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Bankole charges Reps as new session begins

Posted by By JAMES OJO and SAMUEL OGIDAN, Abuja on 2008/06/29 | Views: 2318 |

Bankole charges Reps as new session begins


Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Dimeji Bankole yesterday dared his colleagues to get ready for political attacks from within and outside as the second stanza of the third National Assembly of the Fourth Republic got underway.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Dimeji Bankole yesterday dared his colleagues to get ready for political attacks from within and outside as the second stanza of the third National Assembly of the Fourth Republic got underway.

He told them point black that the resolve of the leadership of the House to pursue the seven –point agenda of the Yar’Adua’s administration would open them to more challenges that would test their abilities as lawmakers.

Before the House went into a closed door meeting that lasted for over two hours, Bankole admonished his colleagues that the House had resumed plenary session at a critical period in the nation’s history, adding that expectations from the people was for them to rise up to the challenges as the true representatives of the people.

Subsequently, he warned members to take the issue of oversight functions more seriously as the leadership has resolved to consolidate democratic governance.
Like a General leading the army into a war, Bankole said: “We are not under illusion on the consequences of what we are doing. Get ready for more political shenanigans. Get ready for more attacks.

“Let us ignore bickering. Let us concentrate on the serious aspect of delivering power, transportation and all those aspects that have to do with the seven-point agenda. That is our resolve. It is either you are with us or not. It is either you are with the Federal Republic of Nigeria or not. This is our resolve.”
Bankole noted that he was happy that the House had replaced the episode of divisive partisanship with an era of constructive partnership, as the lower chamber was better united with a common sense of purpose than before.

“As a person, I cherish the friendship that I have cultivated here, the intensity and robustness of your ideas. As well as the uncommon zeal and single-mindedness with which you have undertaken your civic responsibilities as leaders and representatives of the people,” he said, asking members to do more in this session, noting that he was expecting more private bills, motions in the task of nation building, adding that in terms of oversight functions, institutions would be taken in a manner never before.

“I plead of us to offer more in debate in the chamber, research and analysis in committee rooms and be more inclusive, thorough and exhibit fair play in our oversight functions. We need more energy, more critical analysis, more resources and indeed, better time management to keep up the pace of Nigerians peculiar developmental imperatives.”

On some issues that have been generating concerns in the House, the Speaker took time to explain the reasons and gains of his frequent trips outside the country.
Very soon, he promised that the reports of the trips and the gains would be made available for all members, noting that no matter the problems confronting the House, it will be over. “We shall overcome.”

Before he delivered his speech, the Speaker administered oath on three new members, returnee Abdul Ningi from Bauchi State, Peter Nwuawu from Imo State and Al-Makura from Nasarawa State.
But briefing the press at the end of the closed door meeting, spokesman of the House, Hon Ezuiche Ubani blamed the tension generated by the frequent traveling of the Speaker and other sundry allegations on communication gap between the leadership and members.
Subsequently, he said that all committee chairmen would now have a channel of communicating with members, as any information from the office of the Speaker would be channelled to members through committee chairmen.

Over 40 members asked the Speaker questions on issues that had dominated the media since the House went on recess and Ubani said that the Speaker took time to explain to members, adding that the issues on the Budget of the House, composition of committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, travelings and other issues dominated the closed door meeting.
Ubani said that the selection committee had concluded its assignment, adding that any moment from now, the list of composition of the 72 standing committees would be made public.

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