Members of the House of Representatives have rejected a bill seeking to empower the National Assembly to remove governors and deputy governors from office “in times of serious crisis.”
The bill, which was sponsored by Edward Pwajock from Plateau State and Ali Isa from Gombe State seeks the removal of the proviso of Section 11 (4) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which specifies that the National Assembly can take over the affairs of state Houses of Assembly in times of crisis.
When the motion was moved on Wednesday for the bill to be heard the second time by Pwajock, the lawmakers kicked against it, arguing that it would make the National Assembly too powerful and could create tension in the country.
Hon. Ayo Omideran from Osun State said that it was a waste of time debating the issue on the floor of the House.
“We don’t need to waste our time on it. This bill wants to make National Assembly members to be omnipotent,” she said.
Hon. Nkeruika Onyejocha, from Abia State, said that the National Assembly had no business removing state governors or their duties.
She said that the proviso of Section 11 (4) of the Constitution which gives the National Assembly powers to take over state Houses of Assembly in times of crisis has not worked.
The House Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, said that he bill was “ineffective” and lacked “moral and legal sense.”
“This bill must fall on its own sword. Why is this bill before the House? To allow us impeach a governor?”
Another lawmaker, Hon. Jagaba Jagaba, from Kaduna state, said: “This bill is going to create serious issues and a lot of members will have issues.”
Hon. Mohammad Zakari, lawmaker from Kwara State, said that Nigeria was practising federalism and not a unitary system of government.
Consequently, the bill did not sail to the next stage.