November 01, (THEWILL) – The Majority Leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Hon Naanlong Gapyil, has explained that the former Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly (PLHA), Hon. Nuhu Ayuba Abok was impeached for financial misappropriation, dictatorial tendencies and gross incompetence.
Hon Naanlong Gapyil stated this in an interview at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos at the weekend, alleging that the former Speaker used his position as Speaker to corruptly enrich himself and develop his personal political empire, thereby frustrating policies that could have engendered development to the state.
Gapyil accused the former Speaker of shutting down the House for three months and finding a home in the major opposition party, noting that these acts culminated in what led to his ouster.
The member representing Mikang district showed reporters videos of the impeachment proceedings affirming that 16 members of the House of Assembly signed the impeachment notice and followed due process in line with the House rules.
The lawmaker further noted with regret that the House was just managing the former Speaker as he was at the lowest ebb on intellectual matters, especially in areas relating to legislative businesses.
“Abok is also said to have made concerted efforts to thwart all the efforts put in place by the current administration of Governor Lalong and the goodwill earned by it simply because he felt he has found a new home other than the All Progressives Party,” the majority leader alleged.
He said Abok is a product of the ruling APC, stressing that all he ought to have done (just like other members of the party were doing) was to have worked in line with the policies and programmes of the current government to ensure delivery of dividends of democracy to the people of Plateau State.
“But I want to tell you that what the House under the former Speaker Nuhu Abok was doing was totally in the negation of what is expected of a leader who is supposed to put into account his primary responsibility first in all his undertakings. This is because we have the mandate of the people of Plateau State to represent them well. Being a Speaker is a privilege and I must tell you that the way and manner Abok has managed this House as its Speaker can be summarized as embarrassing. Firstly, since autonomy was granted to the PLHA under Abok, there was never a time that the Principal Officers ever met, discussed, and took any decision on any issue.
“Abok was only taking decisions solely without recourse to Principal Officers of the House. And I would be bold to state that his dictatorial tendencies are one of the reasons that cost him the Speakership,” he said.
The House Leader added that the former Speaker’s attempt to undermine policies of the current government embedded in Executive Bills contributed to his removal.
“Let me tell you that there is a Bill for Livestock Transformation on the ground. And if you look at the substance this Bill is carrying, you would agree with me that it has the potency to address the issue of insecurity in Plateau State.
“You would also agree with me that we have been bedeviled by security challenges in the State and the government and all spirited individuals are expected to work in synergy to bring an end to the menace. Because the Trinity of separation of powers involving the Legislative, Executive, and the Judiciary arms of government is such that these arms of government can always put heads together to bring about good governance.
“So, it is not about one arm of government fighting or challenging another arm because our mandate is not to fight one another but to work in harmony towards ensuring the delivery of dividends of democracy to the people”.
Naanlong said it was laughable hearing people say the former Speaker’s behavior and attitude were geared toward protecting the interest of Plateau State. He asked, “what is Plateau’s interest?. And how can the House of Assembly achieve that interest if it is under lock and key as members of the Plateau State House of Assembly have not sat to deliberate on issues affecting the state since August?.
“Let me tell you, since August, members of the House have not been able to sit despite the fact that they have motions and Bills that they needed to present, deliberated upon and when passed would have enhanced good governance. The former Speaker has vehemently refused to open the House for business since August. It might surprise you that attempts were made on the former Speaker three times to allow the Governor of the state to satisfy the requirement of the Constitution by fulfilling section 121 subsection 1 of the 1999 constitution to present the Appropriation Bill 2022 before the House. He refused.
“We had to go begging him and you know that the budget carries the envelope containing developmental programmes for the state. Is this what the people voted us in to do? You shouldn’t bring your personal vendetta on the entire people of the state”.
The lawmaker also observed with utmost disappointment that some people have equally fallen into the former Speaker’s religious antics, noting that he was instrumental to the emergence and series of extension of tenures of Shehu Bala as Management Committee Chairman of Jos North. Hon. Nanlong Daniel said that it was obvious that the former Speaker had found a new home in the major opposition (the PDP) and had been saddled with the responsibility of undermining the success of the Lalong administration.
“It is very clear that Abok has found a new home and the new home has mandated him to undermine the successes of this government. The new home is the PDP and you would agree with me that it is the PDP that is crying more than the bereaved after his impeachment. But Abok forgot that the APC caucus in the House made him Speaker without the support of the PDP members in the House”.
On the rumors that Gov. Lalong has a hand in the impeachment of the former Speaker, the House Majority Leader said, “The Plateau State House of Assembly is autonomous and members are at liberty to discuss their issues. We are also mature enough to take independent decisions and that is exactly what happened.
“The House took a unanimous decision because the former Speaker was destroying the Institution. Gov. Lalong has no hand in the impeachment of the speaker. And I am making this categorically clear for record purposes that Gov Simon Bako Lalong did not in any way influence the decision of the House regarding the impeachment of the former Speaker, Nuhu Abok”.
On the submission that the former Speaker was impeached by a number not up to two-third of the 24-member House, Hon. Nanlo said, “Journalists from both the print and electronic media were invited and were present.
“We made it bold to ask members of the media to take a headcount of the Hon. members in the House today which they did. Now, if you have watched the video containing House proceedings today, you would find out that apart from the minority leader and Hon. Simi, all other PDP members were present. In all, 14 APC and 2 PDP members voted and impeached the former Speaker and the record is available. No impeachment can take place without satisfying the requirement of the law and we are fully aware of this.
“It is equally the reason why we ensured that we followed due process. The list of the members who attended today’s proceedings was submitted to the Clerk of the House and he confirmed it before he authorized the change in leadership of the House,” he said.
It will be recalled that after the impeachment of Hon. Nuhu Ayuba Abok, Hon. Yakubu Sanda, member representing Pengana constituency, was elected as the new speaker.
Meanwhile, a group known as the Youths Rights Against Corruption (YRAC) has advised the embattled former Speaker to answer corruption allegations leveled against him instead of planning to escape the country.
He has also been advised to avoid being misled by conflict merchants who are using him to cause division in the state.
This is contained in a statement released by the group in Abuja.