Caucus of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in the House of Representatives yesterday declared that only the Speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, can reconvene the House from its ongoing recess.
The caucus has also called on the Presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to stop meddling in the internal affairs of the parliament, which is, and remained an independent arm of the federal government.
“Consequently, any political party that seeks to meddle into our internal affairs should perish the thought,” the Caucus stated at a media briefing yesterday.
Apparently responding to widespread speculations that the PDP was planning to reconvene the House which is currently adjourned till December 3, 2014, through its members with the intent to impeach Tambuwal, the Caucus noted that the House rules were very clear on such procedures.
Minority Leader of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, who led other members of the caucus at the briefing, said the Presidency and the PDP’s actions in the aftermath of Tambuwal’s defection from PDP to the APC last week were undemocratic.
Reiterating to the procedure of reconvening the House from break as stipulated by the House rules, Gbajabiamila said: “The president cannot do it. A political party cannot do it. The Deputy Speaker lacks the power. And indeed, it is beyond the signatures of 120, 150 or even 350 members. That power resides solely, and exclusively with Mr. Speaker. We had hoped that the PDP would at least this one time be decorous in its conduct, and respect the rule of law and the legislature, but we were wrong.”
“In a reaction unknown to civilisation or any democratic setting, and disregarding all wise counsels, the Speaker’s former party, the PDP resorted to self-help, and using the police agency, they turned accuser, judge and executor and withdrew the Speaker’s security personnel. The PDP also seek to pile some other illegalities like reconvening the House after it has been duly adjourned, and removing an incredibly popular Speaker as a duly elected Speaker of the House of the House of Representatives.
“Just as the legislature cannot regulate the workings of the presidency, determine for the president when he should call FEC meetings, it so also that the presidency cannot dictate to the House, when to reconvene or meet.”