The first session 9th Senate led by the new Senate President, Ahmad Lawan (All Progressives Congress, APC, Yobe North), began yesterday by frustrating moves by senators, especially those on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to deliberate the Democracy Day speech of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The motion to scrutinise the speech was moved by Istifanus Gyang (Plateau-PDP), who come under Order 52 of the Senate standing order, and asked his colleagues, through the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, to grant him the leave to present a motion on a matter of public importance.
“The matter of urgent national importance I am bringing before this Senate has to do with the democracy day speech of President Muhammadu Buhari of the 12th June 2019. This speech is already in the public domain. I am asking that in view of the interest it has generated…,” he said.
The lawmaker was cut short by Lawan who asked to seek the consent of other senators to entertain the motion.
After putting the question, the majority of the lawmakers voted against the motion and it was consequently shut down.
It is not clear which part of the speech Gyang wanted to raise.
Shortly after rejecting Gyang’s motion, another senator, Uche Ekwunife (Anambra-PDP), signified interest to present a similar motion, saying she had earlier informed the Senate President on presenting a motion on President Buhari’s speech but was asked to bring it up as an amendment to Gyang’s prayers.
She prayed to be allowed to present her motion since she could not get the amendment opportunity as earlier arranged, but was asked to present her motion on another legislative day.
Lawan made this ruling on the argument that she raised her point of order a little late as the Senate had that time proceeded to the first order of the day.