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Reps mourn departed colleagues, House adjourns plenary by one week

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The House of Representatives has adjourned plenary by one week in honour of two members, who died in the last two weeks.

The lawmakers, Rep. Haruna Maitala (Jos-North/Basa Federal Constituency of Plateau State), and Rep. Suleiman Alitu Lere (Lere Federal Constituency of Kaduna State) had died while the House was on Easter recess.

While Lere had died at the Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital, Kaduna, following a brief illness, Maitala had died along the Bade-Gitata Road in an accident that also claimed the lives of his son, an aide, and his driver.

The Speaker, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, upon reconvening the House after the recess on Tuesday, quickly adjourned plenary again till April 20 to allow members to mourn their departed colleagues.

Gbajabiamila, while grieving, said the House had never lost two members within a space of days before as it happened in the case of Maitala and Lere.

“Their death was shocking indeed to each and every one of us”, he stated.

Describing Maitala as a “quiet gentleman”, the speaker noted that the circumstances surrounding his death were indeed saddening.

He recalled that the deceased lawmaker had just returned to Nigeria from a parliamentary engagement outside the country and was on his way to his constituency when the sad incident occurred.

Like Lere, the speaker said Maitala too was a gentleman, who would be sorely missed by the House.

“Both deaths were very painful”, Gbajabiamila added.

Members said prayers for the reposed of the souls of the departed lawmakers before the plenary was suspended till Tuesday, next week, after the House Leader, Rep. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, moved the motion for adjournment.

The loss of Lere and Maitala brought to six the number of House members, who had died in the current 9th Assembly.

Meanwhile, Gbajabiamila announced that the valedictory session for one of the late lawmakers, who died on February 9, Rep. Ossy Prestige, would be held on Tuesday, April 20.

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