By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara, have given reasons why the envisaged reconvening of the two chambers of the National Assembly will not hold in the immediate future and asked legislators to go about their affairs while on holiday.
Saraki and Dogara in a joint statement on Tuesday morning confessed that there were proposals to reconvene to deliberate on the reports of the Joint Committees on Electoral Matters arising from interactions with officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The presiding officers, however, said that the meetings have not taken place and that many legislators have also gone on hajj making the prospects for reconvening improbable.
The statement, however, came against the background of continuing tension in the Senate over plans by some senators inspired by the All Progressives Congress, APC national leadership to force Saraki out of office as Senate President.
The statement issued on behalf of the presiding officers by their spokespersons, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Senate and Turaki Hassan, House read thus:
“The Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, have directed that we inform all Senators, Honorable members and the public that a date has not been set for the reconvening of the Senate and the House of Representatives to consider the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) 2019 elections budget request forwarded by President Muhammadu Buhari on July 17, 2018.
“The leadership of the two chambers had met and agreed to reconvene to consider the proposal this week before which a meeting between the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Electoral Matters and officials of the INEC must have held on or before Monday August 13, 2018.
“The joint committees were also expected to meet with the joint Senate and House Committees on Appropriations, Loans and Debts on the Eurobond loan request after which two reports would have been ready for presentation in the two chambers.
“However, no such meeting had taken place yet as a result of which both Senate and House of Representatives cannot reconvene as there is no report to consider.
“Until the Committees have a ready report for the consideration of the two chambers, it will be most irresponsible to recall members from recess especially those that may have travelled to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj.”