Our attention has been drawn to stories making the rounds in some National Dailies,Televisions and Social Media alleging that fifteen (15) members of the House of Representatives from Kaduna State have faulted the Senate’s disapproval of a $350m World Bank loan requested by the Kaduna State Government.
The news said that the Leader of the Kaduna State House of Reps Caucus, Hon. Datti Babawo (representing Sabon Gari Federal Constituency, Kaduna State), stated that all the fifteen (15) members out of sixteen (16) actually approved the $350m loan for the state because of the enormous benefits the State would derive from it.
We would not have responded to this, but stories like this have a way of convincing members of the public if not countered. Therefore, we would like the public to note that:
First and foremost, the Kaduna State Caucus in the House of Reps has not elected a leader. It is therefore strange for Hon. Datti Babawo to arrogate such powers on himself.
Secondly, as members of House of Reps from Kaduna State, we never at any given time met to discuss the $350m loan, let alone taking a decision on it.
Thirdly, we operate a bicameral legislature in Nigeria, and to that extent, the House of Reps has no business questioning the decision(s) of the Senate. Both chambers operate independently and have mutual respect for each other in the spirit of the Constitution. In disapproving the loan therefore, the Senate acted within its constitutional powers. It is clear mischief and sheer ignorance for Hon. Datti to cast aspersion on the institution of the Senate.
Fourthly, in practice, loan approvals or otherwise, are carried out at plenary after exhaustive debate upon presentation by the relevant committee, and not by State Caucuses as mischievously portrayed by Hon. Datti.
Fifthly, we wish to reiterate that not all House of Reps members from Kaduna State are in support of the loan issue. It is on record that some members have spoken against incurring such a huge debt on the people of Kaduna State.
Finally, in view of the above, we wish to dissociate ourselves from the views expressed by Hon. Datti as they are entirely his own, seeing that he is neither the Leader nor the Spokesman of the Kaduna State Caucus in the House of Reps. The Senate acted within its constitutional powers and in the best interest of a majority of Kaduna State people. We therefore, cannot question its decision.
Hon. Jagaba Adams Jagaba – Kachia/Kagarko
Hon. Gideon Lucas Gwani – Kaura
Hon. Barr. Simon Yakubu Arabo -Kauru
Hon. Nicholas Shehu Garba – Jema’a/Sanga
Hon. Barr. Sunday Marshall Katung – Jaba/Zangon- Kataf
Hon. Barr. Muhammad Musa Soba – Soba