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Bill seeking power rotation suffers setback in Senate

Thedemand for power rotation among the different zones by some sections of the country suffered a set-back yesterday in the Senate as senatorsrejectedthebillseeking to legalise power rotation across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria. The bill was sponsored by Senator Patrick Abba Moro (PDP Benue South), and was to pass second reading after hisleaddebate, butmostsenators who contributed to the debate vehemently kicked against it. The bill is entitled “A bill for an Act to provide for the rotation of power and for other related matters there in 2022.”

In his lead debate, Abba Moro said that there was need for a law to legalise rotation of power across the various geographical divides in the country. He pointed out that such legislation, if passed into law, would not only promote the principles of equity, fairness and justice among the various geographical divides, but also ensure sense of belonging required for nationhood of a heterogeneous country like Nigeria. “If there is a law on power rotation in Nigeria, it will help to ameliorate the squabble for power, particularly the presidency across the various six geo – political zones, and also promote unity in the country,” he said.

However, in their contributions, senators kicked against the bill on the grounds of running against provisions of the 1999 Constitution. First to reject the move was Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah (APC Kebbi South), who said the bill should have been presented as one seeking for amendment of relevant provisions of the Constitution, and not just one seeking legislation from the Senate or by extension, the National Assembly. “In as much as it is good for power to rotate across the various divides in the country, none of the provisions of the 1999 constitution gives room for that because it throws such privilege open to all Nigerians at all times.

“Without legislation or law on power rotation, a mi-nority like former President Goodluck Jonathan became President of this country a few years back just as we have a minority in person of President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, leading the 9th Senate. “So, I don’t think there is any need for a specific law to be put in place for power rotation and even if any move is to be made in that direction, it has to be through constitutional amendment,” he averred. The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege (APC Delta Central), in his contribution, also kicked against the bill by making similar submissions like Bala Ibn Na’Allah, which made Moro to hurriedly withdraw the bill through order 42 of the Senate standing rules.

 

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