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3rd term: Youths attack more lawmakers

Posted by By JAMES OJO, JACOB EDI, Abuja and IBRAHIM BARDE, Kano on 2006/05/08 | Views: 438 |

3rd term: Youths attack more lawmakers


More members of the National Assembly are facing the wrath of people in their constituencies following their support for the elongation of the tenure of President Olusegun Obasanjo.

More members of the National Assembly are facing the wrath of people in their constituencies following their support for the elongation of the tenure of President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The latest victim of Nigerians’ disenchantment for third term plot is Hon Bala Ibn Na’Abbah, a member of the House of Representatives, who was pelted with stones, water sachets, chairs etc by angry youths in Kano.

It would be recalled that Senator Abdulazeez Ibrahim was booed and chased out of the secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Wukari, Taraba State by irate youths at the weekend.

In the Kano incident, Hon Na’Abbah, who is the chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, was at a constituency meeting in Zuru town when youths confronted him.

The youths had asked his stand on third term.
The federal lawmaker reportedly told them that as the judiciary committee chairman, it would be improper for him to take a categorical ‘yes’ or ‘no’ stand on the matter, explaining that the matter might, at the end of the day, be referred to his committee for deliberation.
Not satisfied with his explanation, the youths got angry and began to throw stones at him, but the lawmakers’ supporters also retaliated and in the ensuing crisis security men had to whisk the federal lawmaker away from the riotous scene.

It would be recalled that Senator Ibrahim, who, last Wednesday, gave reasons the constitution should be amended for the elongation of President Olusegun Obasanjo’s tenure, was booed by angry youths who carried placards with messages such as: "ba ma so! Ba ma so!!," "No to third term, death for third term!!!" in Wukari, Taraba State.

It was gathered that Senator Ibrahim was at the secretariat of the PDP at Wukari when the youths stormed the place. He allegedly fled the secretariat.
Speaking to Daily Sun in Wukari, Malam Abdulrashid Maigari, a youth leader, who is equally president of Taraba State Students Association, Bayero University Chapter, said: "We had to tell him we are not in support of his third term antics.

We are against third term and shall stop at nothing to prevent it from taking place in Nigeria. Therefore, it was unbelievable to see the senator reeling out his support for such an unpopular plot. We are sure that even if he goes to his zone in Taraba Central, the youths there will still oppose him. You know what? The man is aspiring to become our governor! We will never support such person for governor. He is a sell out!."

Also, supporting the decision of the youths against third term, Alhaji Danladi Shehu, former Chairman of Wukari Local Government Area, said "leaders and representatives of the people should consult their people before they speak on their behalf to avoid embarrassment."

In a related development, the people of Nasarawa North Senatorial Zone, under the banner of Nasarawa North District Consultative Assembly, have disassociated themselves from what they described as an "infamous rally" organised by the state government.
The Nasarawa State government had, two weeks ago, staged a rally in support of the proposed constitution amendment to pave way for the extension of the tenure of President Obasanjo and governors.

The group dismissed the claim of the Nasarawa State government that the state was in support of proposed amendment to the 1999 constitution.
A communique, signed by the former Deputy Governor of the state, Prof. Onje Gyando, Senator Patrick Aga, Hon. Idris Y. Yakubu, Hon. Murtala Lamus, Hon. Zubairu Kwara, and Hon Damishi Luka, said that the government did not speak the minds of people of the state.
It described the rally as "stage-managed and sponsored by the governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu, to give the impression that the people of the state were in support constitution amendment, especially third term.

"The people of Nasarawa North Senatorial District are totally against constitutional amendment meant to satisfy the hunger of a personality to perpetuate himself in power," the communique said while decrying the hurried manner the constitution amendment is being pursued by the leadership of the National Assembly.

Even though the communique admitted there was need to review the constitution, it argued that the process was ill-timed, insisting that a thorough and meticulous work on the constitution cannot be done before the 2007 elections.
The communiqué also condemned the alleged financial inducement of members of the National Assembly and warned that tenure elongation, through any undemocratic process, would plunge the nation into political chaos.

Meanwhile, a member of the House of Representatives from Okigwe South Federal Constituency, Imo State, Hon Francis Amadiegwu, has offered to lay down his life in the fight to stop the third term agenda.
Amadiegwu, one of the arrow-heads of anti-third term forces in the National Assembly, said, in a public letter addressed to Nigerians, that if he or any anti-third term lawmaker dies, they would be martyred in the mind of Nigerians.

"I abhor and reject the third term agenda and will fight it at all cost. To this, I commit my life. I will be ready to expend it if necessary. If you die, you would be martyred," he counseled.
Apart from the supreme price, Amadiegwu said that he was ready to forfeit his seat in the House or go to jail, adding that lately, he had been going around with a brush and toothpaste in case of arrest and detention.

Blasting the Ahmadu Ali leadership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Amadiegwu, who was brutalized by the police in one of the meetings of the anti-third term group, noted that it was wrong for the party’s national chairman to issue orders to federal lawmakers as if they were in primary schools.
"I am proud of the PDP. I am a loyal party man, but I am loyal to my God, my conscience and my constituency. It is unreasonable for the party to adopt third term. The party should have allowed members to decide. At worst, they should have used persuasion rather than issuing threat or suspension," he said.

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