Presidency panics as House convenes emergency session today

2012-01-08
SUN Newspaper- Taiwo Amodu

Ahead of today’s emergency session of the House of Representatives, the Presidency and the Peoples Democratic Party are reportedly running from pillar to post to stop the lawmakers. The Aminu Tambuwal-led House had recalled members to take an official position on the state of the nation, including the organized Labour and civil society groups’ indefinite strike expected to commence tomorrow against the removal of fuel subsidy.

Sunday Sun findings revealed that there has been intense pressure on the Speaker by the Presidency and certain members of the PDP National Working Committee to prevail on him to halt the emergency session. The Presidency, our reporter learnt, is doing everything including using governors and religious leaders to break the ranks of the leadership of the House.

As at press time yesterday, Sunday Sun reliably learnt that Vice President Namadi Sambo was presiding over a meeting with the South South caucus in the House.
Another reliable source also disclosed that the House Majority Leader, Hon Mulikat Adeola, was at the Villa with Elder Godswill Orubebe to see the President on how to stop today’s emergency session.

Issues expected to be discussed, according to thesource, are the ‘’removal of fuel subsidy, and the attendant mass protests nationwide, the Boko Haram menace, and solutions to the security problems facing the country.’.
Sunday Sun further learnt that “the Speaker had been under intense pressure since Friday night till 5am today (Saturday) not to hold today’s session.’’ The argument of the presidency, according to Sunday Sun findings, is that any proclamation by the Green Chamber against the fuel subsidy removal would constitute a serious setback on government resolve to galvanise support for the policy and break the ranks of organized Labour.

Not swayed by the government’s argument, the Speaker reportedly told the emissaries of the Presidency that a last-minute postponement of the session could dent the image of the House and its leadership.“Tambuwal has told government emissaries that the House derives power to sit on Sunday from Order 5, Rule 18 sub-section 2 of the House Standing Rules and that the House under his leadership cannot be blind to issues in the country that require urgent attention. ”

Even as the Speaker impressed it on the Presidency that Sunday was chosen to ward off picketing of the National Assembly by the organized labour and civil society groups, its foot soldiers are said to be playing up religious sentiments to break the ranks of the House leadership. Tambuwal is being accused of insensitivity to the religious sensibility of Christians in the House who are expected to observe today as work-free day.




 

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