Rep Hart stages a walk out of plenary over new members discrimination

A member of the House of Representatives, representing Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency, Rivers State, Cyril Hart, during Tuesday’s plenary, staged a walk-out after accusing the Deputy Speaker, Benjamin Kalu, of discriminating against new members during parliamentary debates.

Hart, who is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, raised thiss allegation a few minutes after the lawmaker representing Damboa/Gwoza/Chibok Federal Constituency, Borno State, moved a motion condemning the recent suicide bombings which claimed lives in the North-Eastern State.


The motion had drawn comments from many lawmakers, including the Chairman, House Committee on Navy, Idris Wase; the Chairman, Committee on Defence, Babajimi Benson and a host of others who were recognised to speak by Kalu who presided over the plenary in the absence of the Speaker, Mr Tajudeen Abbas.

But most of the lawmakers recognised by Kalu to contribute to the motion were ranking members of the legislative chamber.

After the debate, but before Kalu put the motion to a vote, Hart raised a point of order.

He said, “You do not give preference to first-timers. You don’t.

“Virtually all those who spoke are ranking members. This is what you always do. You need to allow first-timers to make their contributions.”

Hart’s statement drew applause from his colleagues, commending him for his intervention.

Kalu in his swift response said, “There is no discrimination in the parliament. I was also a first-timer at a time.”

The deputy speaker added that lawmakers are often recognised to speak based on their sitting arrangement, stressing that they may be overlooked if someone is not in the designated row.

It was at this point that Hart walked out in protest from the chamber, complaining as he left.

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