Senator Dino Melaye’s motion on the alleged militarisation of Nigeria’s 2019 general election stirred a rowdy session at the Senate on Wednesday.
Concise News understands that plenary at the country’s upper house became rowdy when the senator representing Kogi West raised a point of order and asked his colleagues to let him bring a motion to debate the aforementioned allegation.
Nigerians headed to the polls on 23 February and 9 March to choose their president, state governors and lawmakers at the federal and state levels.
“What I am raising this morning has nothing to do with political parties,” Melaye, who won re-election to the Senate for the ninth assembly, said.
“I want to bring before this Senate, the elections both on the 9th and 23rd in this country and I believe that the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not close our eyes to the happenings of those elections.
“I want that election to be debated on this floor. I want to bring a motion to be addressed by this Senate in the next legislative day so that the militarisation of the process, the abuses of this election, will not go undiscussed in this parliament for posterity sake.
“And so that solutions can be given and the president can also be properly advised and the electoral act be signed into law as we begin to prepare for future elections.
“This is my prayer. Let it be discussed as a Senate. We will debate and give accounts of what happened in our various senatorial districts with the vision of correcting electoral malpractices.”
Thereafter, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, put the question for a voice vote.
This was when the house became disorderly as many echoed “ayes and “nays.”
But Saraki, a PDP member who lost in his bid to return to the Senate for the ninth assembly, ruled in favour of Melaye.
He said according to the Senate’s Standing Order only one-fifth of the lawmakers is required to support the prayer before it can be adopted.
But that did not stop the rowdiness in the house as the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, stood up to question Saraki’s ruling.
Lawan, a member of the ruling APC, said: “A non-partisan motion was on the floor. You ruled. We didn’t hear the ruling. What was your ruling.”
But the Senate President pleaded with his colleagues not to abuse the process of the plenary, urging them to move on to other important matter of the day.