From David Hassan, Gombe
Member representing Billiri East constituency in Gombe State House of Assembly, Hon. Rambi Ayala has rejected a bill passed into law by the House of Assembly to provide the establishment of a joint project development agency and other related matters.
The bill which did not have a based following the ‘dust’ raised by the lawmaker insisted that the said bill should be thrown out for lack of judiciary backing.
It could be recalled that Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya earlier send the bill seeking the approval of the House to established the execution of the proposed Local Government join project agency.
The House who met on the 4th of February 2020 to deliberate on the bill the resolution was made to constitute a joint committee for Local Government and chieftaincy affairs and that of the judiciary to report back to the House in six weeks’ time.
But Thursday afternoon during its sitting and just before the passage of the bill, Mr. Ayala (PDP), described the bill as antidemocratic, anti people, and goes contrary to President Muhammadu Buhari’s directives to the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit to ensure that the funds that belongs to the Local Governments goes directly to the Local Governments.
Speaking on top of his voice, he said the bill goes contrary to section seven of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and called on his colleagues to jettison the bill and then walked out of the chamber.
However, Speaker of the House, Abubakar Sadiq Ibrahim, after listening to contributions from members, most of who supported the bill, called for it’s passage after the third reading which was done by 17 out of the 24 member House including the Speaker.
Mr. Musa Buba, (APC) Balanga North Constituency moved that the House pass the bill and was seconded by Adamu Saleh Pata, (APC) Yamaltu East Constituency.
In the report presented to the House by the House joint committee for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and the Judiciary, Mr. Rambi Ayala, Chairman of the Judiciary committee, his deputy and two others refused to append their signature in the report that had seven members. According to Rambi, he does not know where the report emanated from.
Also, two out of the seven members of the committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs refused to sign the report presented to the House.
In separate interviews with proponents and opponents of the bill, Honourable Adamu Saleh Pata, said the House did not go against the law as it has the right to pass bills that will balance the Government adding that, without the joint funds, the State Government cannot executive or maintain most of its projects.
He said, “we prepared the bill and passed it into law in order to monitor the activities of the Local Governments. When they bring 40 percent, the State will bring 60 percent to execute projects. There was autonomy in the past Governments but no implementation. This Government brought this law to cover the Local Governments and the State’s money.”
The lawmaker Rambi Ayala said, he had to walk out of the chamber even before the end of the sitting because it was so annoying to him that even as a cochair in the committee’s assignment, everything about the bill was shrouded in secrecy. “I will not be surprised if it was not doctored somewhere and that it must be passed”, he said.