By Christiana Ekpa
The recently appointed chairman of the House of Representatives committee on Petroleum Resources (downstream), Ikenga Ugochinyere has offered an insight as to why Speaker Tajudeen Abass assigned key committees of the House to his rivals in the Speakership race.
Ahmed Wase, Aliyu Betara, Aminu Jaji, Yusuf Gagdi, Ado Doguwa and Miriam Onuoha who were made Chairmen of committees aspired for the Speakership of the lower legislative chamber.
The Lawmaker In a chat with newsmen in Abuja, he explained that the decision was based on the need to ensure a harmonious relationship among members of the House.
Ugochinyere who spoke on behalf of Likemind Legislators Forum remarked that the Speaker and his deputy, Benjamin Kalu showed love to his opponents by making them chairmen of standing committees, reasoning that such was a rarity in politics.
The members which included Hons. Jafaru Gambo (Bauchi), Sadiq Abdullahi (Kaduna), Anthony Adepoju (Oyo) and Ali Mustapha (Kaduna) said that Abbas and Kalu have by their kind actions fulfilled the promise of a united House, stressing that peace had returned to the parliament.
Recall that the Lawnmet stiff opposition to their aspirations from some of their colleagues during the electioneering campaigns.
Ugochinyere who was also made the chairman of the Petroleum Resources (Downstream) said: “Majority of the members have commended the Speaker and his deputy for being able to carry all interests along in the decision that led to composition of the principal officers and the chairmanship of the standing committees. So, the parliament is now more united than ever.
“You saw a composition that cut across different interests including those who fought him or those who didn’t even agree with him. There was no winner, no vanguished. You can part of the main challengers, Hon. Betara was given FCT Development committee, Hon. Wase, chairman, federal character commission, Hon. Gagdi, chairman of Navy; Hon. Jaji, chairman of Ecological Funds; Princess Miriam Onuoha was made chairman of TETFUND; you can see Hon. Doguwa was made chairman of Petroleum Resources (Upstream).
“Even those who ran for deputy speaker were adequately represented. Those who even were frontline supporters of our other colleagues who had those aspirations were also adequately represented. Their key supporters were represented and are chairmen of committees. So that has shown the kind of men that Abbas and Benjamin Kalu are.
“They are people who do not draw a line, people who see parliament as one. So, the composition is a reflection of one parliament that they promised us, focusing on delivering the people-driven legislations. And that’s why you can see the unity, the oneness and all is set for the full business of the parliament by the time we come back in 6 weeks time.”
Ugochinyere further appealed to Nigeria to shun what he described as “over dramatization” of the committees, saying that the members were equal and had the same status.