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Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Defecting Senators: More hurdles for Saraki, 10 others

The 11 senators who have served notice of defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) now have more hurdles to cross. Reason: The plank upon which they seek to move to APC may no longer hold.
According to DailySun: 
In the January 20 letter addressed to the Senate President David Mark, a copy obtained by Daily Sun, the senators cited “division” and “factionalisation” in the PDP as the main reasons for their defection.
A pronouncement by the court in 2013 has, however, punctured that claim. The court ruled that there’s only one PDP. Latest developments, however, indicate that the PDP caucus in the Senate may have joined the matter as they are battle-ready with the APC.
A ranking member of the caucus disclosed that “the letter claiming that there’s ‘division’ and ‘factionalisation’ in the PDP is based on a false premise. A court in Abuja has said there’s no faction, crisis or division in the PDP. As at today, and since 1999, there’s only one PDP.
“We will resist any move to compel the Senate President to read the letter…”
In a related development, the scheduled meeting between Senate President David Mark and the 11 senators could not hold yesterday.It was a follow-up to the notice of defection they submitted to Mark last week.
The meeting, which was scheduled to hold at Mark’s Apo residence could not go ahead as some of the defecting senators were not in Abuja last night.
Daily Sun checks indicated that the meeting may hold today as there was “some sort of agreement between both parties that the meeting should be brought forward to today (Tuesday).”
Meanwhile, Senate will today meet with the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, to brief the chamber and give a situation report on the Rivers State crisis.
The chamber summoned him on January 22 after a resolution on a motion by Senator Wilson Asinobi Ake on the lingering face-off which culminated in the shooting of the Chairman of the Petroleum Resources (Downstream) Committee, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe. He is presently recuperating in a London hospital.
This was after Senate condemned the disruption and interruption of the proposed rally and gathering of Save Rivers Movement (SRM) by the state police command occasioned by sporadic gunshots and teargas on January 12 at the State College of Art and Science in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area venue.
It was learnt that “the IGP’s briefing on the crisis will be taken in a closed session. It’s a security issue and as usual, such briefings cannot be allowed at plenary.”
Also, Senate may conclude debate on the N4.642 trillion 2014 budget today, making it four days for senators to wind up the crucial second reading on the Appropriation Bill.
If the budget debate rounds off today, screening of the 12 ministerial nominees will commence tomorrow, it was learnt

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