APC, PDP Senators Head For Showdown Over Senate Rules
Senators of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their counterparts in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may be heading for a fresh row over the amendment of the 2015 Rule Book of the Senate which recommended parity in the sharing of committee positions.
Spokesperson of the Senate Unity Forum, a group loyal to Senator Ahmad Lawan and the APC, Senator Kabiru Marafa, who gave the indication on Wednesday, said that the senators were opposed to the rule which approved parity in sharing of committee positions.
He also faulted the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, over his claim that the president did not need to send the name of service chiefs to the Senate for screening.
Senator Marafa, who represents Zamfara Central Senatorial District, said there was no timeframe for the screening of the service chiefs, adding that the president was right in appointing the security chiefs in acting capacity.
He also called for an independent investigation of the inauguration of the Eighth Senate and the subsequent election of both Saraki and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, using the Senate Standing Orders (2015, as amended).
He said the Unity Forum was opposed to the new standing order, which indicated that committee positions were to be shared equally among the geopolitical zones.
Senator Marafa, who spoke on behalf of some APC senators, rejected the new Senate Rule, which he said was against the rule of fair play.
He said: “Look at the hypocrisy of inserting order 3 (2 iv) for 16 years of PDP leadership, the presiding officers and committee headship was skewed in favour of the zones that produced more PDP senators, but suddenly, they introduced equality of zones in the distribution of these offices because they lost out; this is unacceptable by APC senators.
“Let me use this medium to call on all well-meaning Nigrians, to as a matter of urgency, call on all the concerned authorities to commence investigation into this illegality before it overwhelms us as a nation.”
This new Senate Order, Order 3 (4) of the Senate Standing Orders 2015 as amended states that “the appointment of senators as chairmen and members of committees shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the six geopolitical zones of the country and there shall be no predominance of senators from a few geopolitical zones.”
Marafa described the new Senate Rule as a fraud, adding the the police must intensify their probe of the making of the rule.
While faulting Saraki over his claim on service chiefs, the senator said: “Is there any law that sets timeframe within which to clear the service chiefs? I think the answer is no.
“The president has the powers to appoint them on acting capacity and since he has done so, there is no problem,” he said.