13 June 2019

Nigeria: Senate Rejects Motion Seeking to Debate Buhari's Democracy Day Speech

The majority of Nigerian senators Thursday voted against a motion to debate President Muhammadu Buhari's Democracy Day speech in plenary.

The motion to scrutinise the speech was moved by Istifanus Gyang (Plateau-PDP).

Coming under Order 52 of the Senate standing order, Mr Gyang asked his colleagues, through the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, to grant him the leave to present a motion on a matter of public importance.

"The matter of urgent national importance I am bringing before this Senate has to do with the democracy day speech of President Muhammadu Buhari of the 12th June 2019. This speech is already in the public domain. I am asking that in view of the interest it has generated... ," he said.

The lawmaker was cut short by Mr Lawan who asked to seek the consent of other senators to entertain the motion. After putting the question, the majority of the lawmakers voted against the motion and it was consequently shut down.

It is not clear which part of the speech Mr Gyang wanted to raise.

Highlights of the speech delivered at Eagle's Square, Abuja on Wednesday include a proposal for the renaming of the National Stadium after the widely acclaimed winner of 1993 election, Moshood Abiola.

Mr Buhari also promised to take 100 million Nigerians from poverty to prosperity in the next 10 years.

Another motion shut down

Shortly after rejecting Mr Gyang's motion, another senator, Uche Ekwunife (Anambra-PDP), signified interest to present a similar motion.

Mrs Ekwunife said she had earlier informed the Senate President on presenting a motion on Mr Buhari's speech but was asked to bring it up as an amendment to Mr Gyang's prayers.

She prayed to be allowed to present her motion since she could not get the amendment opportunity as earlier arranged.

Mrs Ekwunife was asked to present her motion on another legislative day.

Mr Lawan made this ruling on the argument that she raised her point of order a little late as the Senate had that time proceeded to the first order of the day.

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