By Emma Ovuakporie
ABUJA—CHAIRMAN of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions, Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, yesterday said more than 340 of the members of the House are in support of Speaker Yakubu Dogara, which renders attempts for his removal an impossibility.
Abonta also pointed out that the Speaker was human, and so could not be able to please everyone in a 360-member parliament such as the House of Reps.
Abonta said people should be wary when such calls were made, especially against the backdrop of what happened to former Speaker, Patricia Etteh, who was removed over allegations of graft, only to be cleared of any wrongdoing years later.
The Abia State lawmaker made this known while responding to questions from journalists yesterday in Abuja, saying he had not seen any register which about 260 members reportedly signed to pass a vote of confidence on the speaker.
He, however, noted that “I am sure that less than 10 members are the ones against him, meaning that 90% or more stand with Dogara”.
He argued that going by feelers from members that could be confirmed, the 8th House under Speaker Dogara, had largely been peaceful and highly productive after the initial skirmishes that followed the election of presiding officers.
“Looking at the output of the 8th House, you can understand that majority of members enjoyed, and are still enjoying the leadership style of Dogara, notwithstanding our differences at take-off.
“Until the so called padding, Dogara had no issue in the House. I’m from Abia State, I have not seen the register, but I can say authoritatively that no member from Abia will sign against him (Dogara), we all love Dogara. It is true he is human, he may have his shortcomings, but we all love him.
“Dogara has maintained a cool, level-head leadership, so no need for change of leadership. He cannot please 360 people, and nobody is perfect. Those who are aggrieved should use in-house mechanism to address issues. He cannot place everybody where they want to be.”