[Democracy Day] Opposition parties faults Senate for rejecting motion to discuss Buhari’s speech
Written by Henry on June 14, 2019
The Senate on Thursday rejected a motion seeking its nod to debate the speech delivered by President Muhammadu Buhari on the Democracy Day.
The opposition parties led by the Peoples Democratic Party and the Campaign for Democracy have faulted the All Progressives Congress-dominated Senate‘s action. They said it was a bad omen for democracy, adding that the senators should show courage so as not to encourage dictatorship.
The majority of the senators at plenary overwhelmingly voted against the motion when the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, who presided over the session, subjected it to voice vote.
The motion was moved by Senator Istifanus Gyang (Plateau-PDP), who came under Order 52 of the Senate standing order.
Gyang had sought the leave of her colleagues to present the motion which he described as a matter of public importance.
He said, “The matter of urgent national importance that I am bringing before this Senate has to do with the Democracy Day speech of President Muhammadu Buhari on the 12th of June, 2019. This speech is already in the public domain. I am asking that in view of the interest it has generated, we should debate it.”
Lawan had to cut short the speech of the lawmaker when he asked him to seek the consent of other senators to entertain the motion.
Most of the members of the All Progressives Congress-dominated voted against the motion and it was consequently shut down.
Buhari’s speech delivered at the Eagle Square, Abuja, on Wednesday announced the renaming of the National Stadium Abuja after the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, the late MKO Abiola.
The President also said with good governance the Federal Government could take 100 million Nigerians from poverty to prosperity in the next 10 years.
Senate’s action not good omen for democracy – SDP
Reacting to the Senate’s action, the Social Democratic Party said the development was not a good omen for the nation’s democracy.
The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Alfa Mohammed, said, “I would have said that it is too early to place the direction of the Senate leadership, but considering the fact that the Presidency openly championed their campaign, and as you could see, immediately after they were inaugurated, their first place of call was the Villa for a ‘thank you visit’ to Mr President with the Deputy Senate President going on his knees.
“That is not a good omen for the flourish of one of the cardinal principles of democracy, the separation of powers. So, at a period as we have now that the executive arm of government needs a strict monitoring and check of the legislative arm to keep it on its toes, a rubber stamp legislature will spell doom for the country.