By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Christiana Ekpa
There was fire scare in the Senate yesterday during a maintenance works which resulted in the emission of smokes in the chambers, thereby forcing senators to scamper for safety.
Consequently, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, quickly led the Senate to adopt the votes and proceedings of the previous day and adjourned plenary to next week to enable the contractors handling the maintenance of the facility in the National Assembly complete their jobs.
Moving for the adjournment of the plenary, the chairman of the Committee on Senate Services, Ibrahim Gobir, said the Senate Chamber was not conducive for the senators to conduct the business of the day.
“The condition is not very conducive because our chamber is there; yesterday we engaged the contractors working in the Senate. We believe it is on Saturday that they will be able to finish it. I, therefore, move that we adjourn the sitting till Tuesday next week, I so move,” he concluded.
In his ruling, Saraki said the suggestion being made by the Chairman of Senate Services is germane, admitting that the chamber is not conducive, hence the need to allow the members of the servicing team to finish up their works within the weekend and make the chamber conducive.
However, shortly after the plenary was adjourned over the fire scare, the National Assembly Clerk, Sani Omolori, including the Clerk of the Senate, Nelson Ayeni, were sighted rushing to the Senate President’s office obviously after they were summoned.
The two clerks had earlier gone to the technical section of the Senate wing of the complex where the electrical faults that resulted into the fire scare had originated, which is at the basement of the Senate chambers.
In another development, there are insinuations that the hasty adjournment of the plenary was a continuation of the tension created by the passing of the 2010 Electoral Act Amendment, which resulted in walkout yesterday in the chamber by ten aggrieved senators.
According to sources in the Senate, many of the aggrieved senators had for armed themselves with point of orders, determined to create a crisis in the Senate yesterday that will make it difficult for Saraki to preside over the plenary.
Sensing this development, the Senate President quickly adjourned plenary, as an only way to force the aggrieved senators to disperse without being able to implement their plots.
Our correspondents report that almost all the ten senators who had staged walkout in the chamber were seen earlier than usual in the chamber, including those of them who are hardly present on Thursdays.
Some of them are: Abdulahi Adamu (APC, Nasarawa), Abu Ibrahim (AP, Katsina), Ali Wakil (APC, Bauchi), Abdulahi Gumel (APC, Jigawa), Ibrahim Kurfi (APC, Katsina), Abdulahi Abubakar (APC, Kebbi), Andrew Uchendu (APC, Rivers), Ben Uwajimogu (APC Imo).
Meanwhile, most of the aggrieved senators, including Abu Ibrahim, were sighted by our correspondents converging in the office of the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, apparently in continuation of their plan to oust Saraki and reverse the passage of the amendment to the 2010 Electoral Act.
Efforts to get reactions from the aggrieved senators on what next line of action they will take proved abortive as they were not forthcoming to speak with our correspondents.
However, one of the aggrieved senators, Ovie Omor Agege, who had promised to release the list of the 59 senators who the group claimed are against the amendment, could not release the list when contacted as he promised to call back but did not do so as at the time of filing this report.