The Plateau State House of Assembly on Thursday morning impeached its Speaker, Abok Ayuba, ending weeks of tense relationship between the lawmaker and Governor Simon Lalong.
The lawmakers immediately elected Sanda Yakubu, the member representing Pengana state constituency of Bassa Local Government Area, as their new speaker, despite the opposition of members of the minority Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Sixteen out of the 24 members of the assembly, who had passed a vote of no confidence, voted in favour of the impeachment at plenary in a voice vote.
Rumours of imminent impeachment of Mr Ayuba began a week earlier following write-ups on social media.
How it was carried out
The lawmakers from the majority All Progressives Congress (APC) and the minority PDP) gathered as early as 5:30 a.m. on Thursday in the chamber of the House of Assembly.
That morning, tight security around the State Assembly complex indicated that something was about to happen.
When the impeachment process began, PDP members in the house, who were loyal to the former speaker, seized the mace in a futile bid to stave it off.
But their attempt only led to a mild commotion as members of the APC retrieved the mace from them and continued the process.
PREMIUM TIMES learned the former speaker had fallen out with Governor Simon Lalong over what is thought to be connected to the security situation in the state, especially recent attacks at Yelwa Zangam.
Mr Ayuba had reportedly felt Mr Lalong has not done enough to address the security challenges.
The former speaker then began abstaining from government’s public functions in the state.
Later on Thursday, the majority leader of the Assembly, Nanlong Daniel, presented the new speaker to Governor Lalong at Government House in Jos, in line with the tradition of introducing a new speaker to the public.
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