OrderPaperToday – The first plenary session of the 9th House of Representatives witnessed some mild errors in procedures and deliberations as some new lawmakers struggled to make a first impression on the floor.
Shortly after the kick off of the day’s plenary at about 11:14am, a new member from Sokoto State, Mr. Musa Adah, who was not present on inauguration day was administered with his oath of office when he notified the Speaker of his absence on Tuesday.
Thereafter, a point of order by Mr. Ndudi Elumelu (PDP, Delta) was raised on the need for the Clerk of the House to make available the Votes and Proceedings to enable members cross-check their names for possible spelling errors.
The Votes and Proceedings of Parliament is the approved record of proceedings of a previous day’s sitting and is usually adopted at the beginning of a new day’s plenary before further business is conducted.
However, a demonstration of inexperience was recorded when Mr. Benjamin Kalu, a new member representing Bende federal constituency of Abia State, raised a motion of urgent national importance on the need to tackle flooding and erosion in some communities in his State.
The motion was stood down when put to voice vote on whether it was worth debating. Members resolved that it was not urgent.
But after some pleading by the Speaker, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, and Mrs. Nkeiruka Onyejiocha (APC, Abia), the procedural error was condoned and the motion was adopted after an amendment to include communities like Anioma, Oshimili, Obiakpor, Nkwonmiri and Nwangele all in Delta, Rivers and Imo States respectively.
Following the absence of standing committees, the Speaker directed that the Clerk communicates the resolution on the motion to the Ministry of Environment, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) which is in charge of the Ecological Fund.
The concerned agencies were asked by the House to intervene in the matter contained in the motion.