Aminu Malle, the Chief of Staff to Idris Wase, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, has hailed northern members of the House for protecting and promoting the interest of the North in the recently passed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and the Electoral Act Amendment bill.
Malle distributed the message to the members of the northern House caucus through a mobile messaging app, WhatsApp, according to the Punch.
Wase was the presiding officer of the House when both the PIB and electoral act amendment bill were passed on Friday.
For the PIB, northern Nigeria’s quest for oil received a huge boost as clause 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.
The House, however, reduced the demand by oil-producing communities in the South for five per cent of the profit of oil firms to three per cent.
On the electoral act, the northern lawmakers in the House also kicked against the compulsory electronic transmission of results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Reacting to the development, Malle, who claimed to have written the message on behalf of his principal, thanked the northern lawmakers for displaying unity during the consideration of both bills.
According to him, a united stance will always benefit the region, adding that the northern region has been “adequately placed in a position of advantage” on both bills.
The message read: “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.”
However, the spokesman for the Deputy Speaker, Umar Puma, said the message did not emanate from his principal.
“I have received calls on this letter. It was not written by the Deputy Speaker,” the newspaper quoted Puma as saying.