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Senate escapes cracks, drops Confidence Vote on Lawan

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Senators, on Tuesday, avoided what could have been major cracks among them over a motion on vote of confidence in the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan  and the leadership of the 9th National Assembly.

Our correspondent learnt that there had been mounting criticisms against alleged discriminatory and lopsided distribution of constituency projects in the just approved 2020 budget.

The motion, which was expected to be presented by the immediate past Borno State governor, Senator Kashim Shettima (APC Borno Central), as the sponsor, was listed on the Order Paper for the day, but suddenly dropped without any official reason, either from the Senate President or the Leader, as represented by the Deputy Chief Whip, -Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, during plenary.

It was however gathered that most of the 36 co-sponsors of the motion, whose names appeared on the Order Paper, expressed displeasure that they were never consulted by the arrowheads of the confidence vote project.

The motion, as contained on the Order Paper, has 25 All Progressives Congress, APC senators and 11 People’s Democratic Party, PDP lawmakers as co-sponsors.

One of the senators whose name appeared as co-sponsor of the motion disclosed off the record that he was shocked to have found his name on the list.

He said: “I don’t know why those seeking emergency image laundering for the leadership have to resort to this. Like many others whose names you saw on the Order Paper, I don’t know about anything relating to Vote of Confidence on anybody. We have individually expressed our concerns to those packaging the project and I am sure that this is why they have agreed to stand it down.”

Another senator, who also pleaded anonymity, faulted the motion, saying it was put together quell the mounting criticisms against what he called discriminatory and lopsided distribution of Constituency Projects in the just approved 2020 budget.

“The question you should ask is ‘why passing a vote of confidence on the leadership at this time? Why the rush? Has the leadership done anything wrong since it was put in place in June, 2019 that it required the vote of confidence as solidarity measure? ” he queried.

About 1.00pm when the vote of confidence motion was dropped, most senators had left the chamber, but the Senate Leader simply moved another motion that it should be stood down till the next legislative day and seconded by the Minority Whip, Senator Philip Aduda, who stood in the the Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, and was so adopted.

The vote of confidence motion reads in part: “The Senate: Observes with satisfaction, the stability and unity of purpose witnessed by the 9th National Assembly under the leadership of Senator Ahmad Lawan since its inauguration on Tuesday, 11th June, 2019;

“Notes with much satisfaction the modest achievement of the 9th National Assembly in the discharge of its constitutional responsibility with much diligence and candour as exhibited by the Senate through:
The realignment of the Budget Calendar to January-December budget circle through the timely passage of the 2020 Appropriation Bill on Thursday, 5th December, 2019.”

The Senate accordingly resolves to:
Pass a vote of confidence in the leadership of the 9th National Assembly and particularly commend the President of the Senate and urge all senators to endeavor to sustain the present goodwill of the Senate under the leadership of Senator Ahmad Lawan.

It also call on Nigerians, the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhamadu Buhari to support the 9th National Assembly in its determination to pass legislations that will impact meaningfully on Nigerians and take it to the next level.

Besides Shettima, co-sponsors of the motion include Lawan’s opponent in the June 11, 2019 Senate Presidency election, Senators Ali Ndume (APC Borno South); Danjuma Goje (APC Gombe Central); Ishaku, Elisha Cliff (PDP Adamawa North); Gabriel Suswan (PDP Benue North East); Olalekan Mustapha (PDP Ogun East); Abdulfatai Buhari (APC Oyo North); James Manager (PDP Delta South); Albert Akpan (PDP Akwa-Ibom North East); Adamu Aliero (APC Kebbi Central) and Adamu Bulkachuwa (APC Bauchi North)

Others also include Senators Ibikunle Amosun (APC Ogun Central); Sadiq Umar (APC Kwara North); Rochas Okorocha (APC lmo West); Abdullahi Barkiya (APC Katsina Central); Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP Delta North); Ibrahim Gaidam (APC Yobe East); Bello Mandiya (APC Katsina South); Binos Yaroe (PDP Adamawa South); Francis Fadahunsi (PDP Osun East); Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP Taraba South); George Sekibo (PDP Rivers East) and Istifanus Gyang (PDP Plateau North), among others.

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