Zamfara assemblyman: Why I was suspended

Zamfara House of Assembly

One of the two lawmakers suspended on Tuesday by the Zamfara State House of Assembly, Yusuf Muhammad, has denied the allegation that he celebrated the abduction of the Speaker’s father and that he was abetting banditry in the state.

Mr Muhammad and Ibrahim Tukur, who represents the Bukura constituency, were suspended for three months for allegedly celebrating the kidnapping of the father of the Speaker of the Assembly by bandits. They were further referred to the ethics and privileges committee of the Assembly for probe of their alleged infractions.

The Speaker’s father, Abubakar Magarya, is believed to have died in captivity, but those abducted alongside him have been released.

But Mr Muhammad, who represents Anka constituency, told Thunder Blowers, a Zamfara-based online news medium, that the Speaker, Nasiru Magarya, orchestrated his suspension to scupper a plan to impeach the Speaker for alleged incompetence.

Mr Muhammad said he was threatened by high-profile politicians in the state over the impeachment plan.

He said that did not deter him, however, from informing Governor Bello Matatwalle of the conditions of members of the Assembly under Mr Magarya.

Mr Muhammad said following his complaint, the governor sent a former Minister of Finance, Bashir Yuguda, to broker peace after which those involved agreed to drop the impeachment plan.

The lawmaker said he was surprised on Tuesday when he received calls in Kano where he was attending a UNICEF programme, informing him of his suspension over an alleged connection with armed bandits.

Mr Muhammad challenged the mover of the motion, Yusuf Kanoma, to appear at a public forum for the two of them to swear with the Holy Quran if what both had said were true.

The lawmaker, however, said he is optimistic that the committee of ethics and privileges would do justice to him and his colleague.

He, nevertheless, vowed to sue the state House of Assembly for damaging his name and reputation.

Mr Muhammad said when the Speaker’s father was abducted, he had called the Speaker from Kaduna where he was attending lectures, to condole with him over the incident.

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