Confusion in Plateau as impeached, new speaker organise plenary

Plateau State House of Assembly Speaker, Abok Ayuba
There was confusion at the Plateau State House of Assembly on Thursday as eight members removed the Speaker, Ayuba Abok.

Abok, a lawmaker representing the Jos East State Constituency, was said to have been removed by 16 out of the 24-member Assembly on Thursday morning.

However, the lawmakers loyal to Abok said only eight members removed the embattled speaker.

He was immediately replaced by the lawmaker representing Pengana constituency, Yakubu Sanda, of the All Progressives Congress.

It was gathered that one of the lawmakers abstained from voting.

The lawmaker representing Rukuba/Irigwe constituency, Musa Agah, said, “This morning (Thursday), eight members rushed to the Plateau State House of Assembly around 6am to remove the speaker.

“The Assembly is made up of 24 members and the constitutional requirement for the removal of the Speaker by 16 members.

“When some of us got wind of what was happening, we rushed to the Assembly complex only to discover that security operatives had barricaded everywhere. We were stopped from gaining access to the Assembly complex.”

However, the sacked Speaker Abok, later on Thursday held separate plenary with about 16 lawmakers of the state Assembly.

Abok reportedly led other lawmakers to another location with the mace, where they suspended six of the lawmakers that participated in his impeachment for gross misconduct .

The lawmakers also passed a vote of confidence in Ayuba as Speaker of the Assembly

The Majority leader, Philip Dasun, named those suspended as Saleh Dengi (APC), Nanlong Mikang, (APC), Yakubu Pengana, (APC), Mohammed Quan (APC), Eric Quan (APC) and Baba Hassan (APC).

Lalong welcomes new speaker

Meanwhile, the state governor, Simon Lalong, said he was surprised over Abok’s suspension.

The governor said this when the new Speaker, Sanda, visited him at the Government House.

A statement by the Governor’s Director of Press and Public Affairs, Macham Makut, said, “The new Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Yakubu Sanda, has led principal officers and some members of the House to the Government House to assure the executive arm of its cooperation in running the affairs of the state.”

“Speaking during the visit, the Majority leader of the House, Naanlong Daniel, said the new Speaker emerged after 16 members of the House signed the petition to impeach the former Speaker over series of allegations.

“The new Speaker, Yakubu Sanda said the new leadership of the House will work in synergy with the Executive and Judiciary for the peace, progress and development of Plateau State.”

This statement added that the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Danladi Atu, said Governor Lalong was surprised with the development, “but nevertheless respects the decision of the House which is an autonomous organ that has powers to manage its internal affairs.

He assured the House that the doors of the executive will always remain open for collaboration and cooperation with the legislature in delivering good governance.

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