Legislature

Kwara Assembly suspends lone PDP member for derogatory remarks against House, Governor

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The lone member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 24-member Kwara State House of Assembly, Jimoh Agboola, has been suspended over statements he made against the State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.

Accordingly, to the state assembly, the member representing Ilorin South was suspended indefinitely from attending plenaries for alleged contempt and abuse of privilege.

In the recent interview aired on a local radio in the early hours of Tuesday, the lawmaker criticised the APC-led government for sidelining his constituency from developmental projects.

According to him, lawmakers in the assembly have been mobilised to execute some projects in their various constituencies through the Grassroots Development Initiative (a state prototype of the federal constituency projects) except him. 

The lawmaker also  blamed the deplorable state of roads in Gaa-Akanbi area of Ilorin on Governor AbdulRazaq’s failure to conduct local government elections two years into office.

Alleging that he has been victimized by his colleagues in the state assembly through exclusion from benefits, he also announced his constituents’ resolve to stage a protest walk on Saturday, July 17. 

However, at the Tuesday plenary, the House Leader, Abubakar Olawoyin moved a motion for his suspension while drawing the assembly’s attention to the radio interview. 

Mr Olawoyin while leading the debate on the motion said; “the Assembly is an institution and not an individual and as such must be respected.”

He further accused Mr Agboola of making derogatory statements at the House and making a move to stage a protest against the government and the House of Assembly.

The House Leader further claimed the lawmaker’s call for protest amid the present insecurity in the state is unsafe and could lead to chaos.

Adding to the debate, another lawmaker representing Iwo/Isin constituency, Olumide Ayokunle, said the derogatory language against the House should not be condoned.

The Speaker, Yakubu Danladi, in his response, directed the House Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Judiciary to conduct an investigation on the matter and report its findings as soon as possible.

He also directed Mr Agboola to stop attending plenary pending the conclusion of the investigation.

The suspended lawmaker, however, maintained that he is entitled to his opinion as a Nigerian and as a lawmaker.

Speaking with Premium Times after his suspension on Tuesday, the suspended lawmaker said, “I was saying the facts about what is happening in the state. I have not in any way incited anybody against anybody”.

According to him, the house does not have the power to deny him representation of his people.

He vowed that the Saturday protest will hold, adding that further actions would be communicated afterwards.

“I’ve decided to handle the matter in a mature way,” said Mr Agboola.

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