Commotion in House of Reps over sitting arrangement, office allocation

On Tuesday, Some House of Representatives members in Abuja protested alleged discrimination in seats and offices’ allocation.

About 100 lawmakers openly expressed dissatisfaction with what they perceived as biased treatment, stating that this trend could hinder legislative activities.

The House Committee on Welfare, chaired by Olawale Raji (APC-Lagos), was responsible for allocating seats. The protesting lawmakers, mostly first-timers, criticised the seats allocated to them in one of the temporary chambers, citing their location on the third floor as inconvenient.

Additionally, some lawmakers raised concerns about the allocation of offices.

According to the list issued by the Welfare Committee, 240 members were assigned seats on the second floor, while a few members, including some first-timers, were allocated seats on the ground floor.

In response to the protest, the speaker, Tajudeen Abbas, called for calm and assured that the main chamber, currently undergoing renovation, would be completed before the parliament’s recess ended.

Khadijat Bukar-Ibrahim, chairwoman of the ad hoc committee on media, explained that there was a slight uproar during the plenary session. She clarified that the allocation of offices was the responsibility of the welfare committee, which had already completed the task and assigned offices to all members.

Regarding the seating arrangements, she noted that the temporary seating area did not have enough seats for all members to sit downstairs, necessitating some members to be accommodated upstairs. She further mentioned a minor commotion about the inability to hear the microphone from downstairs.

“Mr Speaker has directed that members should occupy any seat they find downstairs, and everybody was satisfied,” Ms Bukar-Ibrahim added.