest.
“Having entertained several calls, appeals from various quarters comprising critical stakeholders, both past and serving governors, senators, political party leaders within and outside the state, on the need to put Nasarawa first, with all humility and deep sense of responsibility, I hereby set aside my Speakership ambition with an assurance to henceforth unite and work for the collective good and interest of the state.
“It should however be noted that the Speakership position will be decided by members of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly and not any individual. It is in this regard that members have mutually agreed that the house will be re-inaugurated and fresh elections will be conducted.”
While expressing gratitude to all his supporters across the 13 Local Government Areas of the state for standing by him during the crisis, Ogazi appealed to them to accept his decision for the overall good of the state.
Meanwhile, the 24 members of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly have re-elected the immediate past Speaker, Rt. Hon Ibrahim Abdullahi as the Speaker of the 7th Assembly.
The members also elected Hon. Abel Bala of the Peoples Democratic Party, who represents Nassarawa Eggon West constituency as the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly.
The Acting Clerk of the House, Ibrahim Musa, disclosed this during the inauguration of the members of the 7th Assembly in Lafia on Friday.
The Clerk explained that the inauguration was in line with Governor Abdullahi Sule’s proclamation, and also in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In his acceptance speech, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Ibrahim Abdullahi, pledged to provide an all-inclusive leadership in the interest of peace and development of the state.
He said, “I want to congratulate you all, the Honourable members on your inauguration and for electing me to serve as Speaker of the 7th assembly.
“I have presided over the affairs of this Assembly in the last eight years with all sense of fairness and the fear of God. I want to assure you that I will continue in that spirit. I will also continue to operate an open door policy as I have done in the last eight years.”