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Literary Openings, Gadgets and News in Nigeria | Duketundesblog: POLITICS: APC Senators reject equal sharing of panel chairmanship seats among zones

Thursday, 16 July 2015

POLITICS: APC Senators reject equal sharing of panel chairmanship seats among zones

Some All Progressives Congress (APC) Senators on yesterday rejected the principle of sharing the 57 ‎Senate Committees chairmanship positions evenly among the six geo-political zones in the country.
Spokesman for the Unity Forum,  a group of APC Senators opposed to the election of Senator Bukola Saraki as President of the Senate, Senator Kabiru Marafa, told journalists yesterday ‎in Abuja that it was unrealistic to have the committees shared equally among the zones.
Marafa, speaking on behalf of the APC Senators, rejected the new rule which distributes 57 standing committees equally among the six geo-political zones of the country, irrespective of political party affiliation.
He described the new Senate rules that introduced the equal sharing formula as a fraud and illegal because, according to him, the rules were not amended during the life of the Seventh Senate in accordance with the rules as stipulated in the Constitution and the chamber’s Standing Orders.
“The problem is that the Senate was inaugurated using a forged document; who forged that document? We can’t gloss over or sweep that criminality under the carpet; Nigeria is not a banana Republic!

“Remember the standing order is an offshoot of the Constitution; it spelt out clearly in Order 110 (1-5) how it can be amended just like the Constitution spelt out how it can be amended in section 9 (1-4)
“The insertion of Order 3 (2 iv) & 3 (3e i-iiii) in the 2015 edition is a deliberate act perpetrated by fifth columnists operating within the National Assembly to sabotage the government of President Muhammadu Buhari; it’s done to cause friction, disaffection and generate bad blood among Senators from different zones and confusion in the Senate with the sole aim of stagnating government business to give them time to perfect their agenda!,” he said.
Marafa reiterated his call for an investigation of the new Senate Rule Book which he said is unacceptable. “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 Nigerians to, as a matter of urgency, call on all the concerned authorities to commence investigation into this illegality before it overwhelm us as a nation!”
In the 2015 Senate Rule Book, each zone is said to be expected to get at least nine committee chairmanship seats out of the total 57 Senate committees.
This new tradition is in compliance with Order 3 (4) of the Senate Standing Orders 2015 as amended. The new Standing Order 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 geo-political zones of the country and there shall be no predominance of Senators from a few geo-political zones”.
It was not contained in the 2011 version of the Senate Rule which was used by the David Mark-led 7th Senate.

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