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Published On: Thu, Jul 17th, 2014

Impeachment: Nasarawa Assembly members face recall

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Nasarawa-AssemblyBy Ali Abare Abubakar, Abuja, & Gambo Ahmed, Lafia

Constituents of some members of the Nasarawa state House of Assembly, have begun collation of signatures of willing petitioners, for submission to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), towards recalling their representatives in the legislature who signed for the impeachment of Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura.

Those who face immediate recall threats are the state Assembly members representing Doma Central, Doma South, Wamba, Akwanga West, Akwanga North, Keana and Kokona East.

Their constituents said in separate statements issued yesterday, that they have begun the process of recalling their members over on-going moves to sack Al-makura.

The people, in separate statements aired on the state radio, Nasarawa Broadcasting Service (NBS), said they had commenced collation of signatures from various members of their constituencies to be forwarded to INEC for verification, towards recalling their representatives.

In Wamba local government area of the state, for instance, the youths have vowed that their representative at the Assembly, Mr Abdulkarim Usman, must go.

The threat was contained in a statement signed by Malam Usman Jade, Chairman, Wamba Youths Association, and issued yesterday in Lafia.

According to the statement, the people of Wamba were dissatisfied with the conduct of the lawmaker in the plot to impeach Al-makura.

It added that the people were also dissatisfied with Usman’s performance in the legislature.

The statement said the people have concluded plans to follow legal process to recall the legislator.

It urged the people to get ready to sign a petition, which would be forwarded to INEC for action.

Meanwhile, two youths are said to have been killed in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital, yesterday, following protests that erupted for a second day across the state against moves by the state Assembly to impeach Governor Al-makura.

A third person, also a youth, was said to have lost his life in an accident which occurred in Nasarawa town, wherein a protest march was also held for the second day.

Our reporters learnt that some angry youths from the Lafia city centre, yesterday stormed the Tudun Gwandara area, in the vicinity of the Old Alhamis Market, attacking youths in the area, leading to the death of the two youths.

Police authorities who confirmed that there was tension as a result of the outpouring of Lafia youths onto the streets of the capital city to protest against the impeachment moves against the governor, however said no life was lost.

Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Ismai’la Numan told one of our reporters that 27 youths have been arrested and are currently undergoing investigations over the violence that followed the demonstrations. “We have restored peace in the city and everywhere is calm”, Numan said.

Our correspondent in Lafia reported that early yesterday, hundreds of women staged a peaceful demonstration and walked down the streets to the palace of the Emir, Dr. Isa Mustapha Agwai I, seeking his intervention to stop the impeachment proceedings.

Similarly, the protests, which started on Wednesday, continued across several other towns in the state yesterday in support of Governor Al-makura, and against moves by the state House of Assembly to impeach him.

Among the women groups that took part in the protest is the Ta’al Network for Youth Organization for Change, which barricaded the popular Jos road in protest against the impeachment notice served on the governor, even as another group of women in Garaku in Kokona area of the state reportedly went haywire.

Al-makura, an opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) governor, is facing a 16-count charge of alleged gross misconduct and financial impropriety, said to have violated the Constitution signed by 20 of the 24 members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) controlled Nasarawa state House of Assembly.

Other women groups that took to the streets yesterday include, the Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), women wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Nasarawa state, Mothers of Nasarawa State and Women for Change, Nasarawa state, led by the Coordinator, Hajiya Hajara Danyaro, who condemned move by the lawmakers to sack Al-makura.

According to Hajara, the Nasarawa state women voted massively for the lawmakers under the PDP, and voted Al-makura under APC, stating that the action of the lawmakers was uncalled for.

She accused the PDP of masterminding the impeachment process, as according to her, it was no coincidence that after the President Goodluck Jonathan visited the state on Monday, the impeachment notice was moved against the governor.

The women, who took their protest from Lafia City Hall to the Government House, stated that the allegation of gross misconduct could be found in the Presidential Villa in Aso Rock, Abuja, and not Nasarawa, urging the presidency to stay clear of the affairs of the young state, unless it was bent on causing an uprising in the state.

In his reaction to the protests, the emir of Lafia has made another appeal for calm, and assured that he would broker a peace meeting between members of the Nasarawa Assembly and Governor Al-Maura, as a way of resolving the current political impasse. The emir had on Wednesday appealed for calm, urging citizens to exercise restraint in their demonstrations.

In a related development a former member in the state Assembly, Mary Nwogulu, has condemned the action of her colleagues, describing it as “embarrassing”.

According to her, Governor Al-makura has done a lot for the people of the state and wondered why the lawmakers could plot an ill-timed evil against him.

 

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