The Senate expressed displeasure over incessant bloody clashes between Ezza and Effium peoples of Benue and Ebonyi States which had claimed many innocent lives across the divides .
It therefore urged the Federal Ministry of Defence, the Nigeria Police Force, and other relevant security agencies to redouble their efforts in seeing to the end of incessant carnages.
The upper legislative chamber urged the military or the police to establish security base at the boundaries between the two warring communities for required peace as a matter of urgency.
These resolutions were sequel to a motion titled “Incessant bloody clash between bordering communities of Benue and Ebonyi states: urgent need for Senate intervention, sponsored by Senator Abba Moro (PDP Benue South).
Senator Moro noted with utmost importance that human existence on planet Earth is primarily hinged to life and respecting, protecting and placing value on the sanctity of human life is the only sure way for humankind to continue to exist.
According to him, this is why the constitution of every nation, Nigeria inclusive makes it clear that everyone has a right to life and no one has such right to take the life of another or even attempt to take his own life.
He noted further that the essence of life is to “live and let live and societal living is possible only when there is communal harmony and feeling of brotherhood among members of the community”.
Sadly, however “the principle of shared polyphony and feeling of comradeship no longer exist between the bordering Communities of Ezza in Ado Local Government Area of Benue State and Effium of Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State following ceaseless Communal clashes between the duo which always leads to killing of one another and destruction of valuables and means of livelihood worth hundreds of millions”, he lamented.
He regrettably recalled that a petition on this same crisis was laid through him in the Senate on May 5, 2021 and in furtherance to that, he and his colleague, Sen.Sam Egwu of Ebonyi North Senatorial District together pleaded with their constituents “to sheath their swords and embrace peace, yet the people have refused to bid a farewell to arms and the crisis still lingers”. Unfortunately, not less than 53 people on both sides have lost their lives in the recent clashes between the Ezza and Effium people of Benue and Ebonyi states, he said. “Painfully, the crisis again started in the night and spilled into a better part of the next day as houses of the Ezza people of Ado Local Government Area of Benue State were set ablaze in the night leading to death of many Ezzas in their sleep and it doesn’t look like the incessant attacks on the peace-loving people of Ezza is coming to an end any time soon if urgent steps are not taken to permanently halt the ugly perennial mayhem suffered by the Ezza people in Ado Local Government Area of Benue State.
Senator Moro attributed the discovery of mineral resources in the area as what has aggravated the communal clashes.
He said the entire Ezza community has been sacked as over 30 persons were killed within 24 hours.
“The border community is now a ghost town as people moved away from their ancestral homes becoming “refugees in foreign land”.
Senate accordingly resolved to “urge the National Boundary Commission to exercise its powers as enshrined under Section 7 of the National Boundary Commission Act, to define and delineate boundaries between the Ezzas and Effiums in accordance with the delineation instrument or document established for that purpose so as to bring to a final end the boundary issues between the two communities.
“Urge the National Emergency Management Agency to quickly mobilise relief and rehabilitation materials to families of victims and displaced Ezzas in the recent attacks”.
Akpabio debunks impeachment rumour, says Senate is stable, harmonious
The Senate President Godswill Akpabio has debunked the rumour that some senators were plotting to impeach him.
Reating to the insinuation through his special adviser (Media and Publicity) Eseme Eyiboh in a statement, he said the Senate is stable and harmonious as it cannot be distracted by the innuendo of the merchants of political tar brush.
Eyiboh describe the rumour as a syndicated media attack from outside the precincts of the National Assembly
Reacting to what he described as syndicated reports in some weekend newspapers about plots to distabilise the Senate and its leadership, Eyiboh said the reports were complete imaginations and sometimes laced with malice to achieve what senators are yet to comprehend.
According to him the Senate has since gone past the experience of the keenly contested leadership election
Eyiboh said the plot to drag in Senators who initially did not support the emergence of the present leadership into a conspiracy that does not exist was uncharitable to the senators and a needless umbrage.
“Senators are presently concluding their holidays in their constituencies and other places they have chosen to spend their time after the rigours of the inauguration and ministerial screening and other constructive engagements,” Eyiboh said.
“All senators are also refreshing themselves ahead of the resumption, therefore, any suggestions that they are presently engaged in other subversive plots against the institution is rather uncharitable. “It is mostly uncharitable for those senators who initially did not support the emergence of the leadership but who have all unanimously endorsed the Senator Akpabio-led leadership. Continuing to link these senators with needless conspiracy with barely disguised innuendo is rather unkind.
“We call on the media not to give in to the conspiratorial tales, and not to give damage to the reputations that they have built over time,” Eyiboh concluded.
Senate says, rumour of impeachment of Akpabio is a ruse
The Senate on Saturday described as a ruse the rumour making the rounds in some media that some Senators were planning to impeach the President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio.
A press statement by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Publicity, Yemi Adaramodu said, “our attention has just been drawn to a syndicated satanic verses in a section of the media, of purported and illusory plots of leadership change in the Senate.
Top politicians strongly opposed to the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, were alleged to have planned to remove him when the Senate resumes later this month.
The forces were reported to be upset that the former Akwa Ibom State Governor is playing the role of a lap dog for President Tinubu rather than serving the overall interest of lawmakers and Nigerians
They alleged that Akpabio’s closeness to the president has made him not pay full attention to his colleagues and work hard enough to meet the expectations of Nigerians despite the challenges in the country.
But Adaramodu said,
“The Nigerian Senate is one united and fraternal family. This imaginative composition is in the realm of the fake and fallacious story of 100m per legislator. It’s apt to note that the 10th Senate, under the leadership of Senator Godswill Akpabio, has carried out its legislative and constitutional duties diligently.
“Within a span of less than 60 Legislative days, the Senate has passed life enhancing bills and motions. It has screened and confirmed service chiefs and ministers, among others, apart from very essential oversight functions.
“We urge the fifth columnists, who operate undoubtedly outside the Senate, desperate to cause disharmony through media stunts and thus clipping the wings of Nigeria’s democracy, to take caution.
“The Senate should be allowed fresh air to settle down for its national assignments so that the Nigerian project can move forward. The media, too, should be discerning not to be used as hand tools to these retailers of fake and bad news,” the statement added.
Benue North-East Senatorial contest: Senator Suswam returns as Tribunal Sacks APC’s Udende
Senator Gabriel Suswam of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been returned as the senator-elect for Benue North-East as the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sacked Senator Emmanuel Udende of the All Progressives Congress (APC)
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Udende as the winner of the Benue North-East senatorial election held on February 25.
Suswam, a member of the 9th senate, had lost his bid to return to the upper chamber of the National Assembly.
But he had proceeded to the court, arguing that Udende did not score majority of the lawful votes cast in the 25th February, 2023 for the Benue North East Senatorial District election.
Chairman of the three-man panel, Justice Ory Zik-Ikeorha and another member, ruled in the favour of Suswam and PDP.
The duo, in their judgment, averred that Suswam and PDP fulfilled the requirement of the law in proving their case of irregularities such as mutilation, non-signing of documents, non-inclusion of lawful votes, among others.
But, in a minority judgement, Justice Umar Mohammed, opposed the decision of the two other members of the panel, saying that the petitioner failed to proved his case.
Mohammed held that Suswam who called 19 witnesses most of who were irrelevant as the irregularities complained about were at the polling units and instead he called ward agents instead of polling unit agents.
Suswam and PDP’s petition was predicated on the ground that Udende did not score majority of the lawful votes cast during the election.
Justice Mohammed held that the evidence by Suswam was grossly insufficient to sustain his petition.
He therefore, dismissed the petition and awarded the cost of N100,000 in favour of each of the respondents against the petitioner.
Meanwhile, Innocent Daagba, on behalf of the APC, said, “we are not satisfied with the decision and will advice my client to appeal.”
The PDP, through Bemgba Iortyom, the State Publicity Secretary has applaude the judgment and congratulated the Senator.
The immediate past Governor of the State, Dr. Samuel Ortom, has also sent his congratulatory to Senator Suswam over his victory at the tribunal.
Ortom said the victory of Senator Suswam has further proven the capacity of the judiciary to uphold justice and serve as the bastion of democracy.
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