Senate in rowdy session over Ekiti poll


The upper legislative chamber, The Senate was thrown into confusion for several minutes on Thursday as senators engaged in altercations over the credibility of June 21, 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State.

This is coming just as the Governor-elect, Ayodele Fayose, said that the concession of defeat by the incumbent governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, was a propaganda stunt aimed at eliciting public sympathy.

At the Senate, the timely intervention of the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary yesterday saved the day preventing exchange of blows over the polls.

Trouble started when the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Senator Andy Uba, while relying on Order 43 of the Senate Standing Order, commended the electoral umpire for conducting what he described as the most credible election in the country.

Uba, who represents Anambra South Senatorial District and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had said that the conduct of the Ekiti governorship election by the INEC was a departure from previous exercises in the country that were marred by irregularities.

He also commended the people and the government of Ekiti State for the peaceful conduct of the election that led to the defeat of the incumbent governor, Fayemi, of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by Ayo Fayose of the PDP.

He further commended the security agencies for ensuring adequate security during and after the election, and urged all the stakeholders that contributed to the success of the polls to carry on with the same spirit in subsequent elections.

This accolade, however, did not go down well with Senator Babafemi Ojudu, who represents Ekiti Central Senatorial District on the platform of the APC.

Ojudu, while also relying on the same Order 43 of the Senate Standing Order, alleged that Uba’s younger brother, Chris Uba, had led the police to cause havoc during the exercise in the state. Ojudu said: “My colleague (Andy Uba) had already read Order 43, I don’t need to repeat it.

I will like to commend the governor-elect of Ekiti State and my governor for accepting the result of the election. “But I want to say here Mr. President, that my colleague who stood here to talk, his younger brother, Chris Uba, led police to the hotel and smashed all the doors of the hotel.” He was however, interrupted by the PDP senators, who shouted at him to sit down.

Senators Philip Aduda, representing the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and Smart Adeyemi, representing Kogi West all of the PDP were among the senators that moved against Ojudu. Intervening to calm the situation, the Deputy President of the Senate, who ordered Ojudu to read the Order 43, reminded him that the said order prohibits discussing any controversial issue in the Chamber.

Ekweremadu commended INEC for what he described as “job well done” and implored the commission to do better in the forthcoming 2015 general election. He also ruled Ojudu out of order.

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