•As lawmakers unite against violent agitations
From Fred Itua, Abuja
The Senate has mandated its leadership to meet with the executive to resolve the crises emanating from series of ethnic agitation across the country, especially from the South East.
The senators reached the decision yesterday at its resumption after eight-week recess.
It was part of a truce Igbo senators reached with their northern counterparts at a closed-door session, which lasted about two hours.
At the end of the executive session, President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, read out the summary of the outcome of the meeting:
“At about 12.30pm, we concluded our closed-door session. We deliberated on key national issues and resolved as follows that the unity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is non negotiable.
“We also resolved to seek all lawful avenues to ensure that peace is restored to all parts of Nigeria.
“All groups or associations currently in agitations for one reason or the other should do so through the laws of the land.”
It was learnt that Saraki, had before the session, intimated his colleagues of issues that would dominate discussions.
A lawmaker who spoke to Daily Sun, said, Saraki opted for a closed-door session to allow lawmakers speak frankly on the Biafra issue.
He said South East lawmakers were asked to speak first. Eyinnaya Abaribe, it was learnt, spoke extensively on behalf of South East lawmakers.
He pleaded with senators from other geopolitical zones to condemn the recent “invasion” of the geopolitical zone by soldiers and the subsequent proscription of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) by the Federal Government.
The lawmaker said: “South East lawmakers also pleaded with other senators, especially those from the North to support them and prevail on the Federal Government to rescind the proscription of IPOB.
“There were few hiccups, but Saraki was able to calm the whole thing.
“In the end, lawmakers from the South East were able to make their case and we all agreed that the Senate leadership will meet with executive and find a way to resolve this.”
Northern lawmakers, however, gave a condition that they would support South East senators if they openly criticised any act of violence by any agitating group, in any part of the country.
It was learnt that South East lawmakers reluctantly agreed. At the end of the meeting, lawmakers agreed to also shelve the debate till another legislative day to be announced by the Senate leadership.