The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has warned members of the lower chamber of the National Assembly not to turn the chamber into a marketplace.
Gbajabiamila in a statement on Tuesday, March 16 berated members who caused chaos during the smooth proceedings in the chamber. He specifically slammed lawmakers who always roam about the chamber having group discussions during plenary.
Naija News understands that the Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu, had raised a point of order to condemn the disorder in the chamber. This was coming after the Chief Whip, Mohammed Monguno, angrily called out names of lawmakers causing disruption during the plenary, demanding total orderliness.
Gbajabiamila has on several occasion in the plenary hit the gavel to make lawmakers pay attention to matters under consideration.
In his submission, Okechukwu cited Order 9, Rules 4, 9, 10, saying he was “conscious of Mr Speaker’s efforts and labour to control the House.”
According to the deputy minority leader, members have to simply observe the rules of debate for them to be constructively engaged, discuss and speak to issues pertaining to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He said: “Mr Speaker, your serial efforts to call members’ attention regarding issues on the floor speaks essentially to Order 9 and it shows that several members are essentially in breach of it.
“For us to be constructively engaged and discuss and speak to issues pertaining to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, members have to simply observe the rules of debate. That presupposes that all should be silent; we don’t have to crisscross the floor indiscriminately and unless the Chair (presiding officer) calls for your attention, you are not to be moving.”
Gbajabiamila in his reaction to Okechukwu’s submission said “Let me just develop that a little bit: I think it is very important, honourable colleagues; we are a parliament, it is called a hallowed chamber for a reason; that is why the word (is) ‘hallowed.’ It has a meaning. It is not a marketplace.”
In another news, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, has ordered all bank workers to declare their assets latest June 1, 2021.
Naija News reports that the newly appointed EFCC boss gave the directive while speaking with State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday.