Sen­a­tors lock horns as Me­laye ‘dumps APC’

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - By Is­mail Mu­dashir

Sen­a­tors yes­ter­day en­gaged in war of words over the de­ci­sion by Sen­a­tor Dino Me­laye (APC, Kogi) to dump his seat at the side of APC sen­a­tors and “take refuge” on the side where op­po­si­tion PDP sen­a­tors sit.

Me­laye re­sumed at the ple­nary yes­ter­day after be­ing away for weeks fol­low­ing his run­ning bat­tle with the po­lice.

Wear­ing neck brace, he re­quested that he should be al­lowed to sit at the side of the PDP.

“Mr Pres­i­dent, I want to seek your in­dul­gence to call in the sergean­tat-arms to look for a com­fort­able seat for me on this side of the di­vide. I am no longer com­fort­able sit­ting here (APC side).

“I want to ask that you man­date the sergeant-atarms to look for a seat for me. I will take a seat close to David Mark pend­ing when you get a seat for me,” he said.

Im­me­di­ately after the re­quest, Me­laye was as­sisted by sergeant-atarms and some of his col­leagues to re­lo­cate to the side where PDP sen­a­tors were seated.

At the Se­nate, the APC sen­a­tors sit on right side while their col­leagues of the PDP sit on the left.

Me­laye also al­leged that the Nige­ria po­lice at­tempted to kill him twice through the ap­pli­ca­tion of a chem­i­cal sub­stance and in­jec­tion.

His ac­tion was trailed by a point or­der by the Se­nate Leader, Ah­mad Lawan (APC, Yobe), who said Me­laye re­mained on the APC side. He said seats on the APC side were more com­fort­able and well ar­ranged.

“If his seat has prob­lem, we can find any other for him in­clud­ing my seat,” he said.

Sen­a­tors Jib­rin Ba­rau (APC, Kano), Kabir Marafa (APC, Zam­fara) and the Chief Whip, Olu­sola Adey­eye (APC, Osun) all backed Lawan’s po­si­tion, cit­ing the coun­try’s Con­sti­tu­tion and the Se­nate rules.

The Deputy pres­i­dent, Ike Se­nate Ek­w­ere­madu (PDP, Enugu) said Me­laye’s re­quest was a con­sti­tu­tional mat­ter and as such it should be granted. The mi­nor­ity leader, Goodswill Ak­pabio (PDP, Akwa Ibom) sup­ported Ek­w­ere­madu’s ar­gu­ment.

The Se­nate Pres­i­dent, Bukola Saraki said the is­sue raised by Me­laye had noth­ing to do with change of al­le­giance, say­ing the re­quest of Me­laye would be granted pend­ing when his seat at the APC side would be com­fort­able for him.

The APC spokesman, Bo­laji Ab­dul­lahi said the party re­spects Me­laye’s right to as­so­ciate with any­one.

He said “We re­spect his right of as­so­ci­a­tion and wish him good luck.”

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