Posted by By Ben Agande on
IN its determination to enforce its resolution banning the Minister for the Federal Capital Territory from holding any public office, the House of Representatives has given the presidency a one month ultimatum to relieve Mallam el-Rufai of his appointment.
ABUJA— IN its determination to enforce its resolution banning the Minister for the Federal Capital Territory from holding any public office, the House of Representatives has given the presidency a one month ultimatum to relieve Mallam el-Rufai of his appointment.
This is coming against the background of a protest against the resolution of the house by Kaduna Progressive youth congress at the entrance to the National Assembly yesterday. According to an officer of the House of Representatives, ‘‘we have resolved to communicate to the President in very strong terms that Mallam El-Rufai must be relieved of his appointment or we will not have any thing to do with him as a house.
According to the source, ‘‘the President must choose between keeping mallam el-Rufai or risk the wrath of the House of Representatives. The minister has demonstrated consistent contempt for the National Assembly and it is high time the President took a decision on him. He cannot be greater than the collective will of the people” the source said.
Meanwhile, about three hundred youths under the aegis of Kaduna Progressive Youths Congress staged a protest at the entrance to the National Assembly against the resolution of the House of Representatives banning Mallam el-Rufai from holding public office for life. Though the protesters were dispersed by the police, the leader of the group, Mallam Mohammed Ahmed said they would not be deterred by the action of the police but would press ahead with the protest in other parts of the country.
The protesters who carried placards variously denounced the action of the lawmakers saying, ‘‘leave El-Rufai alone, he is doing a good job, ‘‘concentrate on your lawmaking duties, let there by separation of powers’’ and ‘‘we are behind El-Rufai’s visionary leadership’’.
In a statement distributed to journalists, the group noted that the ‘‘resolution of the House of Representatives has confirmed our fears that the purported investigation of the NITEL management contract by Pentascope has been targeted at ridiculing the personality of el-Rufai for purely political and selfish reasons. “As progressive youths, we admire the leadership qualities of Mallam el-Rufai and unequivocally support the bold steps he has taken to restore the dignity, integrity and beauty of the FCT by correcting the Abuja Master plan which was violated by previous administrations. “Those who are against the surgical operation being undertaken by El-Rufai to clean the Aegean stable in the FCT administration have adopted all kinds of strategies to undo him. Their objective basically is to continue with the hitherto corrupt system which the minister has successfully replaced with transparency and accountability. “This blackmail and legislative harassment of the peace loving and patriotic Nigerian in the person of Mallam Nasir Ahmed el-Rufai by the House of Representatives must stop now”” the group noted.