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NASARAWA: Ogazi steps down as speaker, following Balarabe’s re-election

THE leadership tussle of the 7th Nasarawa State House of Assembly is now over with Daniel Ogazi stepping down as the speaker while the lawmakers elected Ibrahim Balarabe to fill the position.

All 24 members showed up at the Assembly Complex in Lafia for plenary today after a series of meetings between the Ogazi and Balarabe factions indicating a common ground was reached.

Balarabe is representing Umaisha/Ugya. The lawmakers also elected Abel Yakubu Bala of Nasarawa Eggon West as the deputy speaker.

The Acting Clerk, Ibrahim Musa, announced this during the inauguration of the members in the state capital.

The Clerk said that the development was in line with Governor Abdullahi Sule’s proclamation and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Balarabe was nominated by Mohammed Oyanki of Doma North and seconded by Larry Ven Bawa of Akwanga North.

Ibrahim Peter Akwe of Obi 1 nominated Abel Yakubu Bala for the deputy speakership position and was seconded by Suleiman Yakubu Azara of Awe South.

The Clerk thereafter inaugurated the duo while Balarabe swore in other members.

In his acceptance speech, Balarabe pledged to provide an all-inclusive leadership in the interest of peace and development of Nasarawa State.

“I want to congratulate the honourable members on your inauguration and for electing me to serve as speaker of the seventh assembly,” he said.

“I have presided over the affairs of this assembly in the last eight years with all sense of fairness and fear of God. I want to assure you that I will continue in that spirit.

“I will also continue to operate an open door policy as I have done in the last eight years,” he assured.

Balarabe also promised the staff of the assembly of his continued readiness to improve their welfare. The plenary was then adjourned to Monday, July 25.

After the sitting, Governor Sule received the lawmakers at the Government House. He urged them to put the previous scuttle behind them and work together for the prosperity of the state.

“Please, I am pleading with you to live with each other in fairness and trust, to respect one another amongst yourselves, and to put all these things that have happened behind you,” the governor said.

Today’s development ends a weeks-long crisis that erupted in the Nasarawa Assembly when Ogazi and Balarabe claimed leadership of the house.

While lawmakers on each faction claimed legitimacy, there was a heavy security presence as the Balarabe group held plenary and inaugurated the only female lawmaker, Hajara Danyar.

Governor Sule had in the aftermath of the crisis promised to resolve the dispute and said the duo are friends.

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