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Fresh crisis looms in Senate over committees

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Senate
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Senate

Indications emerged yesterday that the Eighth Senate will be enmeshed in another round of crisis when it finally settles the pending leadership tussle. This time, the crisis might emanate from the distribution of the standing committees of the Assembly, when the lawmakers resume plenary on July 21.

The reason is because the 2015 Standing Order of the Senate stipulates that the committees be shared equally among the six geopolitical zones of the country, irrespective of political party affiliation. Accordingly, each zone is expected to get at least nine committee chairmanship seats out of the 57 Senate committees that will be set up when lawmakers resume plenary and settle their pending leadership differences. The new principle is in compliance with Order 3 (4) of the Senate Standing Orders 2015 as amended.

The Order states that “the appointment of Senators as chairmen and members of committees shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the six geo-political zones of the country and there shall be no predominance of senators from a few geopolitical zones.”

However, chairmanship positions of the 57 committees have over the years, always been skewed in favour of senators belonging to the ruling party and ranking in status.

The PDP enjoyed this privileged up to the 7th Senate. But the tradition is bound to change going by the new provision, which is expected to provoke protest from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), particularly those who are opposed to Senator Bukola Saraki’s emergence as the President of the Senate.

Meanwhile, this portion of the Standing Order, which denies the APC privilege of domination in committee sharing is in conflict with the 2011 version, which favoured the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In the 7th Senate, the distribution of committees showed a serious discrepancy in favour of the PDP. In the previous arrangement, the South-South got 14 chairmanship seats.

This is followed by the North-Central, South-East and North-West, which got 10 each. The South-West got the least number of chairmanship positions with only five seats while the North- East got seven. The political implication of the equal sharing principle as contained in the new rule is that the APC, which got the bulk of its membership mainly from the North-West, North-Central and South- West will enjoy no special preference as the PDP did when it formed the government in the country.

It will be recalled that the 2015 Standing Order of the Senate is in serious controversy and has generated severe contention in the Senate, leading to the intervention of the Police early last week.

Senators belonging to the Senate Unity Forum (SUF), who are challenging Saraki’s emergence, had petitioned the police over what they described as forgery of the Senate Rule.

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POLITICS

Oyebanji wins Ekiti APC guber primary election

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The former Secretary to Ekiti State Government, Hon. Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji, has been declared winner of the All Progressives Congress (APC) primary election held on Thursday.

Declaring the result of the poll, which was held in all the 177 wards, the chairman of the electoral committee, Governor Muhammed Abubakar Baduru of Jigawa State said Oyebanji scored the highest number of votes to defeat other contestants.

According to him, statistics from the returning officers showed that other contestants scored virtually zero in most wards because they did not participate in the process, having alleged irregularities.

Below are records of what Oyebanji scored in all the councils.

Ado LG – 9,380
Efon LG – 3,047
Ekiti East LG – 5574
Liti West LG – 11,399
Emure – 4,018
Ekiti Southwest – 5,880
Irepodun/ Ifelodun – 4297
Gbonyin – 5690
Ijero – 6,714
Moba – 8,196
Ilejemeje – 3011
Ikere – 5,546
Oye – 9,359
Ikole – 9,619
Ido-Osi – 5,368
Ise-Ekiti – 4048

Registered members – 183560
Accredited members – 107877
Total vote cast – 104983

Bamidele Faparusi – 376
Ojo – 767
Opeyemi Bamidele – 760
Bamisile 400
Oyebanji – 101703
Afolabi – 47
Popoola – 239

Addressing journalists, Baduru appreciated party members for their display of maturity and cooperation which led to the success of the poll.

He noted that the election was transparent and devoid of any manipulation, saying the method for the exercise was reached by all aspirants during a stakeholders meeting held on Wednesday.

He called on the winner to be magnanimous in victory while those who lost should be strong in defeat.

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Former Senate President Saraki declares for presidency

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Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has indicated interest to contest Nigeria’s presidential election in 2023.

The former Kwara governor made this known on his Facebook page on Wednesday.

Saraki asserted that he has a strong record of delivering and experience in making tough decisions.   He said, “Earlier, I replied to a follower of mine on Twitter who like thousands of you has been clamouring for a united front to #RescueNigeria.

  “As we prepare for the journey ahead, I hope we can all join hands to get the ticket of our great party, PDP, and build a nation that works for all of us.  

“Join me to make our communities safer and provide real opportunities for you and your families. I have a strong record of delivering and experience in making tough decisions.  

“Let’s build a new Nigeria that works for everyone!”   Saraki is the latest politician to have indicated interest in succeeding President Muhammadu Buhari in office next year.

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2023 presidency: Miyetti Allah denies backing Tinubu to succeed Buhari

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Tinubu Visits Aso Rock, Says Buhari Is An Exceptional Leader

Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has refuted reports that it endorsed ex-Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu for President.

The body said the position of individuals on who succeeds President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023 should not be regarded as a general one.

MACBAN National Secretary, Baba Ngelzarma issued a rebuttal on Wednesday.

The scribe stressed that the association respects the ambition of all aspirants and was yet to pitch its tent with any of them.

“The attention of MACBAN headquarters has been drawn to stories in the media claiming that we have endorsed the presidential aspiration of Sen. Ahmed Tinubu.

“We want to make it clear that the association has not endorsed any candidate. Those who endorsed Tinubu are doing so as individuals.

“MACBAN should not in any way be dragged into the politics of endorsement at this stage,” Ngelzarma said.

On January 10, Tinubu formally informed Buhari of his desire to become the All Progressives Congress (APC) flagbearer.

On Tuesday, the party chapter in Lagos accused opponents of making unsubstantiated claims scuttle the APC leader’s bid.

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