Protest as Sokoto lawmakers reject bill on schools’ renaming

From Abubakar Auwal, Sokoto



Media Trust Limited


The plenary session of the Sokoto State House of Assembly turned rowdy, on Thursday, over the rejection of the executive bill to rename some academic institutions in the state. The deputy Speaker of the House, Abubakar Magaji, who presided over the session, while reading the order of the day, notified the members about the bill. It was, however, rejected by lawmakers of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on grounds of violation of the house’s tradition. “We were not briefed about the message before it was brought to the chamber. This is against the tradition of the House. We will not allow any message from the governor to be read,” one of the lawmakers, Bello Isa Ambarura, protested. His arguments were reechoed by his colleagues who marched on to the centre of the chamber with some of them shouting “no, no, no we will not allow that.” The protest continued despite sustained pleas of the presiding deputy speaker. When the session became more rowdy, the presiding officer adjourned the session. Addressing the newsmen on behalf of the protesting lawmakers, Muhammed Bello Idris (Gwadabawa-APC) said “As far as we are concerned, the names of those institutions of higher learning were renamed illegally because they were not sent to the House for approval. “The laws establishing those schools have their names and to change them there must be an amendment on the law which was not done. “So, as far as we are concerned, their names are still as they are,” he said. On their part, the PDP lawmakers said what their colleagues did amounted to disrespect. The leader of the House, Malami Bassakkwace (SokotoSouth 11-PDP), described their action as a total disgrace to the founding fathers of the Caliphate and the state. The state executive council had renamed some institutions after prominent personalities, including President Shehu Shagari and Sheikh Abdullahi Fodiyo, one of the founding fathers of Sokoto Caliphate.