By Eniola Akinkuotu
Mr. Aminu Malle, the Chief of Staff to the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Idris Wase, has thanked northern members of the House for protecting and promoting the interest of the North in the recently passed Petroleum Industry Bill and the Electoral Act.
The congratulatory message was sent on behalf of Wase by Malle to the northern caucus through their WhatsApp group and leaked to The PUNCH by one of the members.
In the recently passed PIB, northern Nigeria’s quest for oil received a huge boost as Section 9 of the bill states that at least 30 per cent of the profit generated by the proposed Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited will go to the exploration of oil in ‘frontier basins,’ which are mostly northern states.
However, the demand by oil producing communities in the South for five per cent of the profit of oil firms was cut down to three per cent
For the Electoral Act, northern Reps also kicked against the compulsory electronic transmission of results by the Independent National Electoral Commission, arguing that many northern states have weak Internet penetration.
Experts argue that electronic transmission of results would reduce incidents of rigging.
In the message circulated by Wase’s chief of staff, the northern lawmakers were praised for protecting the interest of the North and showing unity.
The message reads, “On behalf of the Deputy Speaker Rt. Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase and the Northern Caucus leader Hon. Musa Sarki Adar, I am directed to write and formally congratulate and appreciate all the northern caucuses for standing firm through their wisdom and strength to ensure the Northern interest in both PIB and Electoral Act is adequately placed in a position of advantage.
“There is no doubt a house united will forever get whatever it wants, giving [sic] the advantage we have in size. May God Almighty continue to unite and bind us stronger. May He bless and reward us all abundantly. Remain blessed and wish you the best holidays and Sallah celebrations. Thank you all.”
The 17 southern governors had, last week, insisted that the electronic transmission of results must stand and had kicked against the allocation of 30 per cent of NNPC’s profits to oil exploration.
Attempts to speak with Malle proved abortive as he neither responded to repeated calls nor a text message on Saturday.
However, the spokesman for the Deputy Speaker, Umar Puma, distanced his principal from the message.
“I have received calls on this letter. It was not written by the Deputy Speaker,” Puma said. (Punch)