Senators Opposed To Amended Electoral Act Risk Suspension
Barring any last minute change, Senators opposed to the rescheduled election timetable passed by the National Assembly risk being suspended from the Red Chamber of the National Assembly. Against the position of the dissenting voices that the legislative action of the upper chamber was targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari’s reelection bid, the Senate is insisting that it amended the election sequence in public interest and for the stable growth of democracy. 10 lawmakers considered to be pro-Buhari Senators were peeved that their argument against the electoral bill, which amended section 25 of the Act, was turned down when the report by the joint conference committee was presented last Wednesday. They angrily walked out of plenary alleging that the legislation was a calculated ploy against the president’s reelection bid. The lawmakers who staged the walkout led by Senator Abdullahi Adamu last week are Abdullahi Yahaya (APC Kebbi North), Ibrahim Kurfi (APC Katsina Central), Abu Ibrahim (APC Katsina South), Abdullahi Gumel (APC Jigawa North), Binta Marshi Garba (APC Adamawa North), Ali Wakil (APC Bauchi South), Andrew Uchendu (APC River East) and Benjamin Uwajumogu (APC IMO North). Yesterday, the Senate directed its committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to investigate the lawmakers and proffer adequate sanctions. The Red Chamber, LEADERSHIP gathered, consider the action of the dissenting Senators and their opposing stance ‘unstatesmanlike’, and has moved to suspend the aggrieved members with a view to sanctioning them. The dissenting lawmakers are to face a probe panel and possibly be kept in abeyance. Specifically, the upper chamber is aggrieved with Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (Delta Central) who, in addressing the press, stated emphatically that the decision by the National Assembly to alter the order of election was targeted at President Buhari. The Senate had suspended its former leader, Senator Ali Ndume, in like manner after he had called for investigation of allegations of perjury involving Senator Dino Melaye and that of Senate President Bukola Saraki over importation of a bulletproof range rover with fake documents. Senate’s decision yesterday followed a motion on Point of Order raised by Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi West) noting that the claims by the dissenting Senators are in bad fate and aimed at rubbishing the image of the Senate. Melaye said, “To take the decision of the Senate- the integrity of the Senate put together- that it was tailored towards targeting a particular person is unheard of. It is in bad taste and I would not want to be part of that.” Ruling on the matter, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided on behalf of the Senate president, Bukola Saraki, referred the order cited by Senator Melaye to the committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions for investigation and that the committee should report back within two weeks.