A member of the House of Representatives criticised over a controversial pro-Sharia bill which he sponsored, has said he was advised by the speaker, Yakubu Dogara, to quietly speed the bill through a second reading to avoid controversy.
In an interview with PREMIUM TIMES Thursday, Abdullahi Salame, representing Gwadabawa/Illela federal constituency, Sokoto State, said Mr. Dogara recognised that the bill could draw public outrage, and urged him not to “make noise” about the bill.
“I wrote the bill. I presented it. It was in the gazette. It went through first reading and second reading. So, the Speaker, in his wisdom — you know there are some issues that is not necessary to publicly discuss them or deliberate on them to avoid problems– asked me not to make noise about it,” Mr. Salame told PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr. Salame was widely criticised on social media on Wednesday, after it became clear that his bill, which seeks to amend the Constitution to give more powers to the Sharia Court of Appeal, had quietly passed the second reading last week Thursday.
Mr. Salame said the Speaker directed him to quietly work the bill through second reading for it to be sent to the Constitution Amendment Committee for consideration.
“The Speaker considers this bill one of the bills that do not require much argument. Because many people could misunderstand it. At the committee, they will see the nitty-gritty of the bill. So it was the Speaker that did not allow us to publicly debate on it and he advised that we refer it to the constitutional amendment committee,” Mr. Salame said.