Nigeria’s Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu on Wednesday faced stiff opposition while presiding over Wednesday’s plenary over rules of the Senate Chambers.
The first resistance came from Senator Oluremi Tinubu representing Lagos Central Senatorial district for allowing Senator Gilbert Nnaji to adopt Tuesday’s motion. Senator Nnaji who represents Enugu East Senatorial District is of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a minority party.
Oluremi protested saying that it was against the Senate rules for the Senate President to allow a Senator of a minority to move for adoption of motions.
There was background murmur ostensibly from the APC Senators when Senator Tinubu was explaining how PDP was still a minority in the Senate.
“Mr President, distinguished colleagues, with due respect to Senator Gilbert Nnaji, he was not supposed to move for adoption because he is still a member of a minority party. ”
“I know that issues like this would come because of political developments in the country recently, but PDP is a minority here. I respect Nnaji. He is a ranking Senator and he used to be my neighbour in the 7th Senate”, she said.
Though Ekweremadu managed to calm nerves, midway into the plenary, Senator Kabir Marafa observed that it was wrong for the DSP to allow Dino Melaye to stay among the minority.
He believed that Melaye has not defected officially, stressing that the rule of the Senate was very clear on the matter.
He, however, maintained that there was an exemption to Dino sitting in the row of the minority if there were cogent reasons and permission of the Senate President.
Marafa explained that a bad precedent was being made, warning that in the future if it happens among the APC, it should be accepted.
“Mr President, distinguished colleagues, my younger brother, Dino Melaye is sitting among the minority, but if it is for any reason, and if this happens otherwise in future, I hope there should be no complaint.”
The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu is of the Peoples Democratic Party. He presided over Wednesday’s plenary as the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki is on official assignment to the United States of America.