The House of Representatives on Wednesday kicked against a bill to enable the National Assembly sack state governors and deputy governors.
The bill was sponsored by the only Senior Advocate of Nigeria in the House, Edward Pwajok (Plateau-PDP), and Ali Isa (Gombe – PDP).
The bill which was presented by the former sought to alter the Nigerian constitution to enable the National Assembly have powers to remove state governors and their deputies when necessary.
The bill was titled; A Bill for an Act to Alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Delete the Proviso to Section 11(4) of the Constitution to enable the National Assembly to Remove a Governor or Deputy Governor of a State in Appropriate Circumstances and for Other Related Matters.
Contributing to the debate, the House Leader Femi Gbajabiamila (Lagos- APC) said the bill was more suitable for a unitary system of government.
He said it does not make any legislative or moral sense.
“Passing this bill would undermine the spirit of true federalism in Nigeria,” Mr. Gbajabiamila said.
In agreement with Mr. Gbajabiamila, Nicholas Ossai (Delta-PDP) said the success of the bill would lead to the collapse of federalism in Nigeria.
He said the bill contradicts the constitution which remains the barometer through which other laws operate.
“In times when state of emergency is declared in a state, the democratic structures are retained,” Mr. Ossai said.
Also contributing, Peter Akpatason (Edo – APC) said it was impossible to get two-thirds majority from the state Houses of Assembly to amend that section of the constitution.
“It is mission impossible,” Mr. Akpatason said.
Similarly, Ayo Hulayat (Osun-APC) said the National Assembly already has the power to remove the president and his deputy. She said empowering the National Assembly to remove the state governors and their deputies would make the federal legislators omnipotent.
After all efforts to sell the bill to his colleagues proved futile, Mr. Pwajok dramatically stepped down the bill without the speaker putting it to vote.
The Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Lasun. who presided over plenary, said since it was stepped down by the sponsor, it will be on record that it was never debated upon.