Rowdy session in Senate over seating arrangement at renovated Hallowed Chamber - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Rowdy session in Senate over seating arrangement at renovated Hallowed Chamber


....there was no disagreement, rancor over seating arrangements in the Senate chamber, Spokesperson

AS Senators resumed plenary session on Tuesday after forty days of Easter and Salah break,  the Senate went into a rowdy session  after three senators engaged in heated argument.

This happened  in the reconfigured Hallowed Chamber as the Senators quarrelled  among themselves over sitting arrangements as this  interrupted the resumption of the Senate to plenary.

Ecstasy of holding plenary proceedings in the renovated hallowed chamber first enveloped the session at the beginning which started at 11am,  but trouble started when the President of the Senate , Godswill Akpabio started with announcement in the Order Paper and that was the reading names of Senators who marked their birthdays during the forty days  recess.

Trouble started when Senator Sahabi Alhaji Ya'u,  APC Zamfara North, angrily stood up from the seat allocated to him to complain about it to the Leader, Senator Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele,  APC Ekiti Central. 

Senator Danjuma Goje,  APC, Gombe Central also  expressed displeasure of the seats assigned to them, and complained to Opeyemi Bamidele as well.

The Senators were  using the renovated chamber for the first time yesterday and this is coming 19 months after the closure of the Hallowed Chamber.

Recall that both the House of Representatives and the Senate moved to temporary chambers in September 2022 after commencement of renovation work on their Hallowed Chambers by Visible Construction Company Nigeria Limited in July 2022.

The  Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) had in March 2021, awarded a N37 billion  contract to Visible Construction Limited and some other firms for  rehabilitation of  critical segments of the National Assembly complex, construction of Library, permanent site for the National Assembly Service Commission ( NASC) etc ,  which are all almost completed now .

According to the standing rules of the upper legislative chamber, Senators sit according to ranking.

Ya'u's  complaints to the Leader which started on hushed tone, aggravated to shouting match between the two and consequently sparked reactions from other Senators and eventually degenerated into rowdy session .

During the rowdy session which lasted for about 30mins , Senator Ya'u  angrily pointed his finger at the Leader , complaining that the Seat allocated to him at far right of the chamber was not befitting, being a ranking Senator   who held principal position of Deputy Minority Whip of the Senate during the 9th National Assembly.

The verbal counter punching between the Leader and Senator Ya'u , festered further when Senator Danjuma Goje (APC Gombe Central), joined them.  

Goje also complained to the Leader that ranking Senators were not well positioned in the sitting arrangement .

To calm nerves and to avert a free- for all- situation, the President of the Senate, Akpabio called on the Leader and aggrieved Senators surrounding him to approach the Chair which they did and eventually paved way for Akpabio to read his welcome address.

After Akpabio's welcome address, an emergency executive session was called for by the leader apparently to diffuse the bottled anger among Senators over sitting arrangement.

Reacting to the development, Chairman,  Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs,  Senator Yemi Adaramodu,  APC, Ekiti said that there was no disagreement, rancor or any verbal tirade in respect of the seating arrangements in the Senate chamber. 

In a statement after plenary, Senator Yemi Adaramodu said, "There was no disagreement, rancor or any verbal tirade in respect of the seating arrangements in the Senate chamber. 

"The Senate resumes today in the newly renovated chamber and the seating positions of Senators were done in accordance to the established Legislative protocols. It's pertinent to know that rankings of Senators and leadership positions are considered. 

"All legislators all over the world know and accept this tradition. The new arrangements in the chamber today did not depart from this. Every Senator is thus considered based on this Legislative tradition, hence there couldn't be any confusion over seating arrangements. Senators have been observing this seating protocols, even in the temporary chamber, hence the unfounded story of a phantom fight over seating arrangements is an unscrupulous attempt to drag the image of the Senate into an unnecessary and needless controversy. 

"The general public should disregard this odious song of sorrow from these incorrigible  wholesalers and retailers of falsehood."

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