There were indications yesterday that the Senate would not allow Senator Ovie Omo-Agege to return to the chamber any time soon, following Wednesday’s invasion by thugs who also snatched the mace.
Although Omo-Agege has denied any relationship with the perpetrators of the act, many of his colleagues appear not to be convinced by the senator’s defence.
Consequently, they are pushing for his suspension for the rest of the legislative days of the 8th Senate.
The fate of the former Chairman of Northern Senators Forum, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, is also shaky as he was said to have been put on the spot at an executive (close) session on Thursday where senators also identified five reasons why thugs invaded the hallowed chamber.
Although Adamu was said to have fought back and stoutly defended himself against the accusations levelled against him, the senators were unanimous in their decision to get to the roots of the invasion and enhance the security situation in the National Assembly.
The senators may also demand Omo-Agege’s prosecution after its internal investigation and the outcome of the findings of the Nigeria Police and the Department of State Security Service.
A principal officer of the Senate said: “The coincidence between Omo-Agege’s entry into the chamber and the invasion by the thugs was more than met the eye.
“Most of us are of the opinion that our colleague desecrated the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly.
“We have resolved that we will not allow him to resume sitting in the chamber under any excuse.
“Once a Senator is suspended rightly or wrongly, he or she has no business in the chamber.
“The coming of Omo-Agege on Wednesday was an affront.
“His suspension might be unfair, but he should not have fought his way into the chamber.”
Another Senator said: “Some of us have demanded for outright suspension of Omo-Agege for the rest of the legislative days in the 8th Senate.
“Actually, Omo-Agege was to be suspended for six months but the head of one of the security agencies prevailed on the leadership of the Senate to reduce it to 90 days.
“Now, with the desecration of the chamber by thugs, we believe he has no business in the 8th Senate anymore.”
At a stormy session on Thursday, the Senators were able to identify five accumulated factors which accounted for the invasion of the Senate chamber.
The reasons are as follows:
*Continuous fallout of June 9, 2015 election of principal officers
*Suppression of dissenting voices in the Senate
*Rating of some Senators higher or lesser than others by the Senate leadership
*Existence of caucuses and unfair ban on Parliamentary Support Group which is pro-President Muhammadu Buhari
*Alleged lack of fairness by the leadership of the Senate
According to investigation, the Senators bared their minds at an Executive Session on Thursday to conduct a post-mortem on what went wrong.
It was learnt that the star of the session was Sen. Kabir Marafa (Zamfara) who opened up on many issues affecting the unity of the Senate.
Others who spoke were Senators Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa), Dino Melaye (Kogi), Ogola Foster (Bayelsa), Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan and the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the session.
A ranking senator said: “At the session, Senators put Abdullahi Adamu on the spot. He was accused of making his residence available for meetings by members of the Parliamentary Support Group of which Senator Omo-Agege is its secretary.
“But Adamu said he had no hand in the invasion of the chamber.
“He also said the PSG is a caucus group outside the chamber as it is the case with the Like Minds (supporting Saraki), the Unity Forum, the Northern Senators Forum and others in the Senate.
“He said parliamentary caucus is legitimate all over the world.”
It was gathered that Senator Marafa stole the show when he said all senators were guilty of the mess the Senate has found itself.
He picked on Adamu, saying: “Some of you in this PSG today abandoned the Unity Forum to support Saraki’s emergence as Senate President. When it was convenient, you opened doors for Saraki.
“This same Senator Adamu was once with Saraki and at a point spoke against President Muhammadu Buhari. I belonged to the Unity Forum, I did not work for Saraki but he appointed me a strategic committee chairman.
A Senator from the North-West said: “At the session, Senators backing Saraki spoke and those who belong to the left wing. We all focused on how our chamber became polluted with vested interests.”
Asked of Adamu’s fate, the Senator added: “It is still shaky, we do not know what they will do to him.”
“We cited the fact that the Senate leadership has some favourites through which motions were usually imposed on members.
“The Senators tagged Like Minds behind Saraki would have met before any sitting and they will just ride us roughshod in the Senate.
“Those in Like Minds do not allow alternative views in the Senate. Once a Senator speaks against a motion Saraki and his ‘boys’ are interested in, you are tagged as anti-leadership in a Senate that we are all equals.
“For instance, we condemned Omo-Agege’s behaviour, but some of us suspected that he acted out of frustration.
“When the debate on Order of Elections was on, Omo-Agege called for a division but he was ignored by the Senate President.
“Yet after this same Omo-Agege apologised for expressing his dissenting views, he was suspended through a script already acted by the Like Minds.
“The Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges has been doing a hatchet man’s job.
“Some Senators said the way out is to return the Senate to a chamber of equality, robust debates, accepting the reality of dissent views and allowing caucuses to exist and fairness to all.”
Another Senator said: “Well, some of our colleagues expressed regrets that some Senators have been made lesser than the other.”
On his part, Senator Dino Melaye pointed accusing finger at the PSG for the invasion of the chamber.
In a fit of anger, he added: “They still had a meeting yesterday (Wednesday).”
The Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, was said to have appealed for calm, understanding and tolerance.
But Senator Ogola Foster redirected the session to the issue of the invasion of the chamber.
He said: “We should face the reality. Someone desecrated the Senate chamber. We must investigate it and take appropriate action.”
The Deputy President of the Senate, Dr. Ike Ekweremadu, took time to listen to all views and expressed the resolve of the Senate to protect the nation’s democracy.
A senator from the South-East said: “Although we did not arrive at any resolution at the Executive Session, Ekweremadu’s address later on the floor was a summary of what transpired.
“We want an investigation into the invasion, and the law must take its course.”
Shehu Sani’s Belt Replaces Stolen Maze as Senate Continues Proceeding
The senators have refused to adjourn sitting, as Senator Shehu Sani representing Kaduna Central removed his belt from his waist and laid on the table to serve as mace.
Completely shocked by the invasion of the Senate during sitting and the theft of the mace, senators deliberated on whether to adjourn sitting or not but Senator Sani and others insisted that deliberations must continue
In an official tweet minutes after the madness, Senator Sani stated:
”The Senate invaded. Mace taken away. Deliberations on whether to adjoined or not. I and others insisted that the senate must not adjoin. I removed my waist Belt and lay to serve as a mace for us to continue, My colleagues seconded. Then a spare mace brought in and the session continued. Good Drivers are not known when the road is smooth.”
President Muhammadu Buhari says many Nigerian youths just want to sit down and do nothing, banking on the notion that Nigerian is an oil-rich nation.
Speaking at the Commonwealth Business Forum in Westminster on Wednesday, the president said a lot of Nigerian youths have not been to school and they want everything free.
“About the economy, we have a very young population, our population is estimated conservatively to be 180 million. This is a very conservative one,” Buhari said.
“More than 60 percent of the population is below 30, a lot of them haven’t been to school and they are claiming that Nigeria is an oil producing country, therefore, they should sit and do nothing, and get housing, healthcare, education free.”
The President said he has done well on the three cardinal points of his campaign, including economy and security.
“Recently, my minister for information was constrained to answer a question on people accusing this administration of doing nothing, he said ‘let Nigerians be reminded what position we were before May 2015, what condition we are now, and what we have achieved between then and now and I think people were impressed with the answer.
“For security, we have done quite well. Economy, we are doing very well, especially with agriculture; we are providing soft loans, and guarantee is that you have to belong to a certain locality and you have got land, you don’t have to go to the bank and need a physical collateral. I think a lot is being done.”
The president is expected to meet with business leaders and other heads of state as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting progress through the week
The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC has announced the creation of a new official website and social media accounts.
This was contained in a statement made available to newsmen on Sunday by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Bolaji Abdullahi.
The party was recently embroiled in a scandal involving its Twitter account prompting the creation of new social media channels. it distanced itself from the @APCNigeria twitter handle.
This same account on Saturday made several controversial tweets with many believing the account was hacked.
“For the umpteenth time, @APCNigeria IS NOT the official Twitter handle of the All Progressives Congress (APC). In several official statements, we have disclaimed that handle. We view this latest development as a case of criminal impersonation,” Mr Abdullahi tweeted in a reaction to the development on Saturday
“The newly-designed website features a streamlined and uncluttered design, offering user-friendly functionality and rich content. This website as well as the official social media accounts offers quick and easy access to essential information and features to keep party members, the media and indeed the general public abreast of party activities, the APC-led federal government and APC-governed states.”
Bashir El-rufai, son of Kaduna State Governor is not new at taking shots at people… be it Obasanjo or Reno Omokri.
The New York Times yesterday tweeted a controversial headline following President Buhari’s announcement of his re-election bid.
Reacting to the headline, Bashir, reminded the publication that America is far from perfect.
“The President in your country, was on tape bragging about grabbing women by the P**** and eats Big Macs all day, and is a fully open racist and misogynist will run again in 2020 and win too, but hey, it’s the New York Times”
The incumbent president of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has finally put all rumors to bed and announced his intention to run for the second term in office as constitution stipulates. The Nigerian constitution, 1999 as amended stipulates that an individual is entitled to an 8 years in the office of the presidency in a 4 years term per section.
According to New Agency of Nigeria, NAN, who is the first news platform to publish the news; President Muhammadu Buhari has formally announced he will seek re-election in 2019. Mr. Buhari made the announcement on Monday at a meeting of the ruling All Progressives Congress leadership. The National Executive Committee(NEC) meeting of the party is holding in Abuja.
After the NAN’s report, Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai via his Twitter handle confirmed the news. According to him, Mr. President made his intention known to All Progressive Congress, APC members during the NEC meeting.