Committees: Drama as Reps reject Dogaraâ€™s appointments
Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara
Two members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday rejected their appointments as head of standing committees of the House.
One of the lawmakers, Mr. Garba Dhatti-Muhammad, rejected his appointment as the Chairman of the House Committee on Solid Minerals Development.
Findings showed that another member, Mr. Hassan Saleh, rejected his appointment as the Deputy Chairman, Committee on Local Content.
Dhatti-Muhammad announced the rejection of his appointment on the floor of the House.
A mild drama accompanied the development as members clapped for him, with some saying, â€œyesâ€, â€œcorrect move,â€ and â€œokay, no problem.â€
The leadership of the House reacted quickly by replacing him with a member from Kaduna State, Mr. Sumaila Suleiman.
Dhatti-Muhammad, a member of the All Progressives Congress from Kaduna State, was one of the 96 chairmen of the standing committees of the House named by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, on Thursday last week.
Incidentally, the Speaker was in Israel when Dhatti-Muhammad made his decision public on Tuesday.
His excuse was that Dogara did not â€œconsultâ€ him before appointing him.
He added that as a former member of the Body of Principal Officers, he ought to have been consulted before he was named a committee chairman.
Dhatti-Muhammad was the Deputy Minority Whip in the Seventh Assembly.
â€œI use this opportunity to withdraw my chairmanship of the Committee on Solid Minerals,â€ he told the session, which was presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Yussuff Lasun.
However, The PUNCH gathered that Dhatti-Muhammad might have expected to chair a â€œbigger committeeâ€ than the one he was offered.
The House, by its recent grading of committees, rated the Committee on Solid Minerals as a â€œGrade â€˜Câ€™ Committee,â€ meaning that it is now lower in ranking than grades â€˜Aâ€™ and â€˜Bâ€™ committees.
On his part, Saleh, who is from Benue State, sent his letter of resignation to the Speakerâ€™s office, from where it was taken to Lasun â€˜s office since he was presiding over the House in the absence of Dogara.
â€œMany members have been grumbling over the manner some key committees were shared.
â€œThere have been complaints that a lot of them did not get the committees befitting their status.
â€œBesides, there were members who expected to be named chairmen but did not get anything,â€ one member confided.
It will be recalled that out of the 96 committees, the APC got 47, while the PDP took 46 seats.
But some APC members had grumbled that the opposition party got more grades â€˜Aâ€™ and â€˜Bâ€™ committees than the ruling party.
The House, through its spokesperson, Abdulrazak Namdas, explained that â€œall interestsâ€ were catered for in the distribution of the committees.
â€œThe issue of federal character was considered. This idea that certain people were not carried along is not true. Everything was done with the spirit of fairness,â€ he added.
Namdas said that a member had the right to reject an appointment to serve as a committee chairman, adding that no member would be forced to remain a chairman.
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