Friday, 2 December 2016

Party Realignment: PDP Senators Sheathe Sword, Return to Chamber, Saraki Urges Unity

 Image result for SARAKI
The caucuses of the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress in the Senate on Thursday said peace had returned to the chamber.
The leaders of the two sides, during the plenary, said they had left their differences behind them.


The session on Wednesday was marred by protests, when members of the PDP caucus stormed out of the chamber over the refusal of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, to declare the Ondo South Senatorial District seat vacant after the defection of the occupant, Senator Yele Omogunwa.

The PDP senators had, together with the rebellious APC lawmakers, helped to elect Saraki and the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, on June 9, 2015, against the choices of the ruling party.
The walkout staged by the PDP lawmakers had indicated a crack in the walls of the alliance between the opposition and Saraki’s camp.
But the Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, during the plenary on Thursday, commended members of the PDP caucus for sheathing their sword by returning to the chamber.

He said, “I honestly and sincerely commend the patriotism and the commitment of the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party caucus ably guided by distinguished Senator Godswill Akpabio and supported by distinguished Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
“I feel happy that I have been vindicated that this Senate is a distinct Senate; that this Senate means well for this country and there is nothing, and, I repeat, nothing that we do not have the capacity to put behind us politically. I thank the leadership of the PDP caucus for that very good quality.”

Saraki, who presided over the plenary, in his remarks, also commended the PDP caucus for putting the country first in its decision.
He said, “I think you (Na’Allah) have covered everything, and there can never be any further debate. But I think I can also note and add a word to commend the friends of the PDP caucus and continue to show that this Senate is one family.”
Akpabio, who later spoke, described the development on Wednesday as a “protracted discussion.”

He said, “We are very happy to be back after a protracted discussion and we are also happy that change is coming to the 8th Senate through the action of yesterday; and that we would continue to put the interests of Nigeria forward, first and foremost before our personal interests. My dear colleagues, I thank you for your maturity and I bow.”

Omogunwa, who was the only PDP senator from Ondo, had written to Saraki to formally inform the Senate of his defection from the PDP to the APC, the letter that was read to members of the chamber during the plenary.

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