Senate President, David Mark and Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal
House of Representatives on Thursday said prior deliberations between President Goodluck Jonathan and the leadership of the National Assembly saved the governors of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states from sacking.
The President on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in three states, leaving the governors to continue to be in office.
The states, in recent time, have witnessed severe violent attacks orchestrated by members of an insurgent group, Boko Haram.
The Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Victor Ogene, said Jonathan held a meeting with the presiding officers of the National Assembly where they prevailed upon him to retain the governors in office while implementing the emergency rule.
Ogene explained that the “understanding” by the two sides was to ensure that the proclamation would not send the wrong signals to stakeholders.
Ogene stated this at a briefing in Abuja.
He said, “The leadership met with Mr. President and discussed the emergency proclamation to restore normalcy to these states. But, in supporting it, they reached the understanding that democratic structures like the governors and state Houses of Assembly will not be touched.
“This is because, it will send the wrong signals if these structures were to go as had been the practice in the past.”
Ogene’s clarification came, as there was indication that Jonathan had sent a request to the National Assembly, seeking an approval of the directive in compliance with Section 305 of the 1999 Constitution.
However, during Thursday’s plenary, Speaker of the House, Aminu Tambuwal, did not read any communication from Jonathan to members.
There was also no reference to the emergency rule throughout the sitting.
But, Ogene said the President was not in breach of the constitution by not writing the National Assembly as of Thursday.
He argued, “It will be hasty to conclude that Mr. President has not written the National Assembly and is therefore in breach of the law.”
Meanwhile, the Senate has scheduled the debate on the emergency rule for next Tuesday.
It also clarified that the two days period specified in the constitution for the National Assembly to either approve or reject the declaration would begin to count after the proclamation had been published in a gazette and communicated to the legislature.
Senate President, David Mark, who urged all senators to attend the Tuesday session, said their presence was imperative for the senate to form a quorum to deliberate on “an important national issue”.
He added, “I would like to appeal to all distinguished colleagues here present and those who are not here, that they should be present on Tuesday, May 21, 2013.’’