BY ADEBIYI ADEDPO, |
The House of Representatives has explained that the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, did not block a move by the minority leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, calling for the sack of the minister of communication and digital economy, Dr. Isa Pantami.
The Green Chamber said, rather, the House only noted that the motion was not properly presented by Elumelu in line with House rules.
Spokesman of the House, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, in a statement on Thursday noted that the demand by Elumelu was not properly presented, adding that the House would entertain the demand whenever it is properly presented.
“The House is aware of several publications on online and traditional media claiming that the Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila blocked a motion by the Minority Leader of the House, Rep. Ndudi Elumelu purportedly demanding the resignation of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami.
“This misrepresentation of facts for the sake of sensationalism has necessitated this statement of clarification.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the House is guided by the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives (House Rules) in its operations and administration. In this case, the Minority Leader should have known better than to present such an issue for debate via Order 6 of the House Rules which only applies to Legislative Privileges.
“He ought to have come under Order 8 Rule 4, as a matter of urgent national importance, or via a motion on notice to enable other members second the motion and make their contributions through debate in true democratic fashion, after which the House would be able to take a position on the issue.
“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 simply 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,” Kalu stated.
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