• Saturday, June 22, 2024
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Again, Senate postpones plenary for further renovation of chambers

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The Senate has again postponed its plenary session till May 7. 2024 to allow for further refurbishment of its chambers. The Senate was supposed to resume on April 16 from the easter and Sallah celebration which it embarked on March 21, but postponed the resumption twice for two weeks to allow for the completion of renovation on its hallowed chambers which has been ongoing for about two years.

The Senate resumed on Tuesday to find the newly renovated chambers plagued by technical glitches, including poor audio quality and malfunctioning projection screens. The microphone muffled the voices of lawmakers.

Jibrin Barau, the Senate president who was presiding over the session said the Senate will adjourn till Tuesday next week to enable finishing touches on the hallowed chamber, particularly the audio system, and seating arrangements which early caused a heated argument and general arrangement of the chambers.

When the session commenced on Tuesday, Godswill Akpabio, the Senate President was making some announcements and remarks to lawmakers, but he could barely be heard in the chamber due to the poor audio. While he was still speaking, lawmakers began to argue, expressing displeasure over the seats they were given.

Sahabi Alhaji, the Senator representing Zamfara North,  angrily stood from his seat to complain to Opeyemi Bamidele, the Senate Leader that he did not like the seat he was given.

The grievance of the Senator, who held the principal position of Deputy Minority Whip of the Senate during the 9th National Assembly was that he was a ranking Senator, and his seat which was at the extreme right of the chamber was not befitting for his status.

The verbal exchange between the Senate Leader and the Zamfara lawmaker was aggravated when Danjuma Goje, the Senator representing Gombe Central also expressed displeasure about his seat.

After over 20 minutes of arguing and quarrelling over seats, Bamidele moved a motion for a closed session, and the Senate quickly resolved into the closed session to discuss “matters of importance”.

When the chambers reconvened from the two-hour 30 minutes long closed-door session, The Senate leader moved that every other legislative activity in the order paper be suspended due to time constraints after reading bills introduced, and observed a minute silence for Ayogu Eze, the former lawmaker who died last week.

Akpbaio was initially presiding over the session but delegated to his deputy before leaving the chambers. Barau put the postponement of the plenary was put to a voice vote and lawmakers voted in favour.