Crisis brews in Senate over sharing of Committees between APC, PDP

Dino Melaye
There is a strong indication that another crisis might erupt in the Senate next month when the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, will announce the Chairmen and membership of the Senate Standing Committees.
Already, a pointer to this is the ‎recent constitution of the Special Senate Standing Committees, in which Senators of both the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party shared the chairmanship positions on equal basis.
The committees are Senate Services, chaired by Ibrahim Gobir, who is an APC senator from Sokoto State; Rules and Business, chaired by Senator Babajide Omoworare, who is also an APC senator from Osun State; Ethics and Privileges, chaired by Samuel Anyanwu (PDP, Imo East); and Public Accounts Committee, Andy Uba (PDP, Anambra South).
Our correspondent reports that in the previous Senate, opposition parties were only given five chairmanship slots.
For instance, during the Seventh Senate, Senator Olugbenga Obadara (ACN) chaired the Senate Committee on Privatisation; Senator Ahmad Lawan (ANPP) chaired the Senate Committee on Public Accounts; Senator Patrick Akinyelure chaired Ethics and Privileges and Public Petitions; Senator Ajayi Borofice (LP) chaired Senate Committee on Science and Technology; while Senator Ayo Adeseun (ACN) chaired the Senate Committee on Capital Market.
However, our correspondent learnt that with the current arrangement going on the in the Upper Chamber and taking into cognisance the controversial Senate Rule Book, the chairmanship of the 57 standing committees might be shared equally among the APC and PDP.
This is contrary to the recent assurance by the Senate spokesperson, Dino Melaye, during an interview with our correspondent in Abuja, when he said that the APC senators would chair most of the committees.
Already, the Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, had said in interview with newsmen last week that the standing committees, according to tradition, would be announced next month when members resume from their current long annual recess.
Saraki had also asked senators who might wish to serve in the Senate Standing Committees to pick forms from the Clerk to the Senate and indicate five committees where they wish to serve as soon as possible.
The controversial amendments made to the Senate Rules 2015 had made it mandatory for the leadership of the upper chamber to share headship of the committees equally among the six geopolitical zones.
Specifically, Order 3 (4) of the Senate Standing Orders 2015, as amended, states: “The appointment of senators as chairmen and members of committees shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the six geopolitical zones of the country and there shall be no predominance of senators from a few geo-political zones.”

Culled from the eagleonline
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