OrderPaperToday – The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu has stated that the Senate currently does not know whether it is the All Progressives Congress (APC) or the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) which has a majority status in the Senate.
Mr. Ekweremadu said this in response to claims by the Leader of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, who claimed that the APC maintains a majority in the red chamber.
The Senate Leader while speaking today through a point of order described a Daily Trust Newspaper publication as “erroneous” after the paper gave majority status to the PDP in its report published today.
Lawan further revealed that the report falsely claimed that the presiding officer yesterday ruled against the majority in a voice vote on the confirmation of Festus Keyamo as a member of Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) governing board.
The Senate Leader countered the newspaper on both counts as he maintained that the APC is the majority in the Senate and that Keyamo was confirmed in line with the wishes of majority of Senators.
According to Lawan, “On page 5 it is reported that the APC Senators are 57 and PDP Senators are 58. For the records, APC Senators are 56 and PDP Senators are 46.
“On page seven, the Daily Trust reported that when the question was put for the confirmation of Festus Keyamo for NDIC governing board, the nays had it but that the presiding officer (Ekweremadu) ruled that the ayes have it.
“For the record, the first time you put it, there was no clear winner but the second time you put the question, your judgement was right, the ayes had it. I had to put this record straight so that nobody in the future is misguided on what happened in the Senate.”
Responding, Ekweremadu, who presided over plenary, expressed dismay over the claim made by the Daily Trust newspaper with regards to the confirmation of Mr. Keyamo.
He advised the daily to be “responsible and respect” how the senate conducts its business according to its rules.
The Deputy Senate President further explained that if the presiding officer had ruled against the outcome of the voice vote, a Senator would have objected and called for division, however as that did not happen, it showed that his ruling was in order.
Nevertheless, on the issue of the number of PDP and APC Senators, Ekweremadu disagreed with the submission of the Senate Leader by insisting that there is no statistics available on the number of Senators belonging to each political party.
“On the issue of the numbers, I don’t think there is particular statistics in respect of how many members are in any particular party, there is no such statistics for now,” he said.