On the 11th of November 2015, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP created history in Africa by being the First Minority party in Opposition to preside over the All Progressives Congress, APC Majority party in the Senate when the Deputy Senate President in the 8th Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu of the PDP, presided over the plenary.
The Senate plenary, was delayed following the absence of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, who was at the Presidential Villa to attend the swearing-in of ministers by President Muhammadu Buhari and consequently asked Ekweremadu to preside over the plenary. Senators, who had turned up for the day’s sitting were seen loitering in the Senate lobby with a few of them already seated in the chamber waiting for Saraki to come and take charge.
However, the arrival of Ekweremadu into the chamber to preside over the session, irritated some APC senators who said they would not sit and watch a member of the minority Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) preside over the APC majority-controlled chamber.
Immediately the Deputy Senate President mounted the seat of the Senate President, preparatory to presiding over the affairs of the red chamber, Senator Lawan and his loyalists, among who were the former governor of Benue State and senator representing Benue North West, George Akume, and Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi, representing Kaduna Central, refused to go inside the chamber.
Senators Lawan, Akume and Hunkuyi, who stood at the Senate lobby for over 15 minutes, discussing among themselves, while the plenary was going on, were later joined by a few others.
After rounding off their secret meeting, the lawmakers were seen going away to an unknown place, leaving others at the chamber.
They accused Saraki of handing over the Senate to Ekweremadu who preside over the plenary for the first time since June 9 when himself and Saraki were elected as the presiding officers of the Senate.
The aggrieved senators who walked out of the chamber vowed not to attend any plenary session presided over by Ekweremadu. The development quickly got to Saraki in the Villa and consequently, he hastened down to take over from Ekweremadu, a situation that never occurred when Ekweremadu was Senator David Mark’s deputy.
APC senators who walked out on Wednesday included the Chief Whip, Senators Sola Adeyeye, Abu Ibrahim, Oluremi Tinubu, Suleiman Kunkuyi, among others. Notwithstanding, the plenary continued as many other APC senators, including the Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, his deputy, Bala Ibn Na’Allah; Kabiru Gaya , Binta Masi Garba, Shehu Sani among others remained in the chamber while Ekweremadu presided.
After the plenary, Hunkuyi (Kaduna North), issued a statement, vowing that APC senators would reject any further attempt to allow a member of the minority party preside over their sittings
Senate responds to the silly allegations of the APC Senators
But the Senate, reacting swiftly to the allegation, through its chairman, Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Aliyu Sabi Abdullah,dismissed the allegation of conspiracy to hand over the Senate to PDP.
Sabi, at a media briefing, after plenary, said the allegation raised by the aggrieved senators, was the figment of imagination of those behind the allegation and asked people to ignore them.
The Senate spokesman, added: “The Senate wishes to reiterate its total commitment to providing robust legislative actions to support the change agenda of Mr President as he strives to move Nigeria to new height. The bi-partisan stand of the Senate has not and will not be an impediment.
“The distinguished senators are happy with the inauguration of the Federal Executive Council and look forward to having harmonious, rancour-free but inclusive and participatory relationship that has at its heart the welfare of Nigerians.”
He urged Nigerians to disregard the allegation, saying the Senate remained committed “to providing robust legislative actions to support the change agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari government, adding: the “Bi-partisan stand of the Senate has not and will not be an impediment.”
PDP Senator, Sam Anyanwu (Imo East), dismissed the action of APC senators as a mere waste of time, saying there is nothing the APC senators can do to stop Ekweremadu from presiding whenever Saraki is not around.
We at Pdpzone really don't care whether all the APC senators walk out when our Indefatigable and well experienced Deputy Senate President Senator Ike Ekweremadu presides over the plenary. As long as the Senate produces good debates and pass motions to move the nation forward, the "pained" APC Senators above can boycott the senate for the next 4 years. While they are at it, they should learn a lesson or 2 from PDP how not to expose their crass inexperience in public and move on. Deputy Senate President Senator Ike Ekweremadu is here to stay and their wailings, rumours, propagandas and false allegations won't change that.
Story credits from Vanguard and This day