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House of reps in rowdy session as south-east lawmakers protest

House of reps in rowdy session as south-east lawmakers protest
June 01
14:21 2017
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The house of representatives on Thursday went into a rowdy session on Thursday as lawmakers from the south-east protested the decision to step down a bill seeking to establish the South-East Development Commission.

The bill was stepped down because Chukwuka Onyema, its lead sponsor, was not absent at plenary.

Many south-east lawmakers had approached Yakubu Dogara, the speaker, supposedly lobbying for the bill to be passed.

The bill was called for reading the second time, but Onyema was still not available, making Bode Ayorinde, deputy chairman of house rules and business committee, to recommend that it be stepped down till another legislative day.

After it was stepped down, the house went into a rowdy session as the south-east lawmakers, particularly of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), started protesting.

The aggrieved lawmakers insisted that the bill should be taken.

Jones Onyeyriri, a lawmaker from Imo state, shouted down his colleagues, who tried to pacify him.

Leo Ogor, house minority leader, was unsuccessful in his bid to calm the lawmakers.

However, normalcy was restored after 15 minutes.

Speaking after proceedings continued, Dogara said the house would not shut out any region.

He explained that it was the decision of the house to step down the bill, and not his.

“If he (Onyema) was around, he will take it (bill). We can’t shut out any member. If he wants to still take it, he can but we have to suspend our rules,” Dogara said.

Ogor moved for the house to rescind its decision on stepping down the bill but when it was put to a vote, the “nays” were more than the “ayes”, but the speaker ruled in favour of those in support of the bill.

Onyema later joined his colleagues and the lawmakers went into a debate on the bill.

It was being considered as of the time this report was filed.

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Copyright 2017 TheCable. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.thecable.ng as the source.
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