NEWS FLAKES NG gathers that members of the National Assembly on Saturday revealed why they intended to resume plenary in October, instead of the scheduled September 25.
The Vice-Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Rules and Business, Dr. Bode Ayorinde, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Shehu Sani, Adesoji Akanbi, Mao Ohuabunwa and James Manager were among those who spoke with Punch and urged both the upper and lower chambers to extend its resumption to October.
According to them, joint committees on electoral matters and those on appropriation may find it challenging to conclude their assignments before the end of September.
They equally argued that it would not be proper for members of the two chambers to abandon the primaries of their parties in their various constituencies to resume plenary in September 25.
“If there are differences in their decision, the principal officers of the two houses would sit and harmonise the differences and take it to plenary for approval.
“It is also not feasible that we would resume in September owing to the fact that primaries of the parties are scheduled to hold between now and the end of September.
“The dates of the primaries of the ruling party extend till the first week in October. Do you now expect someone, who is campaigning for his election, to now rush down to the National Assembly for plenary?
“So, the plenary to consider the reports of INEC may not come up until after the primaries.”
“The joint committees still have a long way to go. The joint committee on INEC after their assignments will pass everything to the appropriation committee which will bring the report to the leadership.
“The leadership of the two houses would have to meet and decide on when to reconvene and it must be on the same day.
“From the way we are seeing it, there is no way we could reconvene until after the primaries which will even extend to the first week in October.”
“Since we have the joint committees of both chambers working on the document, the outcome of their task could represent the position of the whole house while the leadership of both houses could also have a joint sitting and approve the INEC request.
“There is no big deal about it since it is not the annual national budget. We did not sit at plenary before the leadership directed the joint committee to start work on the document. Why should we reconvene to receive their report?.
“Nobody would come back to the Senate or House of Representatives when primaries are ongoing. Reconvening the chambers is going to be an exercise in futility,”
“The leadership of the Senate and the leadership of the House of Representatives know what to do. I am sure that they know what to do.”
Meanwhile, the Majority Leader of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, said the National Assembly must reconvene to consider and pass requests by President Muhammadu Buhari pending before the legislature.