Democracy At Work: Recall of Nasarawa Lawmakers

August 5, 2014

If your community and you are unhappy with your lawmakers, there are steps you can take to engage them. You can attend their meetings, call them on your mobile or even visit their constituency offices to share your grievances. However, if your lawmaker has blatantly failed in their duties, you can find an answer in recall. To recall a lawmaker, you first need the signatures of more than half of the registered voters to submit the recall petition to the INEC Chairman. If signatures are approved then INEC can conduct a referendum. The referendum will pass if the majority of people that vote during the referendum vote for recalling the lawmaker. Then the lawmaker is recalled and a by-election is held to elect a new lawmaker.

_Thinking it has never been tried before?


The following article appeared in Daily Trust, and focuses on some people in Nasarawa that are partaking in the process.

FYI- Since the article's publication, the charges against the lawmakers have been dropped in a court of law, but citizens can still continue with the recall process.


Published on Sunday, 03 August 2014, Written by Hir Joseph, Lafia

Six of the 20 members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) including the speaker of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly (NSHA), Musa Ahmed Mohammed (PDP, Nasarawa-Central), who signed the impeachment notice against Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura are facing recall from their constituency over allegations that they did not consult with the constituents to commence the process of removing the governor.

The other five members are: the deputy speaker Elisha Agwadu (PDP, Obi II), Mohammed Baba Ibaku (PDP, Udege/Loko), Abdulkarim Usman (PDP, Wamba), Francis Orogu (PDP, Keana), and Mohammed Sidi Bako (PDP, Obi I).

In two of the constituencies, namely Nasarawa-Central, and Udege/Loko where the speaker, and Ibaku are representing, respectively, the recall process has clocked two weeks and has reached the level of collecting signatures from constituents. But the other constituencies are merely beginning the exercise, apparently inspired by the two constituencies which pioneered the recall plot.

In Nasarawa-Central, the constituents have already set up a central committee headed by the chairman of Nasarawa Local Government Area, Tijjani Ahmed, who is coordinating the recall process with three sub-committees headed by a former LG chairman, Barrister Mohammed Sani Bawa for Nasarawa-Central sub-committee, and the state commissioner of Agriculture, Danladi Madaki heading the sub-committee for Udege, while Alhaji Ibrahim Gambo and Nuhu Abubakar, a former councilor, are heading the sub-committee for Loko axis.

The council chairman, Tijjani Ahmed, who disclosed the detailed process of recall in the two constituencies in his area, told Daily Trust, yesterday , that there are also Seven sub-committees for the Seven wards of Nasarawa-Central, as there are 44 sub-committees set up to coordinate signatories in the 44 polling units of the constituency.

He also said the two-week old process has seen the setting up of Eight sun-committees for the Eight wards of Udege/Loko, as well as 89 sub-committees for the 89 polling units in the area.

“We are on course, and signatures have started coming in from constituents against the two lawmakers representing the two constituencies of Nasarawa LG,” Ahmed said.

The state commissioner of Agriculture, Madaki told Daily Trust that constituents are “falling on each other to append their signatures against Ibaku,” just as Sani Bawa said the process first saw signatures pouring in from Angwan Dalatu polling unit where the speaker voted in 2011.

But Ibaku, who confirmed he is aware of the process initiated to commence his recall, said in a swift reaction that he is not bothered when the minority APC chieftains of his area made the moves. “I was voted by 43,500 PDP members of my constituency in 2011. My opponent polled only 13,000. If the 43,500 people who elected me say they want me out; I will be bothered. If disgruntled APC members in their microscopic minority are initiating a recall against me, I will be sleeping and waiting for 90 days our people to go a referendum to decide who is more popular in Udege/Loko,” Ibaku said.

The speaker’s spokesman, Tanko Ibrahim told Daily Trust on the telephone that “frankly speaking, I have no comments.”

When asked for his reaction, Francis Orogu confirmed the moves against him, but insisted that the process is not one to give him sleepless nights. “I have 100 percent support from my constituents to go ahead with the impeachment against the governor. I consulted my people, and they gave me the go ahead. Today, they are promising an automatic ticket because I did them proud by appending my signature to the impeachment notice because this government has come to introduce misery in their lives and those of their children,” Orogu said.

This is just as Lanze Kassim Ujah, a legislative aide to Honourable Usman of Wamba said he is aware there are plans by the minority APC members in his area to recall his boss, but added that “my boss consulted his constituents and got their approval. He is still in touch with his constituents if not for the threats on the lives of lawmakers by sponsored APC agents. The provisions of the constitution are clear on the role of my boss, and he applied them to the latter.”

The deputy speaker, Elisha said he got the mandate of a majority PDP constituent to represent the area in the state assembly, just as he insisted that he had the approval of the electorate to sign the impeachment notice against the governor.

Sidi Bako could not be reached at press time.