JOHN ADAMS, Minna
After much pressure, the only member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) elected into the Niger State House of Assembly, Alhaji Abdullahi Yahaya, will be inaugurated next week by the Speaker, Alhaji Abdullahi Bawa Wuse.
Abdullahi Yahaya who won the Agaie state Assembly seat but was not inaugurated along with others following the decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC to withhold his Certificate of Return on the allegation that his victory was announced under “duress.”
Abdullahi Yahaya, however, decided to approach the court to retrieve his mandate resulting in the court declaring the action of INEC illegal and directing that the electoral body should issue him with the certificate of return which was complied with three weeks ago.
Despite the issuance of the certificate of return to Abdullahi Yahaya, the speaker refused to inaugurate him as a member of the House and this action sparked days of protests by his supporters and admirers in his constituency.
Major roads leading into and out of Agaie town were blocked, living commuters stranded for days.
Business activities in the town were also completely paralysed forcing the police to deploy armed men to the area to restore law and order.
The supporters had accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the leadership of the Assembly of deliberately refusing to swear in Abdullahi Yahaya to become the only minority member in the 27-man Assembly.
However, the speaker of the House Alhaji Wuse has assured that the Agaie lawmaker would be inaugurated next week.
Abdullahi Bawa Wuse attributed the delay in his swearing-in to the need to “get judicial advice on the matter from the state Ministry of Justice because the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC sent a list which was disputed in addition to the fact that he (Speaker,) had been outside the state for some time on “official assignments.”
The speaker also said that the Assembly had not been able sit more than twice since its inauguration because the chamber had been under renovation.
“We have met at executive session and we have agreed that the member should be sworn-in at the next sitting of the House,” Bawa Wuse said before declaring the protests in Agaie town “as unnecessary.”