The factional Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mr Kingsley Chinda, has said the Speaker, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, cannot stop him for expressing himself on the floor of the chamber.
When asked about how he felt by being shot down by the Speaker, in a chat with Punch on Saturday, Chinda said, “Part of my assignment as a legislator is to speak for the people of Obio/Akpor in particular and Nigerians in general.
So, ordinarily I will not feel good that I am not given the opportunity to express myself no matter the issues. “By the way, the issue I wanted to raise was that there were errors in the votes and proceedings, which is like the minutes of the previous sitting.
I saw some mistakes in it and I wanted to correct it before the speaker approved it. In his words, even before I was heard, I was overruled and he adopted the votes and proceedings with the errors.
“I will still make attempts to correct them because I am under a duty to so do; maybe if given the opportunity or by a motion or notice.”
When reminded of the Speaker’s warning against testing the resolve of the House by his insistence, the lawmaker said, “I have a right to raise issues and he is just first among equals. We are all colleagues.
I also understand the fact that he is human, perhaps his temperament went a little bit higher than the normal bounds that it should be. I don’t think that he will be in the same mood the next time we sit.”
Responding to a question of Gbajabiamila blocking him again, he said, “Then, I’ll take steps to ensure that I’m heard on the floor of the House because I have a right to be heard. I don’t think he will.”
When reminded that the Speaker said he would not be allowed speak from a wrong seat, being that reserved for the Minority Leader, Chinda accused Gbajabiamila of being biased by allowing a majority All Progressives Congress member from speaking from a minority seat.
He said, “I believe that his own feeling is that the appointment by my party was not done properly and that was why he took that position. But even at that, you also saw that with me on that front roll were some APC members who, of course, were not allotted that space. I insisted on laying emphasis on that seat because that was a minority roll; the seats for minority leaders.
So, there is nothing an APC member will be looking for there. But he still recognised one of them to second a motion that was moved the same day. So, what is the issue of ‘you are not seated in your proper seat.’”
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