Nigerian Senators Engage In Physical Fight Over Positions
Some Nigerian Senators on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress on Tuesday engaged in a physical fight when an argument between two Senators degenerated into a fight.
Trouble began when a northern Senator Kabiru Marafa and a Senator from the South West, Tayo Alasoadura took on one another over who should emerge as Senate Majority Leader, his deputy, Senate Whip and his deputy.
Several attempts by the party leadership to broker a truce have so far failed.
A meeting of the APC caucus in the senate convened by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, also failed to calm frayed nerves as Senators under the aegis of the like minds who supported his rise to power, insisted on taking the four positions.
However, supporters of his opponent Senator Ahmed Lawan under the aegis of Senate Unity Forum who enjoy the backing of the party leadership want the positions conceded to them.
Trouble started after the Senate President delivered an address urging his colleagues to allow zonal caucuses produce their representatives for the positions.
At this stage, Senator Suleiman Hunkunyi, who got to the meeting late, became furious when he heard Saraki’s last words asking the various caucuses to present their representatives.
Hunkunyi, from Kaduna North, disagreed with Saraki on the issue and insisted that the meeting should rather ratify the names already sent to the office of the Senate President from the party secretariat on Tuesday.
According to him, the party had forwarded a letter which recommended Senator Ahmad Lawan as Senate Leader; George Akume (Benue North West) as deputy leader; Olusola Adeyeye (Osun) as Chief Whip; and Abu Ibrahim (Katsina South) as deputy whip.
His remarks infuriated the Senate President’s supporters who argued that the caucus not the party leadership should determine their representatives.
Tempers flared and in the confusion which ensued, Senator Tayo Alasoadura, an APC senator from Nigeria’s South West, faulted the choice of Adeyeye and wondered why the party did not choose Senator Ajayi Boroffice from Ondo North, who is equally qualified for the position.
It was at that stage that Marafa, who was already angry physically, attacked Alasoadura by pushing him before the intervention of other senators at the meeting.
The meeting ended abruptly with the APC senators dissolving into their various zonal caucuses to perfect the selection process which also ended inconclusive as of the time of filing this report.
Senators who helped Saraki to power produced their own list. In it, they proposed Senator Ali Ndume (Borno South ) as Senate Leader; Ahmed Sani – Yerima, (Zamfara Central ) as deputy leader; Olusola Adeyeye (Osun Central) as Chief Whip; and Francis Alimikhena, (Edo North) as deputy whip.
Speaking with journalists after the meeting, a northern Senator, Abu Ibrahim said, “I think it was a good idea for us to sit down and discuss because we have to work together for the next four years. The party has come out with its own position and some people are trying to rush, to sabotage the party’s position.
“We will see whether the senate president will heed the party’s directive or not. There is desire among ourselves that we should put this before us.
So obviously what we are doing is a good thing for politics for Nigeria and the senate.
Legislative positions in Nigeria confer on holders several perks.