Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
The Kano State House of Assembly yesterday removed two of its principal officers even as the police prevented the 24 legislators who stormed the entrance of the assembly complex from gaining access.
The spokesman of the legislators and former Speaker of the assmbly, Alhaji Kabiru Rurum, announced the decision of the members while addressing journalists outside the assembly complex at Audu Bako Secretariat.
However, the 24 aggrieved members of the state assembly, who stormed the complex, announced the immediate removal of two principal officers, the Chief Whip, Hon. Labaran Abdul Madari (Warawa constituency) and Deputy Majority Leader, Hon. Muhammad Bello Butu-Butu (Rimin Gado/Tofa constituency), to pave the way for the eventual impeachment of the Speaker, Yusuf Abdullahi Ata.
However, the state assembly which is still under siege when the convoy of the members led by Rurum arrived at about 11.20a.m., swung into action in their attempt to gain access into the complex, but were barred from gaining access by stern-looking security operatives.
The situation prompted Rurum who engaged the security agents in an argument over why they would be barred from performing their constitutional rights of sitting.
An argument then ensued in which the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Rabiu Yusuf, through a telephone conversation with the former Speaker, instructed the security men to allow the members to address journalists outside the assembly complex.
The spokesperson of the aggrieved members, Rurum, said: “We are still gathering momentum in ensuring that we get the required members, and as such, there is ‘no retreat no surrender’.
“We have removed the two principal officers-the chief whip and the deputy majority leader. We have gotten the required number of signatories (24) to that effect, as such, we have simple majority.
“We have therefore replaced them with the following members of the assembly, Hon. Abdullahi Iliyasu Yaryasa (Tudun Wada constituency) as chief whip, while Hon. Ayuba Labaran Durum (Kabo constituency) as new deputy majority whip.
“We also reaffirmed the appointment of Hon. Abdulaziz Garba Gafasa (Ajingi constituency) to continue as the majority leader and made Hon Kabiru Dashi to be the deputy majority leader.”
According to the spokesperson, “As law-abiding citizens and the representatives of the people of Kano State, we have gathered here to do what we deemed necessary-to remove the speaker of the House. You would recall that there was allegations leveled against me when I was a speaker which led to my honorable resignation to enable the assembly carryout it’s investigations.
“That led to the emergence of Atta as the new speaker. And recently there have been calls for the impeachment of Atta as the speaker. We have gathered here today, but as you can see, the assembly complex is being barricaded by the police and men of the Civil Defence Corps.
“To impeach the speaker, we need 27 out of the 40 members of the assembly, so far so good, we have 24 members who have endorsed the impeachment of the speaker. That is below the number needed, but with that number, we can impeach other principal officers and we hereby announce the impeachment of the Hon. Labaran Abdul representing Warawa constituency as the chief whip of the assembly as well as Hon. Muhammad Bello Butu-butu, deputy majority leader and Hon. Iliyasu.
“We have unanimously agreed that Yaryasa of Tudun Wada assume the seat of the chief whip while Ayuba Labaran from Kabo is to act as the new deputy majority whip; while former Speaker, Hon. Abdulaziz Garba, to continue as the majority leader and Hon. Kabiru Dashi Kiru is now the deputy majority leader.
“Although we are not in the assembly complex, we are within its premises. As law-abiding citizens, we won’t engage the security men. The speaker, Atta, came into the assembly last night and took away the Mace. But that wouldn’t stop us from carrying out our statutory duties as you can see, we have provided another Mace.”
Ata, the embattled speaker, has been accused of incompetence, embezzlement and localising the proceedings of the assembly as well as not carrying other members along.