The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, and his Deputy, Hon. Idris Wase, clashed openly during plenary over the Speaker’s announcement that the Order Paper for the day would be lightened to allow members to attend the official Commissioning of the permanent site of the National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS).
Before adjourning the plenary, the Speaker announced that President Muhammadu Buhari would inaugurate the permanent NILDS site along Airport Road at 3 p.m. today.
He requested that the Chairman of the House Committee on Rules and Business, the Honourable Hassan Fulata, ensure that the order paper was not overburdened with the day’s business so that the House could adjourn in time for the event.
However, Deputy Speaker Wase stated that the primary business of the House was legislation and other official business, and that the inauguration of NILDS headquarters was not sufficient to adjourn the House.
Wase stated that members who wished to attend the commission could do so without interfering with House business.
However, the Speaker stated, “DS, perhaps the significance of NILDS is not as apparent to you as it is to some of us. The House will not adjourn for members to attend the commissioning. I suggested that the order form should be streamlined because I will be present at the commissioning.
Wase responded, “Mr. Speaker, the House is not about me, but about us.”
Gbajabiamila initially disregarded his Deputy, made another announcement, and then returned to address him, stating, “DS, I have been in this House long enough to know that this is the first time in the history of this House that a Deputy Speaker will openly oppose what the Speaker says.”
Gbajabiamila said to the chairman of the Committee on Rules and Business, “Make tomorrow’s order sheet light.” This House will adjourn at 2:00 p.m.,” as members in the chamber yelled “carried.”