The first session of the 9th Senate held yesterday, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan (All Progressives Congress, APC, Yobe North), began 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.
To show that he was in charge, Lawan stopped a point of order that would have placed the 9th Senate on a very shaking ground, with the honeymoon almost shattered.
Trouble started barely minutes into the commencement of the first plenary of the 9th Senate when Senator Isitfanus Gyang (PDP, Plateau North) came under Orders 42 and 52 of the Senate Standing Orders 2015 (as amended) and raised that some parts of the democracy speech by President Buhari did not go down well with some Nigerians as it was generating controversy.
Gyang, who relied on Order 52 of Senate rules, said he was bringing a matter of urgent national importance that had to do with the Democracy Day speech of President Buhari of June 12, 2019.
“This speech is already in the public domain. I am asking that in view of the interest it has generated, we should discuss it,” he said.
The senator was particularly referring to the areas that relate to where the president was reported to have said that China and Indonesia succeeded under authoritarian regimes and that India succeeded in a democratic setting.
At this point, the Senate President cut short the PDP senator, saying he had to seek the consent of senators for approval as to whether he should proceed or not.
When Lawan asked if the PDP senator should continue, the motion was shut down as the nays carried the day.