The Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Alhassan Doguwa, has dismissed rumours of possible removal of the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara.
Mr Dogara, who recently defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) like the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, is expected to face impeachment threats in the House.
Shortly after his defection, the APC again insisted that Mr Dogara, like Mr Saraki, must resign or be prepared to be removed.
Mr Doguwa expressed his contrary view in a text message he sent to PREMIUM TIMES, saying the speaker reserves the right to belong to any political party he so wishes.
“Speculations about looming crisis in the House of reps over the Speaker’s defection to the opposition PDP were NOT true.
“Like every other member of the house, the Speaker has the right to associate or belong to any political party of his choice.
“Of course, all of us in the APC Caucus were not happy with this development. But we must know that the speaker did not commit any crime under the law,” he said.
The chief whip went further to say the defection did not in any way violate or breach any section of the House rules or the Nigerian constitution.
“As far as we are concerned, as an institution, we have no legal or moral cause to contemplate the removal of the honourable Speaker from office.”
He described the offices of the speaker and his deputy as nonpartisan and as such, can be occupied by a member of any political party.
“Any member from whichever political party can be elected Speaker or Deputy Speaker, whether HE or SHE is a member of the majority party or not.
“We as proud members of the ruling APC have nothing to lose from the Speaker’s defection to the PDP.
“We will therefore, continue to allow him preside for as long as he does not take any partisan steps to undermine the APC government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“And for the avoidance of doubt, the APC still remains the majority party on the floor of the House.
“We will rather continue to patriotically give priority to issues of national development and popular concern as against partisan issues.”
The Cable had reported that Adams Oshiomhole, the APC chairman, had been meeting with party members, particularly members of the House of Representatives, in a bid to remove Mr Dogara.
Quoting a source, the news outfit said the APC chairman had intensified efforts to oust the speaker after it became public that Mr Dogara was seeking for re-election on the platform of the opposition, PDP.