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Page 17 APC senators boycott sitting as Ekweremadu presides plenary By Ismail Mudashir More than half of senators of the All Progressives Congress (APC) boycotted…

Page 17

APC senators boycott sitting as Ekweremadu presides plenary

By Ismail Mudashir

More than half of senators of the All Progressives Congress (APC) boycotted plenary yesterday when the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, presided over the chamber, our correspondent reports.

It was the first time Ekweremadu (PDP, Enugu West) presided the plenary since the inauguration of the Senate on June 9th.

Our correspondent reports that it was also the first time a minority party (opposition) would be presiding over the Senate since 1999 when the country returned to democracy.

At the moment, the APC has the majority with 60 senators while PDP has 49.

Ekweremadu, who defeated Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South) with 54 to 20 votes held sway till the arrival of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

Saraki was at the Presidential Villa for the inauguration of ministers appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Ekweremadu started presiding the Red Chamber around 11.10 am and quit around 12. 50 p.m. when Saraki returned from the Villa.

It was observed that while Ekweremadu was presiding, the Chamber was half empty as only 27 APC senators were on ground. From where he was, our correspondent counted 40 PDP senators.

Under Ekweremadu’s watch, the Senate referred the request of President Muhammadu Buhari for the confirmation of William Babatunde Fowler as executive chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Board, the managing director of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Ahmed Lawan Kuru and three other executive directors of the corporation to the Senate committee on finance.

In a telephone interview, secretary of the Unity Forum, Suleiman Othman Hunkuyi (APC, Kaduna North) explained the rationale for their action.

“We boycotted the sitting because the minority cannot preside over the majority. But I’m talking for myself, there are many others who did same but may not want to be quoted, “ he said.

In its reaction to the development, the leadership of the Senate said the bi-partisan stand of the Senators has not and will be an impediment.

Addressing newsmen, the spokesperson of the Senate, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi(APC, Niger North) faulted the claim of the Unity Forum that there was conspiracy against the APC.

“Finally, as we await the unveiling of the policy directions of Mr. President through the members of his Executive council, the Senate is indeed poised to work harder and better to support the emergence of a changed Nigeria of our collective dream, ” he said.

23 injured as APC, PDP supporters clash in Kogi

From Itodo Daniel Sule, Lokoja

At least 23 supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were reported injured following a clash they had with some thugs alleged to be members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at Igalamela, Odolu Local Government Area of Kogi State.

Chairman of Kogi APC Governorship Campaign Council, Humphrey Abah said the APC supporters were returning from a rally at Ajaka in a convoy of six buses when they were waylaid at Akpanya-Odolu intersection by suspected PDP thugs, who used axes and cutlasses to inflict injuries on them.

He alleged that the thugs, led by a prominent PDP chieftain in the area, unleashed terror on the APC supporters, adding that they broke the windscreens and windows of the buses conveying the party members.

Abah said two of the victims were in unconscious state while its governorship candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu has directed that all those injured be taken to hospital for treatment.

He described the attack on the APC supporters as barbaric and called on security agencies in the state to arrest and prosecute all those behind the act to serve as deterrent to others.

Our correspondent, who visited the Kogi State police command, observed some of those injured taking refuge there.

But in a swift reaction, spokesman of the PDP in the state, Mr Bode Ogunmola, said members of his party have no hand in the attack and urged the APC to look inward.

When contacted, Kogi State police Public Relations Officer, William Aya, confirmed the incident, saying investigations will commence into the matter.

Nigerians will reject us if we fail to deliver change – Dogara

By Musa Abdullahi Krishi

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has said that should the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration fail to deliver on its campaign promises, Nigerians would reject the party and its leaders.

Dogara therefore challenged officials of the party at all levels to reciprocate the gesture done to them by Nigerians in the last general elections by delivering on the promises made.

A statement by his spokesman, Turaki Hassan, said the speaker spoke when he received members of the Buhari Campaign Organisation from Bauchi State led by Dr Danjuma Dabo yesterday in Abuja.

“If we fail to deliver, they will reject us all but they will start with you before they come to Abuja. That is why you too must work hard to deliver change,” he said.

“Our people sincerely believe that change is possible and now is the time to truly transform this country. If we fail this time around, I don’t think we can ever have change in our lifetime.”

“We need prayers because some of the myriad of problems bedevilling the country can’t be solve by mere human wisdom, we need divine intervention and courage,” he added.

Responding, Dr Dabo commended the speaker for supporting their organisation since its inception saying “we wouldn’t have achieved that success without your support.”

Police ready for Bayelsa election – IG

By Adelanwa Bamgboye

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mr. Solomon Arase has said that the Nigeria Police is fully ready for the December 5 governorship elections in Bayelsa State.

The IGP stated this yesterday at the civil society dialogue on Bayelsa governorship elections organised by Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) which took place in Abuja.

Those present at the dialogue include Clement Nwankwo, Executive Director PLAC, Mr. Baritor Kpagih INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Bayelsa State European Union team and civil society groups.

The IGP, who spoke through a Commissioner of Police, Kayode Aderanti, called on all political parties participating in the Bayelsa election to eschew violence and hate speeches.

He noted that preparation and readiness for the election by the police would amount to nothing if other stakeholders did not build and sustain the necessary working synergy to accomplish the assignment.

“Let me assure you of our neutrality, transparency and impartiality. Should anyone have any misgivings about our actions or inaction either as an organisation or individually at any point in time in this journey, please do not hesitate to bring such to our attention,” he said.

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