Uproar as Senate rejects bill for Armed Forces Commission
Uproar, bitter ethnic sentiments, use of foul and unparliamentary languages overtook the Senate on Wednesday.
The Senate threw out a bill that sought to establish the Armed Forces Commission as stipulated in section 219 of the constitution which charges the National Assembly to pass an Act to establish such an Armed Forces Commission the agency.
Sponsored by Senate Minority leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, the Bill is titled “A Bill for an Act to give effect to section 219 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to provide for the establishment of the Armed Forces Service Commission and for other related matters, 2021.”
But during the debate on the general principles of the Bill, to pave way for its Second reading, many Senators from the Northern part of the country with the exception of the Senate Majority leader, Abdullahi Yahaya, raised serious objections to the Bill.
Senators from the Southern part of the country spoke in support of the Bill. The Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, who initially supported the Bill went further to disclose that there were devils in the details of the Bill.
Francis Alimikhena (APC, Edo State) equally stood against the BIll.
On whether the Bill should be allowed to pass the second reading stage, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, ruled in favour of those who spoke against the Bill and declared that the Bill has failed.
But Abaribe swiftly rose in protest and raised order 73 of the Senate standing rule through which he called for the division to allow Senators openly vote in turns for or against the Bill.
There were shouts of no! no!! among the opponents of the Bill.
In the rowdiness that that ensued, the Senate president after about two minutes called for a close session.
After the closed session that lasted for about 20 minutes, Lawan announced that Abaribe had agreed to withdraw his opposition to the ruling that nailed the Bill.
Abaribe was given the opportunity to confirm that he withdrew his protest.
The Senate Minority leader later formally withdrew his protest and even announced that he had stepped down the entire Bill.