Thursday, 12 April 2018

Senate in rowdy session after Abaribe says Buhari is incompetent and over debate on Anambra oil producing status

The Senator representing Enugu North senatorial district, Chukwuka Utazi has sought the intervention of the Senate into ownership status of oil wells which have been the subject of controversy between Enugu, Kogi, and Anambra states.

Speaking through order 43, the lawmaker stated that Anambra state government had used one of its appointees, Prince Emu to grant an interview in a popular newspaper earlier in the week stating that Anambra was an oil producing state.

Utazi reminded the Senate that the federal government has since realised that it was an error for the Jonathan administration to have conferred on Anambra an oil producing state when the ownership of oil wells have not been decided upon.

According to him, “Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, the oil producing status on Anambra state has since been withdrawn.”

The Enugu North lawmaker stated that latest moves by Anambra state was already brewing crisis among communities laying claim to the wells, even as he asked the Senate Committee to wade into the matter.

“We know what we did in the past to restore peace among those warring communities, and election period is around the corner. So, we don’t want any crisis.”

However, Senator Andy Uba, rose in total condemnation of Utazi’s position, disclosing that he contributed to how Anambra became an oil producing state.

He said: “What my colleague, Utazi is saying is not correct. They said any state that produces 120,000bpd is qualified as an oil producing state and that is why Anambra was conferred.”

It took the intervention of the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki to calm nerves at the plenary, while he reminded senators that the matter came through order 43 which means it was not open to debate.

He thereafter referred the matter to the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Upstream), demanding that the report be turned-in in two weeks.

Also there was an uproar in the Senate following a statement by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe that President Muhammadu Buhari is incompetent.

Abaribe’s allegation followed an adopted order 43 which he raised in reference to the excuse which the President gave while in London that the killer herdsmen were allegedly trained by Muammar Gaddafi, the late Libyan revolutionary leader.

In his explanation, Abaribe said, before now, two excuses have been made public in several fora by the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahaman Dambazzau and the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim kpotun Idris, saying the wanton killings by armed herdsmen was because their pastoral routes were blocked while the latter was credited to have said that it was due to the new state laws against open grazing.

He said, “Yesterday in London, President Muhammadu Buhari said the killings in the country was as a result of the people who were trained by the late Muammar Gaddafi. This, therefore, validates my earlier position that the president has failed to take charge of the protection of lives and property across the country as enshrined in our constitution to be his primary responsibility.

I, so make bold to say that the president is incompetent,” Abaribe asserted.

But this generated an uproar as All Progressives Congress, APC, senators took the remark of Abaribe as a direct disrespect to Buhari, who is a member and leader of the ruling party.

Senators Ahmed Lawan, the Senate Leader and Ibn Na’Allah, the deputy leader separately raised point of orders urging the red chamber to call Abaribe to order, tender apology and for him to be guided in his remarks.

However, Abaribe, in his apology said, ” If any words I used was misunderstood, I apologise “.

Yet, the Abia lawmaker was overruled by order 53 raised by Ibn Na’Allah to the effect that Abaribe should not discuss the conduct of the President.

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