Armstrong Bakam, Bauchi
18 out of the 31 lawmakers-elect of Bauchi State House of Assembly on Thursday held a parallel inauguration.
The Members-elect who held plenary outside the Assembly complex under the stature of the symbol of a mace, elected the former Speaker of the Assembly, Kawuwa Damina and Tukur Ibrahim as parallel Speaker and Deputy respectively.
Recall that 11 out of the 31 elected Members of the ninth Bauchi State House of Assembly on Thursday, elected Abubakar Suleiman as the Speaker of the House.
The opposition All Progressives Congress has 22 members-elect, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, has eight members-elect while the New Nigeria People’s Party has one lawmaker-elect in the Assembly.
The Clerk of the House, Yusuf Gital, presided over the sitting of the House, which began at 7:00 a.m. with only 11 members-elect in attendance; eight from the PDP, two from the APC and one from the NNPP.
Suleiman, the member representing Ningi Central Constituency (APC), emerged unopposed after he was nominated.
Also elected was Danlami Kawule representing Zungur/Galambi (PDP) as the Deputy Speaker.
The 18 APC Members had gone to the House as early as 8:00 a.m. as against the 10:00 a.m. official commencement of the sitting possibly to hold their sitting and carry out out their election, only to discover that the PDP had outsmarted them by being there as early as 7:00 a.m, had their sitting and elected the two principal officers.
The lawmakers, who were obviously aggrieved, grabbed the mace and tried to take it away but were stopped by the Sergeant-at-arms and other security operatives present.
Immediately that happened, the newly-elected Speaker, Abubakar Suleiman, adjourned the plenary indefinitely.
In an interview with newsmen shortly after his purported election as the Speaker of the House, Kawuwa Damina said the parallel election and inauguration is aimed at enhancing democracy and not for personal or selfish reasons.
He said that invitation letters were dispatched to all lawmakers to be at the Assembly for swearing-in Thursday, 20th June by 10:00 a.m.
“We came here some minutes before 8:00 a.m. but to our dismay and surprise, we met 11 out of the 31 members in the chamber and (they had) purportedly done an election and had even sworn in the Speaker and his deputy,” Damina said.