Rumble In The Senate Over Unread Defection Notice



There was pandemonium on the floor of the senate yesterday as the 11 aggrieved Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) senators attempted to compel the Deputy Senate president Senator Ike Ekweremadu who presided the plenary to read their letter of defection to All Progressive Congress(APC) or face the fire.

The spirited attempt by the affected senators to force the deputy senate president to read their notice of defection from PDP to APC disrupted the  senate session for several minutes.

The 11 PDP senators had served the senate president senator David Mark notice of their planned defection on Wednesday. The senate president who presided the session on Wednesday was alleged to have refused to read the said notice of defection, Senate had earlier said it would not allow group defection .
Senate proceedings was however disrupted for several minutes as the aggrieved senators protested the delay by the presiding of the senate yesterday to read their letter of defection.
The trouble started  yesterday on the floor of the senate when the leader of the group and former governor of Kwara state senator   Bukola Saraki through a point of order insisted that the senate president must read their letter of defection to APC.

Senator Saraki in point of order (15) yesterday told the deputy senate president that he submitted the said defection notice by his group to the senator Mark on Wednesday and therefore should be read on the floor of the senate .
Saraki said,”On a notice which by a letter was communicated yesterday to your Chair on notification of the  change of political party by myself and eleven other senators from the platform of the People’s Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress (APC). So I felt that it was necessary for me to bring to your attention that the letter has not yet been read.”
But Senator Ekwremadu in reaction which angered the Sarki group more urged the defecting senators  to wait for Senate President to return from his trip before the defection letter of 11 senators can be read.

Ekwremadu said,” The senate president had travelled and before he travelled he told me you had a discussion with and agreed to have a meeting on Monday. So, that was what he told me on the subject.”

But Senator Saraki replied the Deputy Senate President”: That is not the case, sir. I submitted the letter as of yesterday and he indicated the intention that it would like to meet with senators. But the two issues, submitting the letter and his request for the meeting does not seem that the meeting was subject to the bringing of the letter. So I felt that the two are two separate issuesThough the deputy senate president ruled Saraki out of order but bhis second in command and former governor of Gombe state Senator Danjuma Goje in a similar poit of order insisted that the said notice was served to the senate president yesterday and therefore should be readf
Goje in his reaction told the deputy senate president , he and ten others ; presented a letter to the senate president formally informin him to inform the chamber that we have defected from the PDP to the APC. We thought the letter would have been read yesterday but it was not and we feel that it should be read today. I feel it is our right and privilege for that letter to be read. Myself I have defected and ten other senators have also signed that letter defecting from PDP to APC. So I demand that that letter be read.

The deputy senate president in a similar reaction said;first of all I think you just came late. We have discussed this matter earlier before you arrived and we have taken a decision on this. We have taken on that. So he did not give me any letter to read.

EKWEREMADU: Please I have to stop you. You have to wait. I don’t see what the problem is. Sen. Saraki raised a Point  of Order that he sent a letter containing the names of senators who want to defect. He said he gave it to Sen. Mark who is the President of the Senate.  Today Mark is not here and before he travelled he told me that there was a discussion he had. And I appealed to Sen. Saraki to wait until Mark comes back. My own understanding is that the discussion had something to do with the letter. So there is no way you will tell me to believe somebody who is here and I don’t believe somebody who is not here. So, that would be unfair to Sen. Mark. My appeal is that we leave all these matters, make progress and by Tuesday Mark will be here. So if there is any need to read the letter, then we would read the letter.
Meanwhile the senate has confirmed the appointed of the four service chiefs , with the APC senators again insisting that they are not against the appointments of the new army leadership.
They are Air Marshal Alex Badeh, as Chief of Defence Staff, Major-General Kenneth