Honourable members of the House of Representatives, Thursday, engaged in a brawl in the middle of plenary to elect Principal Officers as factions loyal to the Speaker, Hon.
Yakubu Dogara confronted their colleagues said to be mandated by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in an assembly with the latter as majority.
The free-for-all fisticuffs began when the Speaker of the House, Dogara announced the principal officers of the House following which pro-APC lawmakers rose in uproar against the election of the principal officers by the Speaker.
The ensuing fracas resulted in exchange of blows as weapons were freely launched and hurled into the melee by the factions during the plenary session, even as some of the aggressive members were seen on television going for the Mace, the symbol of authority in the House, though it was secured before they could make a dash for it.
The Mace was moved to the inner office of the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara for security.
As an aftermath of the crisis, the Speaker of the House, Hon. Yakubu Dogara announced a long adjournment of plenary till July 21, 2015.
Before announcing the adjournment, the Speaker who could not hide his disappointment over the ongoing squabble, reprimanded the ‘Honourables’ for such dishonourable conduct, reminding the members that they belong to a privileged class.
He admonished them to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner and face the task of providing qualitative leadership to Nigerians.
“The people of Nigeria want to hear us talk about poverty, insecurity, unemployment and as long as the house is divided and not united, we cannot achieve that. We have been down this perilous road before.
“I plead on us as Hon members and as leaders that all hands must be on desk to enable us achieve the desired unity that will help us move this house forward. That is the responsibility we owe,” Dogara said.
He also reminded them that Nigerians are in high expectation for members to hit the ground running on legislative business, and that as long as members remain divided, effective legislation will be impossible.
He asserted that disagreement was inevitable, but that they should strive to put aside personal or party interests and concentrate more on the legislative business of the country.
“For the issues that led to the chaos today, we will sit as leaders and approach whatever divide we have to ensure that these matters are quickly resolved and on that note.
“I am moving for adjournment of proceedings by virtue of rule 10 and mutual concern. I hereby adjourn this house to July 21, 2015. The house stands adjourned,” Dogara said.