Difficult moment is imminent in the Katsina State House of Assembly, as it appears to be grappling with challenges posed by the utterances of some of its members, prompting decision to mandate the rules and business committee to investigate some members.
The assembly at its recent sitting mandated the committee to investigate utterances of some assembly members against the house and the state government, during interviews with some national dailies.
The directive was sequel to the adoption of a motion “of urgent public importance” moved by Ibrahim Karofi (PDP) representing Dutsinma constituency, in which he urged the assembly to take appropriate measures against the member representing Funtua constituency, Rabiu Idris. Karofi was furious that Rabiu Idris of the opposition Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) had granted an interview to the LEADERSHIP, where he strongly criticised and indicted both the state government and the assembly.
“The member in an interview he granted to some national dailies, called members of this honourable house Ignorant”, complained Karofi, adding that the member indicted the house of being pocketed by the state government. He submitted that the member’s utterances have damaged the image both state government and the assembly.
Other members who spoke on the motion similarly held the belief that, the “unguarded utterances of the member” ridiculed the assembly. Among contributors to the motion was Hon Bala Sani Yaya (PDP) of Ingawa Constituency, who requested the assembly to investigate the issue.
The assembly’s directive and resolution came even as the member representing Rabiu Idris, who is at the centre of the motion, denied calling the assembly members ignorant and insisted that his statement was misinterpreted.
Although the recent decision of the assembly to mandate its committee to investigate the said members and submit reports within one week was the first of its kind since the inauguration of the assembly June last year, the assembly has had cause to issue rejoinders on statement credited to its members.
Closely related to this, the assembly had recently issued a full page advertorial in which it criticised the minority leader and member representing Malumfashi Constituency, Abdullahi Ibrahim Mahuta, of accusing the state government of poor performance.
Mahuta had issued a signed statement of score card wherein he graded the performance of the state government and its budget implementation on a sector by sector basis, and drew conclusion that the governor was only a silent achiever to those who benefit from his “miscellaneous favours” and not the good people of Katsina State.
As expected, ‘the score card’ generated heated discussions in different parts of the state, with the state assembly, in an advertorial signed by the information committee chairman, Bello Isiyaku Majenwayya, describing Mahuta‘s ‘score card’ as misleading and sheer misrepresentation of a true description of the state government.
The full page advertorial on Mahuta’s ‘score card’ came shortly after the state assembly had refuted a media report credited to the member representing Kurfi constituency, Danlami Kurfi over the alleged abandoning of waste disposal trucks and water tankers in the state.
Although the assembly’s rules and business committee has not commenced sitting, views are however being expressed that the committee, which is under the chairmanship of the majority leader of the PDP dominated assembly, Abdullahi Shuaibu Tandama, may recommend that the affected members be asked to offer apology to the house.
However, political observers have insisted that the recent decision by the PDP dominated state assembly that the house should investigate the utterances of some of its members was a tacit move to discourage other members, particularly those of the opposition parties from expressing their views to the press on matters concerning the assembly and the state government.
“While we must not give room for indecent statements, we must try by all means not to deprive people from expressing their views on matters that concern them and the people for whose mandate they get to the state assembly” a student leader, Mansur Adnan Kuringafa advised.
As the public and the assembly await the report of its business and rules committee, the question on the lips of most analysts is: will the assembly wield big stick on one of its own?