Thursday, January 23, 2014

Rivers: Senate summons IG as members trade words


Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed
Hot exchange of verbal missiles between Senators Ahmed Lawan and Alkali Jajere both from Yobe State and their colleague from Delta State, James Manager, caused a serious commotion on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday.
The development, which almost led to an exchange of blows between  Jajere and Manager, happened during a debate on the lingering political crisis in Rivers State.
The incident started after Senator Wilson Ake from Rivers State  presented his motion on the crisis.
Ake also made an emotional-laden oral submissions on the crisis based on the permission of Senate President David Mark.
Mark called for contributions and Manager noted that another  motion on Rivers crisis would be unnecessary because the upper chamber had already passed a motion on the crisis.
He also said that a motion on the latest crisis in the oil-rich state would be unnecessary because the Senate leadership had instituted a probe into the development.
It was while Senator George Sekibo was making his contributions  that a hot argument ensued between Lawan and Manager.
The source of the argument could not be established by our correspondent because the microphone did not amplify their discussion.
The attention of the senators on the floor and the observers of the proceedings from the gallery however shifted to the scene when Jajere emerged from a distance and attempted to assault Manager.
Senators sitting close to the two gladiators in the argument,  however, saved the situation as they prevented Jajere from assaulting Manager.
The development led to a rowdy session that forced the Senate to  suspend proceedings for about 15 minutes.
When normalcy was  restored, the Senate President condemned the act of the senators and described the incident as unfortunate.
He wondered why members of the red chamber who were   seeking an end to the Rivers crisis should want to plunge the Senate into another round of crisis.
He, therefore, asked Lawan and Manager to embrace each other while he reprimanded Jajere for his action.
Meanwhile, the Senate has summoned the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Abubakar Mohammed, to appear before it to further brief the members on the Rivers crisis.
Members of the red chamber however voted against Ake’s motion seeking for the  immediate redeployment of the Rivers State Police commissioner, Mr. Joseph Mbu.
The Senate President condemned the latest crisis in the state and appealed for caution pending the report of the Senate Committee on Police Affairs which had investigated the matter.
The motion had condemned the interruption of the peaceful rally and gathering of the Save Rivers Movement by the men of Rivers State Police Command occasioned by sporadic gun and teargas canisters’ shootings on January 12, 2014 at the Rivers State College of Arts and Science in Obio/Akpo Local Government Area of Rivers State.
It called on the Senate to invite the IGP to come and brief the Senate on the situation report on the Rivers State crisis.
It also called  on the Senate to immediately put in motion, the implementation of the Senate earlier resolution calling for the redeployment of Mbu without any further delay.
It also condemned   Mbu for the shooting of Senator Magnus Abe with rubber bullets and other victims of the attack on January 12.
Moving the motion earlier, Ake had noted with dismay that the nation had witnessed once again, a new dimension in disruption and obstruction of a political gathering and meeting of the people in Port Harcourt.

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