Reps ‘fight’ over call for Pantami’s ouster

Exchange of words has ensued between spokesman of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, the Minority Caucus, over the recent move on the floor, to the effect that Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami should resign over allegation of terrorism links, of be sacked.

Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu had on Wednesday during plenary, raised a point of order, citing order Six of the House rules, that his personal privileges have been breached by the continuous stay of the minister, if the House which he was part of the leadership failed to act in ,one with the demands of Nigerians. 

In response reports that the move was shot down by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, the spokesman said the House was ready to hear a motion by the Minority Leader Ndudi Elumelu on the needs to suspend or sack the Minister was not properly presented, and that the House will entertain same if he chose to bring it back way of motion.

However, the Minority caucus asked the Speaker to forward Elumelu’s position as resolution of the House to President Muhammadu Buhari, and also demanded an apology from Kalu for engaging in what it described as personal attack on the minority leader.

In a statement by spokesman of the caucus, Francis Ottah Agbo, the Minority caucus dismissed the position of the House spokesman, insisting that the motion by the Minority Leader was properly done in accordance with the rules of the House. “We demand that Hon. Kalu should withdraw his statement and tender an unreserved apology to the Minority Leader and Nigerians for misrepresenting the rules of the House.

“Our caucus, standing with millions of Nigerians, also demands that the Speaker should immediately act on the prayers of the motion..” it said.

In the words of spokesman of the house however, the facts were represented. “It is therefore pertinent to inform Nigerians that the House has not acted in error, but in line with the provisions of its rules. All insinuations that the House did not allow democratic debate to take place on the important issue of Pantami’s resignation are simple untrue. The House acknowledges the severity of the issue and its nature as a matter of public concern. As always, the House stands ready to give audience to Rep. Elumelu or any other member of the House on this issue, provided that such audience is sought through the proper channels and brought under the relevant rules of the House”, he stated.

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