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Row among Reps over South East Development Commission

A proceeding on the floor was held for more than 20 minutes when the Bill seeking the establishment of South East Development Commission was once again stepped down by the leave of the House.

The bill was first listed for second reading on Wednesday but was stepped down.

Having mentioned that the bill be presented, the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara discovered that the lead sponsor, Chikwuka Onyema was not the floor again like the previous day, and asked Chairman, Rules and Business Committee, Emmanuel Oker-Jev to stepped it down.

No sooner had the Speaker ruled that lawmakers from the region sprang on their feet protesting.

 angry Jones Onyereri was seen shouting, “This is not fair, this is not fair” amidst incoherent voices of dissent from the chamber.

Groups broke out and lawmakers from other regions were seen placating their agitated colleagues.

The Deputy Speaker, Yussuff Lasun and a few others converged on the Speaker and after normalcy returned, the Speaker explained that there was no attempt to gag any member.

The Speaker explained that he was told that the lead sponsor was not in the chamber and that was the reason behind the ruling.

He however said if the sponsor still wants the  bill presented, it will only take the suspension of House rule and rescind the earlier decision.

 The Minority Leader Leo Ogor moved for the suspension of the rules but against the pattern of the voice vote, the Speaker ruled in favour of the bill to be taken.

Onyema, who was missing when the bill was initially called for debate eventually presented it and led the debate.

The bill is seeking to address infrastructure deficit in the region caused by the civil war and douse Biafran agitation.

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