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2016 Budget: Dogara Sacks Appropriations Committee Chairman

Yakubu Dogara
Posted: Jul 21, 2016 at 6:10 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

…I Resigned On My Own – Jibrin

 

Ahmed Musa

 Abuja – The controversy that plagued the passage of the 2016 budget may have finally claimed first casualty in the National Assembly.

This is following the decision by Hon. Yakubu Dogara, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, on Wednesday, to announce the removal of Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin (APC, Kano), the House Committee Chairman on Appropriations, from the leadership of the committee.

Dogara subsequently announced Hon. Jibrin’s replacement as Hon. Mustapha Bala Dawaki also from Kano APC who before his appointment chaired the Committee on Housing.

While announcing Jibrin’s replacement before the end of Wednesday plenary, Speaker Dogara said, “He (Jibrin) came to me and said he cannot do it anymore and that the pressure was on him.”

Confirming the removal of the lawmaker by the House leadership, a source close to the leadership disclosed to Independent that the decision was long over-due given the amount of pressure it (the leadership) has had to endure on his (Jibrin’s) account.

?The source who spoke anonymously stated, “Before the leadership took this decision, it has weighed the consequences to see that leaving him as chairman of the committee will be more dangerous than removing him.”

Asked if the affected lawmaker would not be an Achilles heel for the leadership following the role he played in its emergence in 2015, the impeccable source said all the necessary consultation were made before the decision was taken, and that any injurious move by the lawmaker would not fly.

?”We have even consulted the Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje, as well as the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi ?II, so they are all aware of the implications of what he did as chairman of the Appropriation Committee.

“The leadership has tried to see how it can do a damage control, but the pressure from various quarters asking it to sack the lawmaker has been enormous”, the source said, adding that he could still be given another opportunity with a different committee.

?”But if he refuses, then we will know that he is set for a showdown, but as I said, it won’t fly, and he should not over-price himself because he doesn’t have the goodwill and the clout to plot anybody’s impeachment here,” the source added.

But in a sharp contrast to that assertion, Hon. Jibrin at a press briefing said that his resignation as Chairman, Appropriations Committee was a personal decision he took following consultations with relevant stakeholders in his constituency and family members; and that the decision was circumstantial, insisting that there was no grudge borne.

Jibrin disclosed that he had tried to explain internally some of the controversies that arose during the process of harmonising the budget and that he committed no offence, adding, “I wasn’t forced to resign, I resigned on my own volition. I am sure the Speaker himself was surprised but I told him, there is no way back.”

He insisted that he did his best as chairman of the committee and that “if there were some misgivings”, he took full responsibility, whilst disclosing that in due course, he will open up on what transpired during the budget process.

“Today, I walked into the chamber, I approached Mr. Speaker that after consulting with my family, I will not be available as Chairman of Appropriations Committee,” Jibrin told journalists.

He said he was leaving the committee with “unblemished” records, but however admitted that there were a lot of issues in the House and that he would address those issues in due course.

Recall that the two-term Kano-born lawmaker stirred up controversies which led to distrust with his colleagues while presiding as Chairman of Appropriations following allegation that he padded the budget by putting many constituency projects worth over N4 billion in the 2016 budget for his constituency alone.

The development led to the clamour for his removal with Speaker Dogara also accused of protecting him due to the prominent role he played in his emergence as Speaker.