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We Enjoy Equal Privileges With Ranking Members During Plenary – Rep. Agbese

Rep. Philip Agbese, a member of the House of Representatives, has debunked an accusation that the leadership of the Green Chamber discriminates against new members during debates.

Speaking to newsmen on Tuesday, Agbese emphasised that the Speaker Rt. Hon. Tajudeen Abbas and Deputy Benjamin Kalu have consistently shown courtesy to all members during plenary sessions.

He said the leadership of the House treats all members equally, regardless of their ranking or experience.

Agbese’s comments came after he raised a matter of privilege to address the notion that first-term members are discriminated against in contributing to debates.

The Deputy Spokesman expressed embarrassment at the claim made by Hon. Cyril Hart representing Bonny/Degema Federal Constituency that newcomers are deprived of privileges.

Agbese described the assertion as injurious to his reputation and stressed the need to correct it, praising the leadership for their kindness and support, particularly towards new members.

“I rose to defend the leadership of the House against this unfounded accusation,” he said. “They have stood out for their commitment to upholding the principles of equality, fairness, and inclusivity.

“Their open approach has created an environment where all members feel valued and respected, regardless of background or experience.

“They have shown dedication to ensuring that all members have an equal opportunity to participate in debates and contribute to the legislative process.

“Under the guidance of Mr. Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, the House has made significant progress in various legislative endeavours.

“The leadership’s dedication to fairness and equality has created a level playing ground for all members to thrive and contribute meaningfully to the legislative process.

“The leadership’s open-door policy has also fostered a sense of belonging among members. They have consistently demonstrated their commitment to inclusivity, regularly seeking input from members and encouraging active participation in debates.

“This approach has promoted a sense of ownership and responsibility among members, leading to more effective collaboration and decision-making.

“Therefore, I’m not only disappointed that Hon. Hart went around spreading falsehood, I feel ashamed. Of what gain? “

Agbese further expressed his appreciation for the Speaker’s efforts, stating, “I and other members of the House of Representatives trust this leadership for their unwavering commitment to equality, fairness, and inclusivity.

“We appreciate their dedication to creating an environment where all members can contribute and grow.”

The lawmaker representing Ado/ Okpokwu/ Ogbadibo Federal Constituency added that the Deputy Speaker deserves special recognition for his exceptional leadership qualities.

“He is a very liberal, down-to-earth, and honest leader who is equally teaching new members the rudiments of loyalty and the core elements of parliamentary practice,” he noted.

“Many Deputy Chairmen in the House see him as a role model because of how he has conducted himself in the parliament.

“His approach and that of the entire leadership has set a high standard for legislative bodies in Africa and beyond.”

He, therefore, advised Hon. Hart to focus on promoting unity and collaboration in the House, rather than spreading unfounded claims and division.

“We have a lot to learn from them, and focusing more on their strengths would help us grow quicker and faster,” he added.

“We should support them in their efforts to lead the House effectively.”

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