Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Committees’ Distribution: Reps Defend Dogara Over Sharing Of Standing Committees

Reps Defend Dogara
Members of the House of Representatives have defended Yakubu Dogara, the speaker in the distribution of the standing committees of the House.

Speaking on Monday, October 26, Abdulrazak Namdas, chairman of the house committee on media and public affairs dismissed complaints by some people that Dogara sharing of committee was lopsided, Punch reports.

According to him, the speaker was fair to all parties in the sharing of the standing committees of the House and did not favour the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the majority All Progressives Congress (APC).

Namdas, who is a member of the APC from Adamawa state said: “It is not true that the Speaker has handed over the committees to the opposition. In sharing these committees, due process was followed.

“We ensured that every member of the House got two Grade ‘A’ committees. Whether you are a chairman or deputy, you are still relevant.”

He explained that the House had a tradition of retaining certain committees in some zones of the country because of the peculiar nature of the duties of such committees and Dogara kept to the established tradition.

The announcement of the headships of special and standing committees by Dogara has been trailed with criticisms as members of the APC, especially those loyal to the Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila maintained that the composition of the headships of the committees was skewed in favour of PDP members.

A member of the House, Babban Kaita (Katsina state), told Premium Times that the lopsided committee sharing may affect the smooth-running of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

The member said: “Let’s bring Gbajabiamila group out of this; this is about the difficulty that the APC government of President Buhari will face because of this composition.

“It has never been this bad. Dogara has short-changed his own party, APC, in favour of the PDP. But we are not surprised because that was the agreement they had before he became Speaker. All the critical committees that will play a role in the change mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari have been given to the PDP.”

On Thursday last week, Dogara named the leaderships of 96 committees, giving 48 chairmanship positions to his party, APC, 46 to the PDP and the remaining two to Social Democratic Party and All Progressive Grand Alliance.

Not long after, some lawmakers began to grumble that the sharing was lopsided and in favour of the PDP.

There were complaints that the PDP got more “quality committees” than the APC.

Citing examples, they noted that the committees on petroleum resources, power, works, aviation, health services, NDDC, gas resources and foreign affairs among others were taken by Dogara’s allies in the PDP.

The committees on appropriations, finance, communications and house services taken by the APC, were said to have been given to his supporters in the ruling party.