There was tension at the Bauchi State House of Assembly on Thursday when 11 members out of 31 elected a new speaker.
It was gathered that the 11 lawmakers who convened at the house at about 6 am at the early morning session had elected the new speaker unopposed without 20 other members of the opposition All Progressive Congress , APC, in the state who constitute the majority.
The APC currently has 22 members in the house while the PDP has 8. The New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) has just a member.
The 11 members elected Abubakar Suleiman of the APC from Ningi constituency as the new speaker before the arrival of the rest of his 20 APC colleagues.
He was sworn in alongside his Deputy, Danlami Kawule of the PDP from Bauchi II constituency.
Those who elected the new speaker include the 8 members of the ruling PDP, two APC, and the only member of the NNPP.
The new speaker who stormed the house at about 7:57 am adjourned sitting till further notice, a situation which generated a tensed atmosphere in the chamber.
But around 11 am, the other 20 aggrieved members in the APC who were displeased with the situation defiantly organised a parallel inauguration within the Assembly complex of the house where 18 members re-elected the former speaker Kawuwu Damina from Darazzo constituency.
He was also sworn in alongside his deputy, Tukur Ibrahim from Toro constituency.
The 18 members who were prevented from gaining access to the chamber carried out the swearing-in within the premises of the Assembly complex where the statue of the mace is erected.
According to sources, the PDP couldn’t trust the former speaker, Kawuwa Damina who is reported to be a loyalist of a former governor of the state.
The APC in the state had earlier raised eyebrows on the adjournment of the inauguration of the 9th State House of Assembly by the executive arm of government which was earlier slated for Monday 17th.
There was a heavy presence of security men which include men of the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and State Security Service (SSS) at the Bauchi House of Assembly.