– As the forthcoming general elections approach, investigations have revealed that members of the House of Representatives had dropped their legislative duties
– The members are distracted by the forthcoming general elections, as they desperately search for a return ticket – A source said that the Speaker Yakubu Dogara has been complaining over this development Investigations by Punch have revealed that the 2019 general elections have led to a sharp drop in legislative duties at the House of Representatives. Members are said to be desperately searching for a return ticket to contest the forthcoming general elections, Punch reports. NAIJ.com notes that many members are said to be unsure of the road ahead, with the primaries of the political parties not too far off.
A senior paliamentary officer said: “Out of the 360 members, they are barely able to form a quorum at most sessions of the plenary these days. “At the committee sittings, the story is not different because the majority of members are back in their constituencies, fighting for a return ticket. “The Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, who has also launched a massive re-election campaign for himself, has also noticed the near-empty chamber he presides over these days and has been heard complaining too.”
According to investigations, about 223 lawmakers in the 7th Assembly set (2011-2015), failed to return to the current 8th Assembly. Members either failed to secure their parties’ return ticket or lost in the main elections in 2015. Another legislative source said: “As things stand today, both the 137 members, who were able to return from the last Assembly, and the 223 first timers, are nervous about their return in 2019. “A lot of uncertainties in the major political parties, especially the All Progressives Congress, has forced the members to begin an aggressive search for a return ticket.”
A member of the House of Representatives from Ondo state, Akinfolarin Mayowa, dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC). It was reported that Mayowa, who represents Ileoluji-Okeibo/Odigbo federal constituency of Ondo state, in a letter read by the speaker, Yakubu Dogara, cited division in the party as his reason for defecting.