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Sunday, 9 September 2018

2019: Why NASS should not reconvene in September – Shehu Sani, Abaribe, others

2019: Why NASS should not reconvene in September – Shehu Sani, Abaribe, others

Members of the Red and Green chambers of the National Assembly have vowed not to resume in September 25.

The lawmakers, who spoke with Punch, called on the leadership of both chambers to extend their resumption from stipulated date to the second week of October.

The lawmakers explained that the September 25 earlier fixed was no longer feasible.

The lawmakers comprises both of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

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The Vice-Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Rules and Business, Dr. Bode Ayorinde said, “If there are differences in their decision, the principal officers of the two houses would sit and harmonise the differences and take it to plenary for approval.

“It is also not feasible that we would resume in September owing to the fact that primaries of the parties are scheduled to hold between now and the end of September.

“The dates of the primaries of the ruling party extend till the first week in October. Do you now expect someone, who is campaigning for his election, to now rush down to the National Assembly for plenary?

“So, the plenary to consider the reports of INEC may not come up until after the primaries.”

“There is no provision for a joint sitting to approve budget,” he added.

“I am very optimistic that within a week or two after our resumption, we would sort it out. The principal officers of the two chambers can even sit and harmonise positions before the reports are presented at plenary to make the process faster,” he said.

Speaking on the matter Senators Enyinnaya Abaribe also said the National Assembly was not going to resume on the said date.

Abaribe pointed out that with the pace of the committee’s work and the timetable of the primaries, the National Assembly would not be able to reconvene in September.

He stated, “The joint committees still have a long way to go. The joint committee on INEC after their assignments will pass everything to the appropriation committee which will bring the report to the leadership.

“The leadership of the two houses would have to meet and decide on when to reconvene and it must be on the same day.

“From the way we are seeing it, there is no way we could reconvene until after the primaries which will even extend to the first week in October.”

Sani added that no member of the federal legislature would resume until after the primaries in October.

“Nobody would come back to the Senate or House of Representatives when primaries are ongoing.

“Reconvening the chambers is going to be an exercise in futility,” he said.

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