The Deputy Minority leader, House of representatives, Rt. Hon. Toby Okechukwu has motioned the house to observe sittings in absolute quietness.
The Rep member who represents Awgu, Aninri and Oji river federal constituency, had expressed his dissatisfaction over the noisy demeanor of the members of parliament amid Debates.
Citing a portion of their law, the lawmaker urged them to observe total silence during sittings as such, both members and Principal officers can clearly follow each and every debate in the house without undue distractions from loitering or conversing members of parliament.
He urged thus, “I come under order 9 rows 4,9 and 10. also conscious of mr. speaker’s effort and labour to control the house .
order 9 rows 4,9 states that during a sitting , all members shall be silent or confer only in undertones, row 12, no member shall interrupt another member while speaking. it further also states that interactions are not allowed.”
“Your serial efforts to call members attention regarding issues on the floor speaks essentially to order 9, it shows that several members are in breach of it. for us to be constructively engaged, discourse and speak to issues that pertains the federal republic of Nigeria, members have to simply observe the rules of debate,and that presupposes or to be silent. we do not have to crisscross the floor indiscriminately, unless the chair calls your attention, you are not suppose to be moving.”
“You can see the man-hours and man-minutes that has been invested in calling this house to order. i believe strongly that we should take caution, i think we can, as we have established, stay and do the business of Nigeria, considering the health situation, dispense the business of the parliament.”
The Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila in support, said, ” we are a parliament, it is called a ‘hallowed chamber’ for a reason. The word ‘hallowed’ has a meaning. This is not a market place. When members are loitering, talking, we have a tendency of psychologically diminishing the stature of this house and the hallowed nature of the chambers.”
“Apart from the fact that it distracts whoever that is debating, cannot even be heard from the chair, so, i cannot even follow the debate, members too cannot even follow the debate.”
“It makes it even much so, when we are debating an issue as important as this one, we are talking about police reform which we have been talking about since last year. The bill is for the Police academy which will be set up for training and all of that. So, it’s an important matter which demands utmost respect to the sponsor of the bill or any other bill for that matter. Order 9 is very clear, as reason, everyone should be very silent.”
“This is what we see in international best practice, other parliaments around the world. Most of us have been to even the most remotest part of the country where parliament sits quietly. It’s like being in a courtroom, maybe even more important. There is no way you’d be in a courtroom, a case being heard and people are seen loitering about and talking. So, let’s take note.”
“It got to the point where i got involved in calling the house to order, whereas it’s the job of the Chief whip who tried to do so to to avail. For future occurrences, let’s be duly guided.”