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Yar’Adua: Unease as Senate sits today

*Northern groups move to calm senators

By Emmanuel Aziken

ABUJA—Unease and uncertainty were yesterday clouding today’s resumption of the Senate following continued efforts, weekend, by a group of Senators to compel the handover of presidential powers to Vice-President, Goodluck Jonathan.

Northern interest groups outside the Senate were alleged to have moved in weekend to douse the tension and protect the north’s primacy in the polity. The northern Senator appointed by Senators to coordinate the mobilization for the transfer of presidential powers was reportedly invited by a very prominent first class traditional ruler from the Northwest for talks on the issue last weekend.

Meanwhile, despite the increasing numerical strength of the agitating Senators, the Senate leadership, Vanguard gathered yesterday, was now moving to frustrate the planned motion on the fear that it would escalate tension in the polity.

The President of the Senate, Senator David Mark was last night scheduled to hold a meeting with the principal officers of the Senate where the issue was expected to be tackled.

Sources close to the group of Senators quoted their leader as having assured the prominent traditional ruler that President Yar‘Adua was not under any threat of impeachment.

“You know if there was anything like impeachment he (Senator) would not be involved in it. The north will have to hold on to power the only thing we want is for the President to designate his deputy as acting President so that the country can move forward.”

CNPP urges Senate to give Yar’Adua one week ultimatum

His assurance nonetheless, the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, yesterday urged the Senate to give the President a one week ultimatum to comply with section 145 of the constitution, warning them that they would be the victims of any consequences arising from their failure to act immediately.

The number of Senators who have signed the proposed motion for the implementation of Section 145 of the constitution requiring the President to hand over to his deputy, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan could not be ascertained as at press time as the group’s members began to dodge the issue yesterday. Though some Senators contacted yesterday confirmed being contacted to sign the motion, they all refused to give their response on the issue.

The secrecy of the Senators, it was learnt, was being linked to the increasing determination of the Senate leadership to frustrate the move of the Senators.

Sources in the leadership confirmed the disinterest of the Senate hierarchy to the moves against President Yar‘Adua. As at press time the issue was reportedly not listed on the order paper for today’s sitting.


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