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Nasarawa lawmakers trade blows over appointment of Sole Administrators for LGs by governor

There was pandemonium in the Nasarawa State House of Assembly on Monday when lawmakers traded punches over the decision of the state Governor, Tanko Al-Makura, to appoint sole administrators for 11 of the local government councils in the state.
The lawmakers were divided into two camps over the issue, with the face-off occurring about two hours after the inauguration of the sole administrators by Al-Makura.
Reports had it that glasses were shattered, with tables and chairs also damaged.
Speaking with newsmen after the situation calmed down, a member of the House Committee on Information, Hon. Makpa Malla, said the appointment of sole administrators was illegal.
Malla said as lawmakers, they could not watch the governor act illegal continuously.
He said: “As you can see, this is the executive room of the state House of Assembly, where we sit down every morning to discuss matters which would bring development to the state and the country at large.
“Categorically, I want to state here that the division which caused this chaos was as result of the appointment of the sole administrators by the governor.
“As a responsible legislature with some of us as lawyers, we insisted that the right thing must be done.
“The Section 7 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria – as amended – guarantees a democratic system of governance at the local government level.
“The provision of the constitution is explicit on how the local government structure should be run.
“That is why we are kicking against the appointment of the sole administrators.
“Sole administrators only existed during the military era and as respecters of the rule of law, we must ensure that the executive must also respect the rule of law.”
Speaking on the development, the Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Godiya Akwashiki, said there was nothing wrong in the decision of Al-Makura.
Akwashiki said: “They accused some of us of receiving N50 million bribe each from the governor.
“I want them to come out with proof.
“They should show the world the video to back up their allegations.
“Although there is the principle of separation of powers, we still meet with the governor when necessary.
“The meeting could be on his request or on our request.
“Last week Friday, the Speaker of the House wrote a letter to the governor, requesting that the House wanted to see him.
“The governor granted our demand by honouring our invitation.
“The governor invited all of us but only 17 of us attended the meeting in Abuja, while others stayed back.”
Akwashiki said the false allegation of bribery was one of the reasons why a few members of the legislature opposed the action of the governor.
He said the lawmakers met with Al-Makura over a court judgment, which ordered that the tenure of the 11 council chairmen must not exceed two years.
He said the governor had to inaugurate the 11 sole administrators because of the security situation in the state, adding that on account of this, it would be wrong to fault the governor’s decision.
He added: “We cannot afford to leave the councils without heads.
“The tenure of the former local government chairmen expired on March 24, 2016.”