From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
Seven members representing various constituencies of Kaduna State at the House of Representatives, have denied claims by Honourable Datti Babawo, representing Sabon Gari Federal Constituency, of being their Caucus Leader; saying the members have never elected anybody to act in that capacity.
They stated this in a press statement made available to the media in Kaduna yesterday.
The members are: Hon. Jagaba Adams Jagaba, Kachia/Kagarko; Hon. Gideon Lucas Gwani, Kaura; Hon. Barr. Simon Yakubu Arabo, Kauru; Hon. Nicholas Shehu Garba, Jema’a/Sanga; Hon. Barr. Sunday Marshall Katung, Jaba/Zango-Kataf and Hon. Barr. Muhammad Musa Soba.
Soba, said their attention have been drawn to stories making rounds alleging that fifteen members have faulted the Senate’s rejection of the loan needed by Kaduna State.
According to them, Hon. Datti Babawo, claiming to be the leader of the caucus, has alleged that all the fifteen members, out of sixteen, from Kaduna State approved the loan because of its enormous benefits to people of the state.
The statement added that the Kaduna Caucus in the House of Representatives has not elected a leader. It is, therefore, strange for Hon. Datti Babawo to arrogate such power to himself; saying as lawmakers from Kaduna State they never met to discuss the $350m loan, let alone take a decision on it.
“We operate bicameral legislature in Nigeria, and to that extent, the House of Reps has no business questioning the decision(s) of the Senate. Both chambers operate independently and have mutual respect for each other in the spirit of the Constitution.
“In disapproving the loan therefore, the Senate acted within its constitutional powers. It is clear mischief and sheer ignorance for Hon. Datti to cast aspersion on the institution of the Senate.
“In practice, loan approvals or otherwise, are carried out at plenary after exhaustive debate upon presentation by the relevant committee, and not by State Caucuses as mischievously portrayed by Hon. Datti.
“We wish to reiterate that not all House of Representatives members from Kaduna State are in support of the loan issue. It is on record that some members have spoken against incurring such a huge debt on the people of Kaduna State.
“In view of the above, we wish to dissociate ourselves from the views expressed by Hon. Datti, as they are entirely his own, seeing that he is neither the Leader nor the Spokesman of the Kaduna State Caucus in the House of Representatives.
“The Senate acted within its constitutional powers and in the best interest of a majority of Kaduna State people. We therefore, cannot question its decision,” the statement concluded.