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Senate rejects debate on Buhari’s June 12 speech



Ahmad Lawan

Following the elections of Senators Ahmad Lawan, APC-Yobe North as the President of 9th Senate and Ovie Omo-Agege, APC-Delta Central as his deputy, the upper legislative chamber, on Thursday resolved to officially communicate President Muhammadu Buhari on the development.
This is even as it rejected a motion by Senator Istifanus Jang PDP-Plateau North to debate the speech delivered by President Buhari on the occasion of Democracy Day on June 12 at the Eagle’s Square, Abuja.
In a motion by Omo-Agege, which was unanimously approved by the new senators, he requested that “the Senate do send a message to Mr. President C-in-C (Commander-in-Chief), informing him that a quorum of the Senate has assembled and that the presiding officers of the 9th National Assembly of the Senate have been elected”.
Similarly, the Senate agreed to send a congratulatory message to the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and his deputy, Hon. Idris Wase over their elections, and that it had elected its presiding officers.
The senators also approved sending a message to the African Union, AU; Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, CPA; Inter-Parliamentary Union, IPU; Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS Parliament; Pan African Parliament and the Association of Senate, Shoora and Equivalent Council in Africa and the Arab World, ASSECAA, informing them that a quorum of the Senate of 9th National Assembly had assembled and is ready to receive any communication from them.
The upper legislative chamber further directed the Clerk to the National Assembly, Alhaji Mohammed Sani-Omolori to advise the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, that is ready to receive any communication from President Buhari.
Meanwhile, the Senate, yesterday failed to debate President Buhari’s speech on Democracy Day, especially when he said “China and Indonesia succeeded under authoritarian regimes”, but added that India succeeded under democratic setting and that Nigeria could achieve same.
Buhari stated that his administration which was first elected in 2015 and re-elected in March 2019, had been mapping out policies, measures and laws to maintain our unity and at the same time lift the bulk of our people out of poverty and onto the road to prosperity”.
But the president’s statements have generated mixed reactions in the media since Tuesday and the Senate might have saw reason in not further heating up the polity in its action of rejecting debate on it.
When the motion was put to question by the President of the Senate, majority of the senators answered “nayes” and he thereafter ruled against it.

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