Due to the Service Chiefs’ non-attendance, the House of Representatives decided to postpone the Sectoral debate that was scheduled to start today on Thursday.
The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar; Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla; Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun; and Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Air Marshal Christopher Musa, did not accept the invitation, as far as Anaedoonline.ng is aware.
In accordance with Order 17, Rules 1(3) of the Standing Orders of the House, they were asked to participate in the Sectorial Debates that the House initiated today.
The parliament was to hear from the Service Chiefs regarding their constitutional obligations to guarantee the security of lives and property as well as the territorial integrity of the nation.
Nonetheless, the IGP and the service chiefs dispatched delegates, who were informed by the House that the heads needed to show there in person.
Following a motion by the House Leader, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere (APC, Edo), and a second by Aliyu Sani Madaki (NNPP, Kano), the delegates were presented into the Chamber.
However, following the service chiefs’ and the IGP’s self-introduction, Benjamin Kalu, the Deputy Speaker, objected, stating that even though the representatives were capable in their roles, they would be permitted to speak on behalf of their principals.
He said, “Mr Speaker, I want to move, that Chief Executives, be it private sector or public sector, they must come in person. I want to pray that we don’t break this sacred tradition of our House lest we be taken for granted.
“I therefore move that this sectoral engagement be suspended until the leaders of the agencies that we invited who are our friends, who are working for Nigeria, people we are proud of, come. They should come to address us, take our questions and explain certain things to us.”
The proposal made by the Deputy Speaker, supported by Nnolim Nnaji, was presented to a voice vote by Speaker Abbas Tajuddeen and passed by the House.
He said, “Our dear brothers, you have heard from the House in an emphatic manner, that this House does not encourage, does not accept representation, particularly at this high-level engagement.
“We thank you for coming. Please convey our message to your service chiefs, that we understand the tight schedules they have and we are willing to make an adjustment to reschedule this engagement to Tuesday next week for them to appear in person.”
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