By Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja
The House of Representatives has stated that there is no official declaration on principal officers yet, in spite of insinuations that some political parties had narrowed down on some members of the National Assembly for principal officers’ positions.
The House Ad Hoc Committee on Media, led by its Chairman, Hon. Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim, who made the clarification Monday in a chat with journalists, however expressed optimism that issues of principal officers would have been resolved by July 2 when the parliament resumes from its two-week recess.
Also, a former Plateau State deputy speaker and member representing Kantana Constituency of the state, Hon Yusuf Gagdi, said: “There is no political party that has yet decided on where the position of what should be zoned to. At the risk of us asking question that will generate issues within the polity, we are appealing to people not to heat up the system.
“The issue of principal officers is not the responsibility of one party. There are principal officers that are the responsibility of even the minority parties in the National Assembly. So, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Congress (APC), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), call them whatever, that have representation in the National Assembly are yet to sit down and say where should which office be zoned to.
“So, at this moment, I don’t think we have received any official communication from Mr. Speaker of the leadership of any political party regarding to the position of principal officers of the National Assembly.”
Speaking with THISDAY in an interview, Hon. Bamidele Salam representing Ede North/Ede South/Egbedore and Ejigbo Federal Constituency of Osun State on the PDP platform, said the issue of selection of principal officers is pending till resumption.
“Until we resume, you know these things have processes. Caucuses are already handling their own. So when we resume; I am sure by first week of resumption that should be sorted out,” he said.
Talking about when the substantive committees will be inaugurated, Hon. Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim said: “In our last meeting with Mr. Speaker, he did mention that it is only the media committee that will work beyond the two weeks until substantive committees are put in place before the work of the media committee ends.
“If we have the selection committee as the chairman said, they are working. I think we need to be patient to wait for the House to resume to see how far those committees have worked so far. Then we can be asking further questions regarding those issues,” he said.
Another member of the committee, Hon. Abubakar Yunusa Ahmed, said: “The committees were not just inaugurated but they are working. As for the Selection Committee, tomorrow Tuesday will be the last day each and every member must have submitted his or her form.
“They have issued out guidelines and criteria for the selection of committees and each state caucuses have their own. They are returning the forms tomorrow Tuesday and by Wednesday probably, they would have acted on it.”