Strong indications have emerged that the Senate will be divided during a possible consideration of the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference report it demanded from the Federal Government.
Some senators warned that the move might “backfire” especially for the ruling All Progressives Congress and the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
The lawmakers on Wednesday at the plenary agreed that the chamber would go through the recommendations.
Before the Senate deliberated on a motion sponsored by 107 lawmakers and titled, ‘The Need for National Unity and Peaceful Co-existence in Nigeria’ on Wednesday, Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu (PDP, Enugu West), who presided over the plenary, had called for a closed-door session where members were urged not to make comments that could provoke the public.
A senator, who was at the executive session, disclosed to SUNDAY PUNCH that the presiding officer knew the sensitive nature of the motion, thus warning lawmakers before the debate.
The lawmaker however said demand for the confab report “suddenly” came in during the debate. He recalled that the APC was not disposed to it before it was convoked. He expressed surprise that a member of the party could call for a deliberation on it.
First to call for the submission of the confab report to the legislature was Senator Adamu Aliero (APC, Kebbi Central). He stated that it was the best way to resolve the issues affecting the country.
Senator Jonah Jang (PDP, Plateau North) had also supported Aliero.
The source said, “The closed-door session was to caution our colleagues on making sensitive comments. If you observed, we all spoke for one Nigeria.”
Speaking on the demand for confab report, the source said, “I left the chamber for a committee work but when I heard about the demand, I was surprised. If you look at the motion, the prayer requesting for the report was not there initially.
“Some of us were shocked and I think it is a game that will backfire if care is not taken. Those of us who are strongly loyal to the APC want to forget about (former President Goodluck) Jonathan’s conference but some of us still want to embrace Jonathan’s government; that is how we are seeing it. It might backfire.”
Senator Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna Central), in an interview with SUNDAY PUNCH, called for restructuring of the federal system of government, asking for devolution of power from the central government and creation of federating units, which is part of the recommendations of the confab.
But when the lawmaker was asked if he supported the call for the amendment of the Constitution to include referendum, he said, “No, I don’t. It is not necessary. What we need is simply political reconstruction of Nigeria.”