From Fred Itua, Abuja
There was uncertainty in the Senate, yesterday, as over 75 per cent of lawmakers shunned plenary.
The ninth Senate inaugurated on June 11, 2019, usually begins its plenary between 10-10.30am. Based on the Standing Order of the Senate, a quorum must be formed before the day’s business can commence. According to the rule book, a third of members, which amounts to 36 senators, must be present before the day’s legislative business can commence.
However, the situation was different yesterday when the Senate was about to commence its day’s business.
AS soon as plenary commenced, member from Rivers, Thomson Sekibo, raised a point of order and urged the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan to either defer the day’s sitting or adjourn since a quorum was not formed.
His position was resisted by Lawan, who ordered the Clerk to check the register to ascertain the required figure had been met.
Confirming the number of senators already checked into the chamber, a clerical staff said it was 35, whereas the minimum requirement is 36.
Lawan overruled Sekibo as he insisted plenary will continue and that all businesses already slated for the day would be considered without delay.
Daily Sun has gathered that the absence of lawmakers may not be unconnected to Tuesday’s debate on the floor, where senators called for sack of service chiefs over escalating insecurity.
Buhari has, through his media aide, Garba Shehu, dismissed the call as unnecessary.
Senators who spoke to Daily Sun in confidence said plans were underway to suspend consideration and passage of the 2020 budget until President Muhammadu Buhari executes the resolution of the Senate.
He said some senators has vowed not to participate in any legislative business, where requests from President Buhari would be considered.
“Senators are angry. When we elected Lawan in 2019, we did that because we wanted to have a cordial relationship with the Executive. It appears that is not tru. We pass resolutions and the Executive doesn’t honour it.
“There is insecurity in the country and we have called on the President several times to sack his Service Chiefs. We have even had two retreats on insecurity and reports were submitted to Buhari. He has refused to do something.
“Many senators feel there is no need to keep attending plenary since all we do is to pass and approve requests from Buhari. Meanwhile, he doesn’t honour anything we do here,” he said.
One of the senators said Lawan has called on lawmakers to rethink their position as he has concluded plans to meet with Buhari and persuade him to fire the service chiefs.