ONLY PRESIDENT’S LETTER, NOT PARTY’S, CAN BE READ IN NATIONAL ASSEBLY —NA’ALLAH

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DEPUTY Leader of the Senate, Senator Bala Ibn-Na’Allah, has said only a letter from the president of the country can be read on the floor of the Senate or the House of Representatives.
Na’Allah told newsmen in Abuja, on Tuesday, that it was the reason the purported letter written by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the National Assembly was not read.
According to him, it was for the same reason that the letter would not be read in the National Assembly.
“A lot of people do not understand; as a member of the National Assembly, the moment you step into the National Assembly, you either take the Bible or the Quran; and then you subscribe to the oath of allegiance and then take your oath of office.
“The oath of office says that you will uphold, protect and defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Law and then the Rules of the Senate.
“Outside these three documents, (a) senator does not have any leverage to do anything; there is no other document outside these three.
“And then, if you carefully look at the rules of the Senate, the only letter that can be read on the floor of the House should a letter from Mr President.
“And that is the convention, not only in Nigeria, but in all other parliaments all over the world.”
He stressed the need for Nigerians to understand the workings of democracy before making attributions unknown in democratic circles.
Na’Allah, however, said the party could influence its members in the National Assembly and at the state level through the various caucuses, but not by imposition.
“I have not seen any issue here; it is just that people are trying to overheat the polity without knowing what the process is all about,” he said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah, said on Tuesday that the Red chamber was capable of resolving its challenges without the overbearing influence of the All Progressives Congress(APC).
Na’Allah, who stated this while speaking with journalists in Abuja said that there was no faction in the Senate contrary to insinuations in some quarters.
He stated that the lawmakers were capable of resolving their differences over the sharing of Principal officer positions in the chamber.
The lawmaker said: “I want to correct an impression that there is a faction of the APC senators led by Senator Ahmad Lawan. We have the Senate Unity Forum, of which I am a member and led by Senator Barnabas Gemade.
“No matter how unfair to Senator Gemade, he stands as one of the leaders in this country and I do not want to believe that he needs even the inkling of any other person to get involved in reconciling the Senate.
“We do not have a crisis in the senate. What we have is disagreement within our colleagues on how certain things things should be done. It is when we have crisis that we will be talking about reconciliation but when we have a disagreement, we will sort out matter based on what all of us believe in.”
He stated that claims credited to former Interim National Chairman of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande indicated that the man might have been misquoted in the media adding that Senators on the floor of the Senate believe in the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.
He stated that the claim by Akande that the emergence of the Presiding officers of the National Assembly that was a conspiracy of the North against the South West said that the claim might have been exaggerated in the media.
He stated: “Chief Bisi Akande is a highly respected senior member of this country and I am not so sure he had not been misquoted on that issue. Even where it exists, I am absolutely sure that, that it cannot be the correct statement of the situation.
“The North holds every section of this country high, we detest the idea of even labeling us as North because we have passed that stage with the current development in our country.
“We are a united country whether we like it or not with some few interests being defined at different levels of our governance but as far as Nigeria is concerned, I don’t want to believe that there is any conspiracy.
“If there is any conspiracy on the part of the North, what made you think that the conspiracy will involve bringing somebody from the PDP and from South East to become the deputy senate president.?
“Things happen not as expected. For instance, when we, the Unity Forum, were in the ICC, waiting for our President to come and address us, if we were in the chamber during the election, I am absolutely sure that the outcome would have been different.
“So, I do believe that the statement was not erroneous attributed to Chief Akande.” He added
On the alleged President Muhammadu Buhari’s body language towards Senator Ike Ekweremadu’s emergence as the DSP, Na’Allah said there was nothing for now, to suggest that the president was not happy with the development.
He said, “I have not seen Mr. President nor see his body language but I know if you want to be fair to him I can say to some extent that I know Mr President very well. He is a patriot, he believes in this country.
“He has exhibited that belief in every aspect of his life and I don’t want to believe that when he made a statement that he was ready to work with every one, it was not in furtherance of his belief that the Nigeria that he knows, is a united Nigeria where every citizen should be given equal opportunity.
“I know that as a loyal party members, he is not happy with the situation. As matured people we should be able to make good of what has happened and move the country forward.”
He also stated that the senate was united adding that he left the Senate Unity Forum loyal to Senator Ahmad Lawan immediately the National Chairman of the APC declared the that the party was recognizing the election of Senator Saraki as the senate president.
He stated: “You remember that the National Chairman of the APC issued a statement that the party has recognized the presidency of Senator Bukola Saraki. With that statement, as a loyal party man, what do you expect me to do? That is why I am towing the party line.”
-Tribune

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