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Senate committees: Marafa, Wakili in near fisticuffs

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Two All Progressives Congress (APC) Senators, Kabiru Marafa and Ali Wakili almost exchanged blows over the constitution of Senate committees by Senate President Bukola Saraki.

Marafa had sought further explanation from Saraki on his observation that the manner of the constitution of Senate committees was in contravention of Senate Standing Rules.

The Zamfara Central lawmaker had last week told the Senate that because Saraki failed to subject the constitution of the committees to the approval of the Senate, the committees were illegal and non existent.

He also faulted the composition of the Senate Selection Committee headed by Saraki saying specifically that the Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah, is not the proper person to represent the Northwest because there were more ranking Senators than him.

At the resumption of plenary yesterday, Marafa attempted to bring up the issue again during the debate on Senate Legislative Agenda.

Saraki ruled him out of order on the ground that the Senate Rule frowns at reopening issues upon which the Senate had drawn conclusion.

Saraki said the Votes and Proceedings on the composition of Senate committees had already been adopted.

At this stage, Marafa stormed out of the Senate chamber and headed for the Senate Press Corps Centre.

Unknown to him, Wakili was trailing him and followed him to the Press Centre where altercation ensued.

Wakili (Bauchi South) said: You have come here to disgrace the Senate again. Is this what you want to do for the next four years?

Marafa: I will, I will. Because I am not working for you.

Wakili: You cannot sit down there and fight against the Senate.

Marafa: I am representing Nigeria and representing my people. And let me tell you, even the nonsense thing they are saying about suspension, nobody can suspend a senator.

Wakili: You are playing to the gallery. You are playing your script. Who has ever spoken about your suspension?

Marafa: Let us talk about issues.

Wakili: I have discussed your issues in today’s Mirror.

Marafa: Mirror, which Mirror? Let us do it (address journalists).

Wakili: Newspaper.

Marafa: Who, my own?

Wakili: Yes.

Marafa: Mirror (Get me National Mirror). I will respond to it. We raised issues. And we give Orders and point of Constitution.

Wakili: That is not what your Constituency sent you here (to do).

Marafa: Are you one of them?

Wakili: We are talking of poverty, education. You are wasting your energy here on useless Point of Order. I am warning you.

Marafa: It is not useless. You can’t say that Point of Order is useless.

Wakili: I will go to your constituency and see what you have done there.

Marafa: Go back. I will go to your own. I was in politics before you when you were wearing uniform.

At this stage the two Senators started dragging each other’s attire.

Wakili: Gentlemen of the Press, there are issues bed evilling this country…. (Marafa interrupted him).

Marafa: Even if you are God-fearing, because they made you Chairman, a bloody newcomer

Chairman of a committee, that is why you are talking this way. I am not anybody’s game plan. I am speaking the minds of Nigerians.

Wakili: Come, you are a storm in the Senate teacup and a Gad-fly.

Marafa: I told you I was in politics when you were wearing uniform (dragging Wakili’s attire).

Wakili: Leave me, look at it. That is not the issue. How old are you?

Marafa: It doesn’t matter.

Wakili: Let’s go.

Marafa: (Talking to journalists). He said he raised issues in National Mirror. Let him say the issues, I will respond to them now, here.

Wakili: You see, your experience has not helped you. It (Senate Rule) says that where such a matter has been decided, you cannot raise it again.

Marafa: That is nonsense! That is hypocrisy. The problem with Senate President is that he was unwilling to learn his job. In the four years he stayed there, he was absent most of the time.

Wakili: You are too personal. And this is not going to help you.

 

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