Senator Elisha Abbo recently accused the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, of influencing the ruling of the Court of Appeal that sacked him from the National Assembly.
Within the week under review, we also tracked two other stories from the legislative arm of government for your reading pleasure.
1. Abbo’s accusation
On October 16, the appellate court removed Abbo from his position as the Senator representing Adamawa North Senatorial District.
Speaking at a press briefing held in Abuja, Abbo fingered Akpabio as the one behind his sack because he refused to support him in the course of his race for the Senate Presidency.
“I have it from a reliable source that myself and four other senators within the fold of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will be removed from the Senate through rulings from the courts, all because of working against the emergence of Akpabio as President of the 10th Senate,” he said.
However, on October 19, while speaking in an interview on Arise Television, he apologised for the allegation, saying: “I had a discussion with the Senate President, and I am convinced that he is not involved.”
Abbo’s allegations and subsequent volte-face may have lent credence to the internal wrangling within the ruling party, especially the bad blood which the June 13 election for the Senate Presidency generated.
It may also not be far from the mark to say that Abbo’s inconsistencies are typical of the average Nigerian politician who tends to speak from both sides of the mouth, just to stay politically correct.
Above all, Abbo may have, through his conduct, deepened public perception of him as an uncanny character, given his other brushes with the law.
NASS MEMORY LANE
“The vigilante group that the governor of Imo State is running goes after his political opponents. People are being killed, houses are being burnt, and youths are being kidnapped. Hope Uzodimma is fuelling the crisis in Imo State. I have evidence to back that.”
Answer: See end of post
Two other stories
2. Weighing Ndume’s walkout
The Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Ali Ndume, on October 17, staged a walkout from the floor of the Senate sequel to a shouting match with Akpabio.
“Mr. President, there are some things we do in this chamber that are against the rules. Sir, nobody is too big to learn,” Ndume had said.
Following the controversy his walkout had generated, the next day, the Senator explained that “While this was happening, it coincided with the time of prayer, prompting my departure. Consequently, my colleagues misconstrued my exit, and the journalists changed the meaning of my exit.”
Ndume’s walkout, and later explanation smacks of a smart attempt to address a mis-step. Indeed, his hurried explanation serves as a damage control measure targeted at stemming a backlash that could cost him certain privileges, especially those tied to juicy committee appointments.
Being an open critic of Akpabio’s leadership, the entire drama further reaffirms popular insinuations that some Senators, especially those in the APC, are dissatisfied with the leadership style of the Senate President.
3. Insecurity in the North
On October 11, a House of Representative member, Hon. Sani Jaji, representing Kaura-Namoda/Birnin Magaji Federal Constituency of Zamfara State, lamented that terrorism had crippled the education system in Northern Nigeria.
“Addressing the issue through motion, discussing killings in various constituencies, observing a minute of silence, and calling on security agencies to take action, has not provided a solution to the problem,” he said, among others, in Abuja.
Jaji’s outcry re-opens conversations on Nigeria’s long years of leadership failure, especially as it concerns the primary responsibility of protecting lives, and property.
In fact, it reminds all concerned that as long as the challenges persist, the number of out-of-school children will keep rising with solutions far-fetched.
What more, the lawmaker’s comments play up fading hope in the ability of the security agencies to deal with the nationwide security challenge.
It is left to be seen how Jaji’s lamentation would inspire the Tinubu administration to explore other workable strategies at dealing with the national malaise.
Answer: Hon. Ikenga Ugochinyere
Ugochinyere made the statement on July 10, 2023, in an interview with newsmen. He represented Ideato North/South Federal Constituency of Imo State at the House of Representatives. On September 10, 2023, he was sacked from being a Federal Lawmaker by the Imo State National, and State House of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal.
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