The Senate on Wednesday, has appointed Oyelola Yisa Ashiru from the All Progressives Congress, representing Kwara South, as the Deputy Leader of the Senate. Additionally, Senator Nwebonyi Onyeka was appointed as the new Deputy Chief Whip.
These announcements were made by Senate President Godswill Akpabio during the plenary session. Senator Ashiru, who previously held the position of Deputy Chief Whip, was promoted to the role of Deputy Leader of the Senate, a position that became vacant after Senator Dave Umahi was appointed as the Minister of Works by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Furthermore, the Senate decided to postpone the discussion of a motion requesting the reopening of the Nigeria-Niger borders. It’s worth remembering that, following the coup in Niger, the Nigerian government had ordered the closure of all borders with Niger and had also cut off power supply to the country in August.
During Tuesday’s plenary, Senator Suleiman Kawu Sumaila (NNPP, Kano) presented a motion highlighting the adverse economic effects of the border closure on various border towns in states such as Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Kebbi, Jigawa, Borno, and Yobe. Senator Sumaila urged the Federal Government to consider reopening the borders, emphasizing that the closure contradicted the provisions of the Nigerian constitution, which guarantee the security and welfare of citizens.
However, Senate President Godswill Akpabio mentioned that the Red Chamber had decided to support the resolutions of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) concerning the political situation in Niger Republic. As a result, he encouraged Senator Sumaila to withdraw the motion, citing security implications associated with reopening the borders. Senator Sumaila subsequently withdrew the motion.
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