There was confusion in Bauchi State House of Assembly when 11 out of 31 members yesterday elected Abubakar Suleiman, representing Ningi Central Constituency, as speaker and Danlami Dawule, representing Zungu/Galambi, as deputy speaker and were sworn in by the Clerk of the House, Yusuf Vital.
Swiftly, 18 lawmakers loyal to the former Speaker, Kawuwa Damina (Darazo Constituency), who was seeking re-election, conducted a parallel election to vote him and Tukuru Ibrahim (Toro Constituency) as speaker and deputy speaker respectively.
The 18 members held their election outside the Assembly complex using the symbolic maze to put their ‘leaders’ in place.The Ninth Assembly in the state consists of 22 All Progressives Congress (APC) members, eight People’s Democratic Party (PDP) members and one member from the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
The Guardian gathered that the 11 members made up of eight PDP, two APC and one NNPP had arrived the House as early as few minutes to 7:00 a.m. and elected Suleiman of APC unopposed and was sworn in alongside his deputy, Danlami of PDP, before the arrival of their colleagues.
Shortly after Abubakar emerged, other members trooped in and were taken by surprise. Immediately, one of the aggrieved members said: “Leave that seat now (addressing the new speaker) while another person lifted up the maze, saying “take the maze, take it” and the House turned rowdy. Suleiman, therefore, adjourned proceedings indefinitely.
According to Damina, who addressed journalists after the exercise, said they were scheduled to seat for inauguration at 10:00 a.m. yesterday. He lamented the steps taken by their colleagues who elected Suleiman as the speaker “few minutes to 8:00 a.m.”
Also, a source in the House, who confided in The Guardian, said Damina is loyal to former Governor Mohammad Abubakar and has the endorsement of the APC leaders.He said the party leaders had met with some members and persuaded Suleiman to drop his ambition of contesting which he allegedly agreed but later came out surprisingly working with PDP members.