The ‘Committee sharing’ crisis rocking the House of Representatives took a different dimension today as two members exchanged blows over the issue.
Loyalists of the Speaker have been at daggers-drawn with loyalists of Femi Gbajabiamila, who is the Majority Leader of the House over the sharing of the House standing committees by Speaker Yakubu Dogara. While Dogara group insists that the speaker was right in balancing the sharing of the committees between the majority All Progressives Congress, APC members and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, the Gbajabiamila group is arguing that it is unprecedented in the history of parliamentary democracy for the majority party to share power with the opposition party.
However, this argument degenerated to fisticuffs today at the lobby of the National Assembly when Hon Herman Hembe (APC Benue) nd Hon. Magaji Aliyu (APC, Jigawa) had a violent confrontation over the issue. Hembe is an ardent Dogara supporter while Aliyu is a die-hard Gbajabiamila follower.
Though it was not clear what triggered the furore, it was gathered that the two lawmakers were in the lobby discussing in two separate groups when Hembe allegedly said “I can die over this particular matter.”
Aliyu immediately turned to say “why should some wants to die over an issue.”
Hembe, who was rewarded by the speaker with the FCT Committee, allegedly told Aliyu that he was not talking to him. According to an eye witness, Aliyu responded harshly, thus prompting Hembe to slap him and Aliyu without wasting any time returned the slap.
Coincidentally, it was said that the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Yussuf Lasun, arrived at the scene at that time, and had to intervene to save the situation from degenerating further. The Deputy Speaker had to call an APC caucus meeting in Hearing Room 1 (White House) to resolve the matter.