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Senate blocks first-time lawmakers from contesting as presiding officers



The Senate on Tuesday altered its standing orders to stop new Senators from vying for the positions of presiding officers in the Red Chamber.

Rule 3(2) (1-3) of the Senate Standing Orders allows first-time senators to vie for positions of Senate President and Deputy Senate President in the parliament.

The amendment followed the adoption of a motion moved by the Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele, at the plenary in Abuja.

The new arrangement automatically disqualifies first-term senators from contesting for the Senate’s top two leadership positions.

The amendment of the rules may not be unconnected with the leadership tussle in the Senate before its inauguration on March 26.

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The former Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, a first-term Senator, narrowly lost the senate president seat to his Akwa Ibom State counterpart, Godswill Akpabio, in a keenly contested election held on the same day.

He had earlier rejected All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership’s nomination of Akpabio as the party’s consensus candidate for the country’s number three position.

In the new arrangement, any senator interested in the two positions must have spent a minimum of one term in the Senate.

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