The House of Representatives may on Thursday adjourn plenary till March to allow members to focus on campaigns ahead of the general elections.
Uzoma Abonta (PDP, Abia) announced this on Tuesday during the debate on a bill.
He stated that the lawmakers will adjourn the House on Thursday and will not resume until March after the governorship election. However, he did not mention the specific date the lawmakers will resume.
The presidential and National Assembly elections are billed for 25 February, while the governorship and Houses of Assembly are scheduled for 11 March.
The House resumed plenary on Tuesday after 20 days of holidays for Christmas and New Year celebrations.
We must act on the bills, other legislative functions — Gbajabiamila
Speaking earlier at the commencement of plenary, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, who did not mention the issue of adjournment, acknowledged that there are several important bills before the House that need attention.
He reiterated that the House will deal with the bills and other business of the House.
“It is imperative that we focus our efforts on completing the tasks we have already initiated and closing out the assignments on which our legacy in this 9th House will be assessed.
“Several bills still in the legislative process need to be actioned as a matter of urgency, as these bills propose significant improvements across different sectors of our national life. Some of these bills are still in committee, while others are awaiting concurrence in the Senate. We will see to it that we conclude work on these bills so that they can be presented to Mr president during the life of this administration,” he said.
Mr Gbajabiamila also disclosed that the House will adopt the practice of handover notes at the level of committees. He stated that to ensure continuity, all committees must prepare handover notes to incoming committees.
“In the executive arm of government, it is established practice to prepare handover notes. I wish today to propose to the House that we adopt this practice at the Committee level,” he said.
We must deal with threats against election
Speaking on the 2023 election and insecurity, Mr Gbajabiamila warned against discourse that will heat the polity. He warned that insecurity could threaten the conduct of the general election.
He also raised alarm on attacks against political actors in the country, adding that politicians must unite to end insecurity.
“As we approach the general elections, there has been a marked increase in incidents of insecurity and vicious attacks on political actors in parts of the country. We must unite to ensure this dangerous trend does not lead to circumstances that threaten the forthcoming elections,” he said.
He added that “The quality of the political conversations in society, particularly in the lead-up to elections, is a determining factor in the electoral outcomes and the quality of governance that will result therefrom.”
Attacks on politicians
In the past year, attacks on politicians have been on the increase.
Last week, gunmen attacked the home of Ugochinyere Imo, the spokesperson of the Coalition of United Peoples Party (CUPP) in Imo State.
The assailants reportedly killed four persons and destroyed properties.
In November last year, Gab Onuzulike, a former commissioner in Enugu State, was shot dead alongside his brother while they were returning from a burial ceremony in Nkpokolo-River, a community in Oji River Local Government Area of the state.
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Also, in September last year, gunmen attacked the convoy of Ifeanyi Ubah, the Anambra South senator.
The senator’s convoy was attacked in Enugwu-Ukwu, a community in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State, Nigeria’s South-east. The attack led to the death of several aides of the senator.
In addition, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies have also witnessed attacks on their facilities and staff, particularly in the Southeast.
The Commission has so far recorded 50 attacks on its facilities across 15 states in the last four years.
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