Reps differ over call for name change of Apo Legislative QEgg in Abuja

Members of the House of Representatives were on Wednesday, sharply divided over a motion seeking change of name of the Apo Legislative Quarters, located in Abuja to something else.

A member, Hon. Segun Adekola had in the motion, prayed the House to pass a resolution urging the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), to effect the change in order “to reflect current reality”, stressing that the quarters do no longer provide shelter for National Assembly members as originally conceived, as the buildings were sold to occupants during the monetization policy of the Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration.

The lawmaker was however challenged midway into debate on the motion by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Yussuff Lasun, who said there were “so many fundamental issues wrong with the motion”, and so should be withdrawn. 

But when Speaker Yakubu Dogara asked Adekola whether he was willing to heed the suggestion of Lasun, the lawmaker insisted that there was nothing wrong with his motion, arguing that so many people were at the moment, occupants of the quarters who had no business with the legislature, and so the need to at least, remove “Legislative” from the name.

Deputy Whip of the House, Hon. Pally Iriase who spoke against the motion said the name already symbolized a national monument, which even if changed would still remain, adding that it would amount to distortion of history. “We find it difficult to understand why certain structures exist, to teach our children the history of our development. It is already a monument, and so we should leave it”, he said.

However, Hon. Mike Omogbehin in his submissions argued that certain answers ought to be provided on the original conception of the quarters. “Was it built to be used successively by legislators? Yes; was it being used for that purpose now? No”, he said, adding that he was not sure if up to 50 incumbent members of the National Assembly were living in the quarters.

While Hon. Aminu  Suleiman pointed out that the current deputy speaker (Lasun), former Senate President, David Mark are currently living there, with 25 out of the about 30 houses on his own street occupied by serving members, Hon. Johnson Agbonayima however blamed the sale of the quarters on personal interests to the detriment of its original plan, saying it was time for a new site to be developed for the same purpose.

The motion was subsequently negatived through majority of voice votes, after many more members spoke on its propriety or otherwise.

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