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Drama As Senators Fight Over Sitting Arrangement In Renovated Chamber



The first day of Senate’s plenary in the renovated red chamber was marred by a verbal war among Senators over sitting arrangement on Tuesday.

According to a report by Akelicious, both chambers of the National Assembly were formally reopened on Tuesday after about two years of renovation work.
During the renovation, lawmakers were using makeshift chambers in both wings of the National Assembly.
The project was completed before their 40-day recess, prompting their resumption to the remodelled Chambers on Tuesday. But trouble started in the Senate when the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, started reading the names of Senators who marked their birthdays during the vacation.

At a point, Senator Sahabi Alhaji Ya’u (APC, Zamfara North) angrily stood up from the seat allocated to him to lodge a complaint with the Leader of the Senate, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central).

His complaints to Bamidele, which started on hushed tone, degenerated to a shouting match between the two of them and consequently sparked reactions from other Senators and eventually escalated into a rowdy session, which lasted for about 30 minutes

Senator Ya’u was seen pointed his finger at the Senate Leader, complaining bitterly that the new seat allocated to him at far right corner of the chamber was not befitting of him, being a ranking Senator, who once held a principal position of Deputy Minority Whip of the Senate during the 9th National Assembly.

The verbal war between the Senate Leader and the Senator Ya’u festered further when Senator Danjuma Goje (APC, Gombe Central) joined the fray.

Goje also complained to Bamidele that ranking Senators were not well positioned in the new sitting arrangement .

However, in a troubleshooting move, the President of the Senate called on the Senate Leader and the aggrieved Senators surrounding him, to approach him, which they did and eventually paved way for Akpabio to read his welcome address after normalcy was restored.

After Akpabio’s welcome address, an emergency closed-door session was called for by the Senate Leader, apparently to diffuse the bottled anger among Senators over the sitting arrangement.

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