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Published On: Thu, Apr 10th, 2014

Governors can’t call for sack of 37 defected Reps, says lawmaker

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By Lawrence Olaoye & Umar Muhammad Puma

Chairman House of Representatives committee on rules and business, Rep Albert Sam-Tsokwa (PDP Taraba), has said that the Peoples Democratic Party Governors Forum (PDPGF) lacks the constitutional power to call for the sack of the 37 members who recently dumped the rulin party for the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).

While responding to questions from newsmen yesterday on he matter, Tsokwa said “The call for the sack of the defecting lawmakers is uncalled for. The aggrieved persons should approach the courts for a (writ of) mandamus if they felt the law was not being adhered to in the case of the 37 defecting lawmakers.

“The constitution is very clear, that power (to declare seat of any member vacant) is vested in the Senate President or the Speaker of the House of Representatives; no other person in Nigeria has that power; not even the court. If I am aggrieved that the Senate President has not done what he should have done or the Speaker has not done what he should have done, the only way we can involve a court is go to the court and ask for an order of mandamus to compel him to do what the law requires him to do”.

Commenting on the lingering crisis between Fulani herdsmen and farmer across the country, Tsokwa accused northern governors of sponsoring acts of terrrorism recorded in heightened herdsmen/farmers clashes in many parts of Nigeria’s north.

The Taraba lawmaker warned that the herdsmen/farmers clashes was presently a time bomb which if left unchecked, has the tendency to transform into another Boko Haram challenge which the country is currentl grappling with.

He said: “What we call farmer/grazer conflict is a kind of insurgency against the farmer. A grazer is a farmer, young cultivator is a farmer. Just as I cannot walk up to your land and begin to make heaps because your land is good and I want to plant rice there. A grazer too has no right to walk into my land, no matter how conducive for grazing, and begin to graze there. If he has no land, I have land. I have no animal. Come, buy my land, give me money and graze there.

“Today, these people (farmers) are helpless, a time will come when they will not be that helpless. That was how Boko Haram started… My advice is that the earlier we do something about it the better for us. Nigeria has enough problem on its hands. Let us not cause additional problems. Lets handle the ones we have. We should be seen to be moving ahead rather than adding more and more problems for the country.


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