Some indigenes of Kogi under the aegis of Kogi Youth Forum, on Tuesday staged a protest at the National Assembly, demanding the unsealing of state’s House of Assembly.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the protest came barely 12 hours after the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, signed the 2016 budget of N99.9 billion in contravention of the resolution of the Senate and House of Representatives.
Following the crisis in the assembly, the national assembly mandated the governor to send the budget and other Executive Bills to it for consideration as stipulated in section 11 of the Constitution.
The section of the Constitution empowers the federal legislature to take over legislative functions of any House of Assembly enmeshed in crisis pending the resolution of the issues.
The protesting youths argued that the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Lawal Momoh-Jimoh and his deputy were impeached by 18 lawmakers.
Mr Ajala Sunday, Deputy Chairman of Lokoja Local Government Area said that the resolution of the national assembly on the matter had a political undertone.
Sunday expressed concern that shutting down the legislative chambers had impeded the progress of the state, adding that the situation had also incapacitated the governor from discharging his functions.
He faulted the procedure adopted by the House of Representatives delegation which interfaced with all the warring parties in the assembly.
According to him, the delegation did not give fair hearing to the other lawmakers involved in the crisis.
Another protester, Mr Mohammed Tope, said that the decision of the governor to spread the political offices across the three senatorial districts was in order.
“There’s no way Lawal Momoh-Jimoh will want the governor and the speaker to come from the same place.
“We have three senatorial districts that spread across the state – Kogi Central produced the governor, Kogi West produced the Secretary to the State Government while Kogi East produced the Deputy Governor,’’ he said.
On the visit of the House’s delegation, Tope said that the crisis in the assembly had been resolved lower chamber constituted its visitation panel, adding that there was no problem that warranted them to come.
NAN recalls that the House of Representatives had ordered the re-sealing of the Kogi assembly and had decried the re-opening of the complex after it was sealed following resolution of the federal lawmakers.
No member of the National Assembly came forth to address the protester and efforts by NAN to seek reaction to the youth’s demand from the House of Representatives leadership proved abortive as none of them was available.
Some inscriptions on the placards displayed by the protesters read “Kogi Youths Say No to National Assembly Dominance”.
“Unseal Kogi State Assembly Now”, “Kogi State Should Not Be Left Behind and “Unseal Our House of Assembly Now’’. (NAN)