Plateau State House of Assembly Speaker Peter Azi escaped impeachment by the whiskers for attempting to prolong the tenure of transition committee chairmen in the 17 local government councils of the state.
Tenure of the caretaker committees expired on Thursday, June 28.
Since the tenure of democratically-elected chairmen and councillors were truncated by Governor Simon Lalong barely a month after he took over power in 2015, the state government had been appointing caretaker committees periodically to oversee the affairs of the local governments.
Trouble reportedly started on the floor of the House on Thursday when Azi wanted the lawmakers to go on recess without discussing the tenure of the transition committees whose tenure expired same day.
But Na’anlong Daniel, representing Mikang constituency, moved a motion of urgent importance on the tenure of the transition chairmen that had just expired. Simon Kudu of Irigwe/Rukuba constituency supported him.
During the hot debate that ensued, some members that were not comfortable with the development started collecting signatures against the speaker before one of the old members of the House grabbed the paper and tore it.
The action of majority of the lawmakers might not be unconnected with the role of principal officers of the House in the diversion of the transition committee chairmen’s package from the state government.
After much horse-trading, 18 out of the 24 members of the house voted to end the tenure of the transition committee chairmen in the state.
This action of the lawmakers, it was gathered, compelled Governor Lalong to summon an emergency meeting to address the situation, as the state electoral commission had in February this year postponed the local government polls on security reasons.