Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Defection: Senate postpones resumption to avert crisis


President of the Senate, David Mark
Strong indications emerged on Monday that the leadership of the Senate decided to postpone the resumption of plenary to next week Tuesday in order to avert possible clash among members.
Our correspondent learnt that the spontaneous reactions of some senators to the personal opinion expressed by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Ita Enang, on the status of defecting lawmakers in the National Assembly had generated serious tension.
Specifically,  Enang had asked the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct fresh polls to fill vacant seats left by the lawmakers who had defected to the All Progressives Congress since they became members of the National Assembly through the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party they were abandoning.
The development forced the Senate leadership to direct the Chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe, to issue a statement,  dissociating the Upper legislative chamber from the personal opinion expressed by Enang.
A source close to the leadership of the Senate told our correspondent on Monday that the postponement was necessary in order to curb the impending clash among members over the tension generated by the various positions of some senators on the current gale of  defections.
As at now,  close to 20 aggrieved senators were said to be preparing to dump the PDP for the APC whenever they resumed  from their Christmas/New Year break.
The position of Enang according to one of the aggrieved senators, was seen as a kite being flown by the Senate leadership in collaboration with the PDP and the Presidency, to threaten their proposed action to join the APC.
The Clerk of the Senate, Mr. Benedict Efeturi, was immediately directed to issue a public notice directing senators to resume on January 21 against the earlier resumption date of January 14, citing the Eid – Maulud holiday and the Armed Forces Remembrance Day, as reasons.
Further investigations also revealed that the postponement would allow the Senate leadership meet with other PDP senators on how to tackle the threats of defection by their aggrieved colleagues.
The senate’s spokesperson said the postponement of the resumption was at the instance of the Senate leadership but he did not give specific reasons for it.
He said, “I don’t other reasons that led to the postponement other than the reasons given by the senate leadership through the public announcement that had been published.”

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