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Rumble as Bankole names House Committee chairmen

Posted by By JAMES OJO, Abuja on 2008/10/10 | Views: 1858 |

Rumble as Bankole names House Committee chairmen


Speaker of the House of Representatives, Bankole Dimeji ended weeks of suspense on Thursday, announcing the long awaited re-composition of the leadership of the committees, sparking off mixed reactions from members.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Bankole Dimeji ended weeks of suspense on Thursday, announcing the long awaited re-composition of the leadership of the committees, sparking off mixed reactions from members.

Bankole read names of the chairmen and deputies of the 84 House committees, from handwritten sheet, putting a lid on the assignment given to the Selection Committee over three months ago.

The Speaker justified the high-wired politics, which surrounded the exercise when he told the House that what he was about to read was the conclusion of a meeting, which started on Wednesday night at about 10 p.m. and ended just 10 minutes before the House session.

Said he: “The re-composition exercise is now completed, we must be aware that we are not all geniuses and neither are we all fools. There must be winners and losers but the parliamentary institution comes first. I want to appeal to my colleagues that the exercise was completed with all sense of fair play.”

According to him, nine per cent of chairmen and deputies were dropped from what he inherited from his predecessor, while 27 per cent were absolute brand new chairmen and deputies.
Fifty per cent, he said, were reshuffled from one committee to another, while six per cent retained their seats but not necessarily in their former committees.

Bankole singled out Hon Halims Agoda and Hon Farouk Lawan as “patriotic’ members who decided to reject “juicy committees” he offered them against the committees they had had reservations about.
But in a swift reaction to the list, at least two members had signified intention to reject the positions offered them by the Speaker.

Sources close to Hon. Herman Hembe [PDP] Benue State said, for instance, that he had declined to serve as deputy on the Committee on Donor Agencies.
The loss of key committees such as NDDC, House Services and Ethics and Privilege, hitherto held by South West to other zones did not go down well with some members from the Speaker’s zone.
A breakdown of the share of South-West showed that Oyo State got two slots, Ondo State three, Osun State two and Ogun State four.

Edo State caucus was not also happy that they got only one committee, Special Duties, while losing the Interior Committee.
Comments made by the Speaker indicating that some members were untouchable angered some of the lawmakers who wondered why Bankole could openly admit that some committees were more juicy than others.

Loyalists of former Speaker, Patricia Etteh who lost out in the new arrangement include: Hom Tam Brisbe, Ehioge West- Idahosa, Agboola Ajayi, Titi Akindahunsi, Florence Akinwale and Folake Olunloyo.

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