Reps Member Accuses Dep Speaker Of Discrimination, Stages Walkout

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A member of the House of Representatives, Cyril Hart, walked out on plenary on Tuesday after accusing the Deputy Speaker of the House, Benjamin Kalu, of ignoring first-timers during debates.

Hart, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), represents the Bonny/Degema Federal Constituency of Rivers State in the green chamber.

“I have noticed Mr Speaker, with due respect to you. Each time you preside, you do not give preference to first-timers,” a furious Hart said after the lawmaker representing Damboa/Gwoza/Chibok Federal Constituency, Borno State, Ahmadu Jaha, moved a motion condemning a recent suicide bombing which claimed at least 32 lives in the Gwoza area of the North-East state.

“The mover of the motion is an old, ranking member. Virtually everyone who contributed here were ranking members,” Hart added, citing the Chairman, of the House Committee on Navy, Idris Wase; the Chairman, the Committee on Defence, Babajimi Benson; and other ranking members who contributed to the motion.

The displeased lawmaker further urged Kalu who presided over the plenary in the absence of Speaker Tajudeen Abbas, to accommodate fresh ideas.

“You need to allow for fresh ideas. Some of us know more than the old-ranking members. Allow us to speak. This is always what you do and I don’t like it,” Hart said.

Hart offered to contribute to the issue, saying it affects all Nigerians as it borders on national security but was not given a chance.

In his response, Kalu said, “Thank you very much. There is no discrimination in the parliament. It depends on when you raise your hand and the area you are focusing on. Sometimes, we give one per role.

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“I was also a first-timer at a time and I know that I was not discriminated against.”

The presiding speaker put the motion to a vote. Miffed, Hart staged a walkout from the chamber, rejecting entreaties by some of his colleagues who tried to pacify him on his way out.

The House subsequently mandated its Committee on National Security and Intelligence to probe the suicide bombing in Borno State.

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