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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Gbajabiamila Berates Reps for Disrupting Chamber Proceedings

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Tuesday, condemned members who carried out activities that disrupted the smooth proceedings in the chamber.

Gbajabiamila specifically criticised lawmakers with the habit of roaming around the chamber and having group discussions during plenary.

The Speaker declared that the chamber was not a marketplace, saying, “That is why it is called a ‘hallowed’ chamber.”

The Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu, had raised a point of order to decry the disorder in the chamber.

Before then, the Chief Whip, Mohammed Monguno, like he usually does during a session, made frantic efforts to call members to order, including calling out their names.

Gbajabiamila had also hit the gavel several times on different occasions to make lawmakers pay attention to matters under consideration.

Okechukwu cited Order 9, Rules 4, 9, 10, saying he was “conscious of Mr Speaker’s efforts and labour to control the House.”

Okechukwu said, “Mr Speaker, your serial efforts to call members’ attention regarding issues on the floor speaks essentially to Order 9 and it shows that several members are essentially in breach of it.

“For us to be constructively engaged and discuss and speak to issues pertaining to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, members have to simply observe the rules of debate. That presupposes that all should be silent; we don’t have to crisscross the floor indiscriminately and unless the Chair (presiding officer) calls for your attention, you are not to be moving.”

In his ruling, Gbajabiamila, who agreed with Okechukwu, said, “Let me just develop that a little bit: I think it is very important, honourable colleagues; we are a parliament, it is called a hallowed chamber for a reason; that is why the word (is) ‘hallowed.’ It has a meaning. It is not a marketplace.”


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