BY HENRY UMORU
On Tuesday, October 9, 2018, senators resumed from their anniversary alcove afterwards spending 75 canicule out of the anointed chamber.
Senate President Bukola Saraki had, on July 24, in band with the Senate aldermanic calendar, adjourned for its anniversary anniversary to resume on Tuesday, September 25 afterwards an attack to aish him and his deputy, Agent Ike Ekweremadu.
Saraki, afterwards allegedly actuality blocked by aegis agents from abrogation his home and Ekweremadu beneath annoy by the agents of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to pave the way for their breach at plenary, had stormed the National Assembly and presided over absolute area 17 senators dumped the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the Peoples Autonomous Party, PDP, and anon adjourned for recess.
Some lawmakers, abnormally those of the APC, again went to assignment abaft the scenes to aish the Senate President, anecdotic the breach as abrupt.
The senators, who defected that day, accommodate Dino Melaye ( Kogi West); above National Chairman of PDP, Barnabas Gemade (Benue North East); Abdullahi Danbaba (Sokoto South); Mohammed Shaaba Lafiagi (Kwara North); Rafiu Ibrahim (Kwara South) and Suleiman Hunkuyi (Kaduna North).
Others are Senators Hamman Isa Misau (Bauchi Central), Monsurat Sunmonu (Oyo Central), Usman Bayero Nafada (Gombe North), Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Kano Central; Monsurat Sunmonu, Oyo Central; Soji Akanbi, Oyo South and Usman Nafada, Gombe North.
Also on the account are Senators Suleiman Nazif, Bauchi North; Olanrewaju Tejuosho, Ogun Central and Abdulaziz Nyako, Adamawa Central.
Akanbi afterwards said he remained a affiliate of the APC.
Saraki, on July 31, followed his colleagues who had dumped the APC by abrogation to the PDP.
The senators acclimated the befalling of the alcove to seek the tickets of their corresponding parties to acknowledgment to the Red Chamber.
Aftermath of defection
It was additionally a annoyed aeon for the administering of the Senate as the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, mobilized to aish Saraki on the area that, accepting defected from the APC, he had absent the appropriate to administer over the affair in the majority in parliament.
Indeed there was an declared attack to aish the Senate administering afterwards hooded DSS men invaded the National Assembly evidently to accord awning to APC senators to illegally reconvene and aish the leadership.
APC moves to abate Saraki in Kwara
The N143bn 2019 elections account beatific to the National Assembly alone canicule afore the assembly went on alcove additionally became a advancing issue.
APC assembly capital the Senate to reconvene and accept the account so as not to impede the assignment of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) advanced of the polls.
In the end, alone the committees of the Senate accordant to the account approval were recalled while others reconvened on October 9.
After the tensed atmosphere occasioned by the acceptance that the assembly would breach anniversary other’s active afterwards reconvening on October 9, there was calm as the senators accomplished a deal, in a abstruse session, to bottle the accord and agreement of the Senate leadership, thereby catastrophe the clamour for the anxiety for the abatement of Saraki as Senate President.
The senators agreed to actual armistice and to assignment in accord for the all-embracing absorption of the country.
The Senate had gone into a bankrupt affair area associates had aboveboard discussions about the approaching of the Eighth Senate as it goes into its aftermost stage.
Later in plenary, Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan did not alone backpack out his function, he additionally led added APC senators to accept handshake with Saraki, Ekweremadu and added arch admiral of the Senate beyond affair lines.
Even APC senators like Ovie Omo – Agege (Delta Central), accepted to accept vowed to spearhead the accusation of Saraki on resumption, abounding the absolute afterwards adopting any Point of Order or authoritative any move to that effect.
It was additionally aggregate that best of the APC senators, who may not appear aback to the 9th Senate, absitively to blanket their brand and acquiesce Saraki annular off as Senate President, abnormally adjoin the accomplishments that their affair was not there for them during the primaries area their governors took charge.
The aboriginal litmus ysis for the truce, however, captivated penultimate Tuesday when, for added than 20 minutes, the Senate absolute was captivated amidst a row over the $3.5 billion subsidy accretion armamentarium paid by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), as senators traded words and apologies.
The affair had been aloft by the Senate Boyhood Leader, Agent Biodun Olujimi, who acclaimed that back the alpha of the present autonomous allotment in 1999, there had consistently been a account for ammunition subsidy, saying, however, that this had been jettisoned by the Buhari administration.
Olujimi, who came through a Point of Order, said, “My Point of Order focuses on $3.5 billion appropriate as subsidy accretion armamentarium by the NNPC. Back 1999 there has consistently been a account for ammunition subsidy but this has been jettisoned by the accepted government, which leaves this administering in acute straits.
“What is accident now is that there is a armamentarium declared as subsidy accretion armamentarium actuality managed by alone two individuals of the NNPC, that is, the Group Managing Director and the Executive Director, Finance. This armamentarium is too huge for two bodies to manage; it is too huge to administer afterwards allotment or recourse to any accepted law of the land.
“Mr. President, during your animadversion afterwards the access of the 2018 budget, you mentioned that there should be a account for subsidy that should be brought afore the National Assembly. That has not been done. It is, therefore, accessible that the $3.5 billion is bribery armamentarium which will aloof be managed by two individuals, and that is not correct.
“The Senate should, therefore, bulldoze the NNPC to appear and explain afore the Senate Board on Petroleum Downstream why it should be so, and what has happened to the armamentarium that has been acclimated so far, and the new ogue now actuality acclimated beneath accretion rather than subsidy.”
Reacting, Saraki said, “If you bethink back we anesthetized the budget, I said it actuality that there was charge for the Executive to accompany afore us ammunition subsidy account because that has been the practice. This money is too huge not to be appropriated.”
The Senate President aloft an ad-hoc Board to attending into the amount of ammunition subsidy with Lawan as Chairman.
Meanwhile, agitation started back it was the about-face of a above Senate Leader, Agent Ali Ndume, to allege and he claimed that the Senate Board on Petroleum, Downstream, led by Agent Kabiru Marafa, APC, Zamfara Central, may accept been compromised in the advance of its ysis of ammunition subsidy by the NNPC.
The accusation did not go bottomward able-bodied with Marafa as he stood up to say those calling for the ad-hoc board and accessible auctioning of his board as those attractive for money to attack for the accessible elections.
Marafa came beneath Order 53 (7:8) which has to do with the use of calumniating accent by a agent adjoin another.
At the end of the day, Marafa withdrew that area area he said that some senators were attractive for money for their elections, but added that what is acceptable for the goose should additionally be acceptable for the gander.
Ndume, who was additionally asked to apologise for the accent used, said, “I accept account for every agent here. The advancement was a actual honest one. The answerability should go to my senior, Agent Bukar Abba. I reported. Back I was speaking, Agent Bukar Abba said the board ability accept been compromised and I appear the same. I apologise.”
In his remarks, the Senate Leader, Lawan, said, “I am application my advantage to abatement to serve on that committee. I authority my candor actual dearly. I accept formed for it over the years. I don’t appetite it damaged. Accordingly I decline. Let me additionally admonish us that this Senate is a adumbrative of Nigeria. We are actuality for all Nigerians. What we do and how we conduct ourselves is a big deal. I would admonish that no amount how actively and acutely we feel about issues, we should conduct ourselves with the account we are accepted for.
Speaking at the end of the exact exchange, Saraki told Lawan, “You cannot alibi yourself anatomy the role of leadership. Why I directed or absitively you should be there is because the amount is a amount that is actual beefy and it is bigger to do that beneath the Leader of the Senate. I don’t appetite article partisan. We cannot be active on article of 3.8 billion dollars, but it needs to be guided at your akin of administering to apperceive the facts and not to speculate. Again the board beneath your advice would do their work. Once we are disconnected like this, the agencies will abide to do as they wish.”
The Akpabio seat
The accord was additionally threatened the aing day, Wednesday, back plenary, for added than 30 minutes, was captivated amidst a row over sitting arrangement. Saraki had prevented the actual accomplished Senate Boyhood Leader, Agent Godswill Akpabio, APC, Akwa Ibom North West, from application an anonymous microphone to speak.
Trouble started back Akpabio declared for acceptance to speak, but the Senate President banned on the area that he was application addition senator’s microphone.
Akpabio had stood to allege anon afterwards the Chairman, Senate Board on Gas, Agent Bassey Albert Akpan, PDP, Akwa Ibom North East, had aloft the anxiety over declared affairs by the APC in the accompaniment to account commotion and to ensure that the 2019 accepted elections do not authority in the state.
Apparently angered by Akpan’s submissions, Akpabio anon capital to acknowledge but chock-full by Saraki for allegedly sitting in a amiss abode afterwards a microphone.
Saraki said Akpabio capital to use the microphone of Ndume, aloof as he said that back Akpabio was sitting area there no microphone, there was no way he would be accustomed to accession any affair there.
The Senate President’s activity led to a commotion.
Akpabio had accommodated as Boyhood Leader in August accepting dumped the PDP for the APC.
Lawan stood up from his bench to bang adjoin the action.
The anointed alcove became actual disorderly as moves by Ekweremadu to restore acumen through a Point of Order accepted bootless as Lawan, Marafa and Ndume disconnected him by shouting that Akpabio should be accustomed to speak.
Other senators aing the commotion.
The Senate President intervened by answer that Akpabio was prevented from speaking as a aftereffect of absent to do so from a bench afterwards microphone and not allocated to him by the Clerk of the Senate, Nelson Ayewoh.
When he was assuredly accustomed to speak, Akpabio, who had beforehand accepted for a accounting acknowledgment from the Senate for actuality so treated, however, apologised to his colleagues for the anarchy and told them that, for accord to reign, he will adjourn his acknowledgment to addition day.
After the plenary, Akpabio, who absolved Akpan’s accusation as empty, told journalists that Akpan was arrant wolf area there was none as victims of abandon in Akwa Ibom were APC associates and not PDP.
The actual accomplished Senate Boyhood Leader declared for the actual abandonment of Saraki and Ekweremadu as Senate authoritative officers.
He explained that the administering of the Senate charge be restructured in a way that the majority can accept their way and the boyhood accept their say, aloof as he fatigued that this is the convenance in avant-garde democracies.
Akpabio said that back he dumped the PDP for the APC, he accommodated from his appointment as Boyhood Leader, abacus that Saraki, who additionally larboard the APC for the PDP, should chase clothing by resigning from his position as able-bodied as others who larboard their parties for new ones.
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