NASS Round-Up: Cold War Over Seat – By Bakare Majeed

NASS Round-Up: Cold War Over Seat – By Bakare Majeed

Two weeks into resumption from their annual recess, the National Assembly already disappointed political analysts who had predicted a possible all-out crisis.

Most commentators already foresaw a war judging from the stance of Sen. Ovie Omo Agege, who was on a mission to lead the impeachment of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, if the opportunity presented itself.

While it is still too early to downplay the situation, nonetheless, this week, the national assembly focused on other burning issues.

Sabinews brings you a round-up of the activities of the National Assembly this week.

DRAMA OVER SEAT

The drama over seating arrangement showed that there is still some bad blood among the players in the federal parliament. The refusal of the Senate President to allow Sen. Godswill Akpabio (APC Akwa Ibom North West) to speak from a seat not allocated to him and the later interview granted by the former Akwa Ibom State governor where he said that Saraki should resign from his position or be forced out spoke volumes and this showed that the peace in the house is nothing but cosmetic.

Also Read: Sen. Godswill Akpabio vows to remove Senate President Bukola Saraki

At the press conference, Akpabio said:

“I did not just move like that. I was a Minority Leader in the Senate. I resigned my position in order to show that I meant business.

“Let others who also have positions in the Senate who wish to also cross carpet from one political party to another also resign their positions and take a cue from what Godswill Akpabio did.”

This proves that the pundits could still be right on the possible all-out war.

Electoral Act

In the House of Representatives, the only thing close to a drama was the disagreement over the use of card readers during the consideration of a report on the electoral act.

Some members of the opposition staged a walkout over the structure of the proviso which reads that “and any other technological devices INEC recommends.”

The opponents argued that such clause would give INEC too much influence. Following the drama over the card readers, the House adjourned till the next day, but on Thursday, the Electoral Act consideration was stepped down on the agenda in both chambers without any explanation.

INEC Budget

The two chambers passed the 2019 election budget despite a scare that the all-important bill could be overshadowed by politics.

Announcement of Defections

While Nigerians still await the official defection of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and other lawmakers who had earlier cross-carpeted from their parties officially announced their defections in the lower chamber.

While all the lawmakers had already announced their defections during the recess and even picked up tickets, they fulfilled the constitutional requirement on Thursday.

Hon. Oker Jev announced his defection from the All Progressives Congress (APC), to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Joseph Akinlaja from PDP to Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Tony Nwulu from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to United Peoples Party and finally, Olatoye Temitope from APC to Action Democratic Party (ADP).

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