Dogara made Dorathy cry this week. Now, he needs to wipe out those tears with some explanation.
With maybe a broad smile on her face and a spring in her steps.
She would emerge from the national assembly complex, a bag of tears.
And according to her, it was all Speaker Yakubu Dogara’s fault.
Actually, according to a friend of hers who accompanied Mato to the three arms zone, Dogara is as unreasonable as they come.
“We all came in anticipation of the swearing-in, but they kept dilly-dallying,” said Maureen Acka, a Benue State lawmaker who took questions from the media on Mato’s behalf, because Mato was choking in too much tears to speak for herself.
“They asked us to wait that they were coming and we all waited patiently, only for them to come out and nothing happened. Papers have been filled, and she has done all the things required of her. This is really strange… I just pray and hope that this is not some kind of a game because it will not be right. We know the law.
“I’m a member of the APC. I was in ACN before… she (Mato) is an honourable person…”
On June 23, 2017, the supreme court declared Mato the legitimate winner of the Vandikwa/Konshisha parliamentary election which held two years prior.
By handing the Benue legislative seat to Mato, the supreme court was sacking Herman Hembe who has been representing his constituency like forever.
The apex court also ordered Hembe to refund all salaries and allowances he has accumulated as a lawmaker in a span of two years.
It was on the strength of this verdict that Mato and her friend marched to the national assembly on a sun drenched Abuja afternoon.
Disappointed and dejected, they accused the speaker of snubbing Mato only because she’s a lady.
“This issue of women’s gender equality, empowerment and all of that, you intimidate us but we survived. We managed to swim across, when we swam, we got victory at the court, you now want to shove us back to drown?” asked Acka.
“We have come to the right quarters where victory is to be sealed… We are trusting that the Speaker and every other person involved will do the right thing. What is the problem here today? There is no tangible reason that has been given.”
Spokesperson of the House of Representatives, Abdulrazak Namdas, denied that the Speaker, in snubbing Mato, was playing the gender card.
“It’s not true that the speaker has refused to swear her in because she is a woman,” offered Namdas.
“A colleague of mine from Adamawa State lost his seat after a court of appeal ruling. He was replaced by a woman named Talatu, she was sworn in immediately.
“So, you can see it is not an issue of gender bias. I know, as a matter of fact, that if there is any pronouncement by the court, there are also some processes you have to undergo in the house before you are sworn in.
“I’m not aware that that has been done. I have to look at it well. If all the necessary things have been done, I don’t think there is any reason that she will not be sworn in.”
It’s been 48 hours since Mato and her friend broke down in tears on the steps of the national assembly. In that time, there’s been no reasonable explanation from the Speaker or his office.
If Namdas says Mato has to go through some processes to be sworn in, what in God’s name, are those processes? What does the law say about swearing-in?
The public needs to know and Dogara should speak up.
To make a grown ass woman cry without an explanation that makes sense, was really tactless from the leadership of the House of Representatives.
We hope this is resolved as soon as possible in the interest of our nation's democracy.