Lagos -The showdown between loyalists of the Senate President
Dr. Chuba Okadigbo’s and deputy senate president, Alhaji Haruna Abubakar was aborted Sunday night in Abuja following a reconciliatory move by three state governors.
The governors— Alhaji Abdulahi Kure of Niger State, Alhaji Musa Kwakwanso of Kano State and Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu of Nassarawa State, all of the ruling People’s Democratic Party, reconciled the warring members of the Senate, after a protracted meeting that began this morning in Abuja.
Consequently, at a press conference held Sunday night at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja, all the principal parties in the conflict, that cast shadows of doubt on the survival of Nigeria’s democracy, resolved to put the issue behind them in the interest of the country’s nascent democracy.
The two principal actors in the conflict
Dr. Chuba Okadigbo, Haruna Abubakar and the speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Ghali Na- Abba arrived at the venue of the press conference in the same Lexus car with registration number BE 200 AD.The Speaker drove the car. Their arrival was devoid of siren and police escort.
Earlier while addressing journalists, the National Chairman of the ruling party, Chief Barnabas Gemade, said that the principal officers and some elders of the party have been able to re-establish confidence and cordiality amongst the different groups in the National Assembly.
Thanking the Governors for helping to bring about the reconciliation, Chief Gemade assured that the leadership of the National Assembly would meet on Tuesday June 6, 2000 at 2.00 p.m. to continue to deal with the supplementary appropriation bill as well as the Niger Delta Development Commission bill adding that a when they dispose off these, they will recess as they deem fit.
Both Okadigbo and Haruna were equally grateful
To the peace makers for helping to douse the tension which the crisis has generated in the last few days.
Nigeria’s politics was heated up in the past few days after Senate President Okadigbo announced that the Senate would be going on recess till July. A mutiny spearheaded by his deputy, Haruna Abubakar followed, with 57 senators announcing they would reconvene the Senate without Okadigbo. The disappearance of the mace, a symbol of senatorial authority worsened the political drama as the rebellious senators not only accused the senate president of stealing, but also invited the police to search for the senate in Okadigbo’s official residence in Abuja.
The police invasion was condemned by many Nigerians. US President Bill Clinton was also said to have expressed dismay at the development. Just as Nigerians were expecting the crisis coming to a climactic end this week, what with the warring groups announcing different dates for the convening of the Senate, the peacemakers moved in to stop the furore from further degenerating.
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