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Reps divided over El-Zakzaky’s freedom

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Reps divided over El-Zakzaky’s freedom

Members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday disagreed over a motion urging Kaduna State Government to obey a court order and release the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

After a long debate which lasted for more than two hours, Speaker of the House, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila put the matter to a voice vote, but he could not clearly rule as members shouted loudly in support and against the motion.

Gbajabiamila called for the House to be divided and that members in support of the motion should occupy the left wing and those against should occupy the right wing of the chambers.

While members were moving across the green chambers in a rowdy session, the speaker called for an executive session and journalists and guests were asked to go out.

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Moving the motion earlier, Rep. Shamsudeen Danbazau (APC-Kano), said that the actions of the group had threatened the peace and security of the nation’s capital and the cooperate existence of Nigeria.

He said the killing of a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Usman Umar and a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member Mr. Precious Owolabi among other victims and vandalisation of private and public properties were “terrorising.”

Dambazau called on the House to make recommendations that would outlaw the Shiite group as its activities contravened the 2011 Terrorism Act as passed by the National Assembly.

Rep. Stanley Olajide (PDP-Oyo) said that it was a critical situation and that it was important to be seriously dealt with.

Olajide said that it was easy to call for more security personnel to be positioned at strategic points but it was important to engage in dialogue.

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Also Rep. Luke Onofiok (PDP-Akw Ibom), said that heads of security agencies should be invited to explain their challenges with a view to finding a lasting solution to the security situation in the country.

Onofiok said that a lot of resources were invested in training the late DCP, the corps member and other victims who were avoidably killed in the clash.

He commiserated with members of the families of the victims and the Nigerian Police Force and prayed for the repose of the souls of all those who had died.

Also, the Leader of the House, Rep. Ado Doguwa (APC-Kano) said that he had earlier engaged the Shiite group on behalf of the House.

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The leader said that he promised the group to present their concerns to the leadership of the National Assembly and ensure they get results.

Doguwa said he was disappointed that the group invaded the Assembly the next day, injuring security agents, vandalizing public and private properties.

The lawmaker said that the National Assembly which is the symbol of democracy should always be respected as it plays its role in ensuring that the people’s voices are heard.

When the House reconvened after the executive session, members resolved to set up an ad hoc committee led by Doguwa to interface with the Executive with a view to resolve the matter.

NAN

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