Wednesday, 17 October 2018

CLASH BETWEEN APC AND PDP SENATORS DURING PLENARY MEETING

The Nigerian senate had a rowdy session during plenary on Wednesday in Abuja.
The National Assembly only reconvened last week after over two months of recession.

They were initially scheduled to resume in September, but primary elections of political parties would delay their sitting further.

On Wednesday, primaries conducted by the All Progressives Congress in Akwa Ibom State caused a rowdy session in the senate.

According to Punch, Senator Bassey Akpan (PDP, Akwa Ibom North-East) had raised a point of order to tell the Senate about ‎how the APC primary allegedly threatened the peace in Akwa Ibom. He also said the PDP was ready for a peaceful contest in the state.

Former Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, also from the state, who recently defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the APC, raised a point of order apparently to respond to Akpan.

President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, however, said Akpabio could only speak from the seat allocated to him.

The Majority Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, protested, stating that Akpabio could speak from any seat within the chamber.

Other APC senators also raised their voices.

During the disruption that lasted ‎several minutes, Senator Dino Melaye was seen going about, engaging APC senators in a war of words. Senator Kabiru Marafa and some APC senators also rose to engage Melaye.

Efforts by the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, to intervene in the matter failed as the chamber became noisy.

Akpabio, who eventually relocated to the seat beside Senator Ali Ndume, demanded an apology from Saraki for allegedly being embarrassed by the Senate President, which the presiding officer denied.

Akpabio and Saraki also had a debate on who allocated the seat to the Akwa Ibom senator.

Akpabio eventually said he would withhold his comment until the chamber had been reconfigured.

The senate had suspended plenary on July 24 and was scheduled to resume on September 25 but the Clerk to the National Assembly in a letter, announced the postponement of resumption to October 9.

Upon its resumption on the said date, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, led the prayers at about 11:06 a.m. and the Senate went into a closed door session thereafter.

Nigerians have anticipated the Senate’s resumption as many believe there are pressing issues to be tackled by the lawmakers.

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