By Tabora Bojang
The Speaker of the National Assembly yesterday sent nominated member Majanko Samusa out of the chamber for abuse of Assembly rules and use of words considered non-parliamentary.
Samusa was asked to leave the chambers following exchanges with Speaker Mariam Jack Denton as legislators were debating a statement by Central Baddibu representative Sulayman Saho who called on the Barrow government to withdraw Senegalese forces from Foni.
Saho, a UDP member, argued that recent fighting between the MFDC and Senegalese soldiers reportedly under Ecomig have threatened the security of the people of Foni and called on members to review and amend the security agreement.
Samusa, who is fiercely loyal to Barrow and the government agenda, said Saho’s suggestions were “rubbish and political[ly motivated]”.
Samusa told the speaker: “I think in the future such a statement of this kind should not be entertained in this assembly. People cannot make statements just out of politics or to play with the government. In my view, it is a rubbish statement! As far as I am concerned he [Central Baddibu NAM] is saying rubbish.
The speaker swiftly intervened and warned that “uncivil language” will not be accepted in parliament.
“I don’t take this kind of behaviour. Let us exercise decorum. We are parliamentarians. Let us be polite and civil in language,” Mariam Jack Denton censured.
But the veteran lawmaker told the speaker not to “go into that” saying he was “only saying the statement is nonsense and stand to that [sic]”.
The speaker instantly rebuked him and gave him an ultimatum to withdraw his “nonsense or rubbish” statement or leave the house.
Samusa stood his ground and the speaker ordered him to leave.
As he was leaving, the disgruntled Samusa was heard muttering, “It is okay, we shall see”.
Addressing lawmakers after Samusa left, the speaker said her “leniency has been taken for granted” by certain members, and said expulsion from the chambers awaits any member who “blatantly disrespects the Assembly’s rules”.
“If we don’t respect the authority of parliament, who else will respect it? she queried.