Senate reconvenes, decries Buhari’s serial bill rejections

[FILE PHOTO] Bukola Saraki

Contrary to the foreboding in several quarters, the Senate yesterday reconvened in a quiet mood resolving to put to rest the political brickbats that had distracted it from attending to key national issues in the recent past.

The meeting, which held behind closed doors for 20 minutes, did not produce an official statement.

But a lawmaker, who craved anonymity, told The Guardian that earlier threats and counter-threats by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers were dropped.

According to him, “the Senate today (yesterday) reconvened after over two months recess and immediately went into a closed session where all members had frank discussions about the future of the Eighth Senate as it goes into its last stage.”

He added: ” The members agreed to give peace a chance and avoid allowing the red chamber of the federal legislature to degenerate into an arena of conflicts over partisan and personal issues.”

It was equally learnt that the APC caucus extracted a promise from Senate President Bukola Saraki that national interest would continue to take precedent over other considerations during sittings.

The senators were said to have agreed not to allow external forces and influences to cause disaffections among them.

APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, had severally urged his party men in the upper chamber to unseat Saraki on account of his recent defection to t
he PDP.

Just last Sunday at the national convention of the in Abuja, the Senate Majority Leader, Ahmed Lawan, renewed the threat.

The pronouncement had attracted serious warning from his PDP colleagues the following day through the Minority Leader, Abiodun Olujimi.

However, the chamber expressed concern over the serial rejections by President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Electoral Amendment Bill and others recently passed by the National Assembly.

It also set up a technical committee to look into the unsigned pieces of legislation.

The reaction followed some correspondences from the presidency adducing reasons for Buhari’s decline of assents to 16 bills.

Others which got the president’s cold reception are the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences (Amendment) Bill; Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (Amendment) Bill; Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill; Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB); Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) (Amendment) Bill as well as the National Institute of Hospital and Tourism (Establishment) Bill among others.

Also yesterday, the House of Representatives adjourned plenary in honour of the late Funke Adedoyin, who passed on recently.

At the plenary presided over by Speaker Yakubu Dogara, the lawmakers held a special prayer in her honour before adjourning sitting to today.

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