OrderPaperToday – A comment by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia) on the floor of the Senate today threw the red chamber into a rowdy session, as the minority Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) senators engaged in a heated exchange.
Senator Abaribe raised a point of order in relation to President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement yesterday in London where the President blamed the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi for the current spate of violence across the country.
According to Abaribe, the President’s blame game is an indication of incompetence by the Commander-in-Chief.
He said: “This chamber has discussed the killings in Nigeria. I recall that on the matter of herdsmen and farmers’ clashes, two explanations were given by highly ranked security chiefs. The Inspector General of Police said that the killings were as a result of laws being passed by states while the Defence minister said it was as a result of the blockage of grazing routes.
“Yesterday, in London, the Commander-in-Chief and President of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari said that these killings were as a result of the people who were trained by Muammar Gaddafi, implying that the people who are doing the killings in Nigeria are invaders from outside of Nigeria.
“If so, it validates my last point that when a Commander-in-Chief says he cannot take care of invaders, why is he still a Commander-in-Chief? Why do we still continue to indulge this President that goes along to tell everybody outside this country that he is totally incompetent? It is obvious…”
At this point there was uproar in the Senate fueled by angry APC Senators who felt Abaribe’s comment was disrespectful to the Office of the President.
The tension on the floor was heightened as an APC Senator from Jigawa, Abdullahi Gumel stood up and tried to make his way to the PDP minority wing of the Senate in a confrontational manner.
He was however restrained by the Senate Majority Leader, Ahmed Lawan who raised a point of order to demand an apology form the Abia Senator.
Abaribe was initially defiant but later offered a half-hearted apology, saying “If any word I used was misunderstood by anyone, I apologize”.