From Fred Itua, Abuja
Attempts to legalise power rotation in the country, specifically across the six geo-political zones, yesterday, suffered a setback in Senate.
The bill, sponsored by Patrick Abba Moro, was to pass second reading after his lead debate, but was vehemently opposed by many of the senators who contributed.
Moro had, in his lead debate on the piece of legislation entitled: “A bill for an Act to Provide for the Rotation of Power and for other related matters there in 2022,” said there was need for a law to legalise rotation of power across the various geographical divides in the country.
He posited that such a legislation, if passed into law, would not only promote the principles of equity, fairness and justice among the various geographical divides, but also ensure sense of belonging required for nationhood of a heterogeneous country like Nigeria.
He said: “If there is a law on power rotation in Nigeria, it will help to ameliorate the squabble for power, particularly the presidency across the various six geo-political zones and also promote unity in the country.”
However, in their contributions, senators, one after the other, kicked against the bill on the grounds that it was running against the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.
Bala Ibn Na’ Allah from Kebbi State, who released the first salvo, said the bill should have been presented as one seeking for amendment of relevant provisions of the constitution and not just one seeking for legislation from the Senate or by extension, the National Assembly.
He said: “In as much as it is good for power to rotate across the various divides in the country, none of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, gives room for that because it throws such privilege open to all Nigerians at all times.
“Without legislation or law on power rotation, a minority like former president Goodluck Jonathan became president of this country few years back just as we have a minority in person of our revered president of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, leading the 9th Senate.
“So, I don’t think there is any need for a specific law to be put in place for power rotation and even if any move is to be made in that direction, it has to be through constitution amendment.”
Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege also kicked against the bill by making similar submissions like Na’Allah. This prompted Moro to hurriedly withdraw the bill through Order 42 of the Senate standing rules.