Govs El-Rufai, Bello, Ganduje incur Senate's wrath
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Govs El-Rufai, Bello, Ganduje incur Senate’s wrath

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Senators summon Buhari, demand he addresses joint session of N'assembly

The lingering fight between some senators and their state governors, on Wednesday, took the centre stage on the floor of the Senate.

Lawmakers who took their turns to speak, came down heavily on Governors Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State and Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

Fireworks started when Ahmed Ogembe, who represents Kogi Central, raised a point of order to draw the attention of his colleagues to the “increasing and alarming spate of political intimidation and violence in Kogi Central Senatorial District of Kogi State.”

Ogembe, in his argument, recalled how thugs suspected to be acting on the instruction of he Governor of Kogi State, Bello, invaded the venue of an empowerment programme for some women in his constituency.

The lawmaker claimed that some hoodlums also attacked his family house in Okene and that of his supporters. He further claimed that “a lot of my constituents are lying critically injured and traumatised in hospitals across Kogi Central Senatorial District.”

President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, who presided, recalled how the Governor of Kaduna State, El-Rufai, personally supervised the demolition of a house belonging to Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi.

Saraki described the development in Kogi State as a threat to the country’s democracy. He said the Senate will be serious about the issue. The Senate President argued that if the problem was not nipped, other states were going to follow suit.

Saraki said: “I just came back from Ghana where they were celebrating 25 years of uninterrupted democracy, and as such, it’s something that we too will celebrate and continue to celebrate even more than that.

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“It is not really just about Kogi State but it is clear from what we are seeing that Kogi is coming to a point where it is becoming a threat to our democracy and we are going to be very serious about it. It cannot be seen to be defying our democracy because this is not what our democracy is about.

“For the role that we continue to make in the comity if nations, we must be seen to make good examples to other parts of the world. We must get to the bottom of this; we must take action that must stop this thing from happening and we must condemn this in the strongest term because this kind of action is totally unacceptable.

“It cannot be allowed to continue because it just starts with one state. Some of us have been privileged to be governors before; we are almost twenty years in democracy. This cannot be the democracy that we should be talking about after twenty years and it is totally unacceptable. And we must make sure that we use this opportunity to address the issue.

“We saw the case in Kaduna State, how a governor could proudly say that he is going to bulldoze a house in Nigeria, at this time, and we are all still keeping quiet. These are things that we must condemn totally.”

Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, in his intervention, also recalled how his former governor, Sullivan Chime, had a running battle with him for four years.

He also alluded to the face-off between Rabiu Kwankwaso and his successor, Ganduje of Kano State and how the former is unable to visit his state, despite his stint as governor for eight years.

After a long debate, Saraki announced the constitution of an adhoc committee to investigate the alleged attack on Ogembe in Kogi State.

The membership of the committee is yet to be announced by Saraki.

By Ehisuan Odia…

 

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