Senate in rowdy session over Rivers crisis


The Senate on Wednesday had its share of rowdy session as tempers rose over the continued crisis in Rivers State. The incident occurred when the upper chamber was considering a motion entitled: “Recent Shooting and Disruption of Political Rally in Port Harcourt, Rivers State” sponsored by Senator Wilson Ake (Rivers West) and 47 others.

However, the Senate resolved to invite the Inspector General of Police, Abubakar Mohammed, to brief it and give a situation report of the goings-on in River State.

The House of Representatives was on Tuesday embroiled in uproar as the All Progressives Congress (APC) members in the House claimed majority.

The Senate’s version of disorder was however averted by the timely intervention of the Senate President, David Mark, but not before Senator Alkali Jajere (Yobe South) sprang from his seat to protest alleged abusive comment directed at Senator Ahmed Lawan by Senator James Manager (Delta South).

Jajere was said to have been infuriated by alleged unprintable remarks Manager made against Lawan and demanded apology from Manager and insisted that proceedings at the chamber could only resume when Manager apologised to Lawan.

For more than 10 minutes, Senate plenary was disrupted as some Senators made efforts to calm Senator Jajere who charged furiously at Manager.

Mark watched with disbelief as voices rose while some Senators promptly formed a ring around Manager apparently to ward off any possible attack on him.

A group of Senators prevailed on Manager to apologise to Lawan and also reminded him (Manager) that the proceedings of the Senate were on live television.

The Delta South lawmaker left his seat shook hand and embraced Lawan.

Mark reminded his colleagues that “can I appeal that we cannot be telling people dialogue, dialogue and then we want to fight.”

He added, “tempers rose just now, I hope it does not rise again. We have to be careful about the situation in Rivers State.”

Before the consideration of the motion, Manager had, through a Point of Order, attempted to abort its consideration by informing his colleagues that the Rivers State House of Assembly was still under the retainership of the National Assembly.

He noted that he was surprised to learn that late in 2013, the Rivers State House of Assembly sat and approved the budget of the state.



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