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Nigeria: House Speaker Gbajabiamila, Deputy Clash at Plenary

“Mr. Speaker, the House is not about I, but us,” Wase retorted.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and his Deputy, Hon. Idris Wase openly clashed during plenary on Wednesday, over the announcement by the Speaker that the Order Paper for today be made lighter to allow members attend the official Commissioning of the permanent site of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS).

Before adjourning the plenary, the Speaker announced that the NILDS permanent site along Airport Road would be commissioned by 3.00pm today by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He asked the Chairman of the House Committee on Rules and Business, Hon. Hassan Fulata to ensure that the order paper was not crowded by the day’s business so that the House could adjourn early enough for the event.

But Deputy Speaker, Wase said the primary business of the House was lawmaking and other official businesses, adding that the commissioning of NILDS headquarters was not enough to adjourn the House.

Wase said members willing to attend the commission could do so while the business of the House was not disrupted.

But the Speaker said: “DS, maybe the importance of NILDS is not clear to you like it is to some of us. We are not adjourning the House for members to attend the commissioning. I said the order paper should be made lighter because I will attend the commissioning.

But Wase fired back saying, “Mr. Speaker, the House is not about I, but us.”

Gbajabiamila first ignored his Deputy, made another announcement before returning to address him saying, “DS, I have been in this House long enough to know that this is the first time in the history of this House that a Deputy Speaker will openly oppose what the speaker says.”

Turning to the Chairman of the Committee on Rules and Business, Gbajabiamila said: “make the order paper light for tomorrow. This House will adjourn at 2.00pm” while members present at plenary screamed carried.

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