Mohammed Aminu in Sokoto
There was pandemonium in the Sokoto State House of Assembly Tuesday when 10 members of the assembly from the All Progressives Congress (APC) attempted to impeach the Speaker, Alhaji Salihu Maidaji.
Trouble started when the Speaker arrived the chamber and ordered the House Leader to commence the proceedings.
Thus, in a counter move, the Deputy Assembly Leader, Hon. Ibrahim Kabiru Kware, representing Kware constituency, led other aggrieved lawmakers by chanting “barawo barawo” in Hausa language meaning a “thief”.
However, this caused serious commotion as members engaged the Speaker in free for all fight which caused the assembly mace to be broken.
The Speaker was immediately whisked away by security operatives as he escaped with the broken mace.
Addressing journalists shortly after the fracas, the spokesman of the aggrieved l0 lawmakers, Hon. Sani Yakubu, representing Gudu constituency, accused the Speaker of being a stooge of the executive.
He also accused the Speaker of misappropriation of the funds allotted to the assembly and diverting it for his personal use.
Yakubu lamented that the assembly had so far approved loan of over N100 billion for the state government, which according to him may plunge the state into massive debt that it would not be able to pay for a very long time.
“The Speaker has been spending money recklessly without the approval of the assembly. We have so far approved over N100 billion loan to the state government and from now to next year, if nothing is done, Sokoto will not be able to pay salary by next year.
“He has made himself a stooge of the executive arm of government and equally put Sokoto in financial mess because by the time they start servicing the loan, the government may not be able to pay salary of its workers.
“I have been in the assembly since 2007 and I have never seen a corrupt leader like the present speaker. He is the most corrupt Speaker we have seen.
Yakubu disclosed that the 10 members had already concluded plans to impeach the Speaker in the next sitting.
Responding, the Speaker of the assembly, Alhaji Salihu Maidaji, described the allegation as false, saying there was no iota of truth in it.
He also denied the allegation that the money allotted to the assembly was used for the purchase of houses in Abuja.
The Speaker, who spoke through the House Leader, Bello Garba Yabo, said it was normal for the assembly to approve loan for the executive to execute projects for the benefit of the people of the state.
“I don’t think there is any thing unusual about the House approving loan for the executive to carry out projects for the people.
“Let them confirm if the loan received was not used in executing specific projects. So, this is not an issue that we can respond to,” he averred.
Meanwhile, 21 members of the assembly sympathetic to the speaker had passed no-vote-of-confidence on the Deputy House Leader Hon. Kabiru Ibrahim Kware representing Kware constituency.
They also replaced him with Hon.Ibrahim Arzika Sarki representing Sokoto North 11 constituency as the new Deputy Assembly Leader.
All the 30 members of the assembly belong to the APC.