A former presidential candidate of the KOWA Party in 2015 general elections, Prof Remi Sonaiya has called out Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila for being arrogant while addressing his colleagues during plenary on Thursday.
Sonaiya who was the only female presidential candidate during the 2015 presidential election, said the Speaker’s tone of addressing his colleagues is not the best practices example to be used in parliament.
Recall that the Green Chamber was thrown into a mild leadership crisis on Thursday following Gbajabiamila’s announcement of Hon Ndudi Elumelu as the Minority Leader against the wish of some PDP lawmakers who had thrown up Kingsley Chinda as their preferred choice for the position.
Chinda thereafter declared himself as his party’s choice, this led to the emergence of parallel principal officers produced by the minority parties on Wednesday.
Before plenary began on Thursday, Chinda had taken a seat reserved for the Minority Leader on the front row before the Speaker’s procession entered the chamber at 12:08pm. In the procession was Elumelu.
While the plenary was ongoing, Chinda raised a point of order and said, “Mr Speaker, point of order!”
Responding, Gbajabiamila said, “Without even asking what your point of order is, you are overruled.”
Again, Chinda wanted to raise a point of order but Gbajabiamila stated, “I will not recognise you, you are not in your allocated seat.” Again, the chants of “Gbaja!” rent the air.
The Speaker went on to swear in a new member. Shortly after, Chinda again wanted to raise a point of order.
Angered by Chinda’s insistence, Gbajabiamila said,
“I am going to make this point and I am going to make it very clear: there are allocated seats. If you are not seated in your allocated seat, you will not be recognised; number one.
“Number two, I want to make it again, abundantly clear; I am pleading, do not test the resolve of this House. Do not test the resolve of this House. You will have cause to regret it.”
Reacting to the Speaker’s tome of addressing the issue, Sonaiya took to her Twitter page and wrote:
“House Speaker, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, sounded more than a tad arrogant today, wouldn’t you say? “I warn you not to test the resolve of this House. Otherwise, you would regret it.” Not your best practices example of parliamentary language.
See her tweet:
House Speaker, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, sounded more than a tad arrogant today, wouldn’t you say? “I warn you not to test the resolve of this House. Otherwise, you would regret it.” Not your best practices example of parliamentary language. @femigbaja
— Remi Sonaiya (@oluremisonaiya) July 4, 2019