Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
Twenty-four hours after the defection of Senator Yele Omogunwa (Ondo South) from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) between APC and PDP senators resulted in a walk-out by the latter, both camps held a closed-door meeting yesterday after which they resolved to put the matter behind them.
The opposition senators staged a walk-out during Wednesday’s plenary following the refusal of Senate President Bukola Saraki to heed their calls to declare the seat of Omogunwa vacant.
The PDP senators had insisted that since there was no division in PDP as provided in Section 68(g,h) of the constitution as the only basis for defection, Omogunwa’s action was a breach of the constitution and hence his seat should be declared vacant. But their call fell on deaf ears. But after yesterday’s meeting,the Senate Deputy Leader, Bala Na’Allah, said continuous co-operation between the APC and PDP caucuses was necessary in the interest of peace.
He said: “I honestly and sincerely commend the patriotism, the commitment of the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus ably guided by Distinguished Senator Godswill Akpabio and supported by distinguished Senator Ike Ekweremadu. And to happily say that as from today, I feel happy that I have been vindicated that this Senate is a distinct Senate; that this Senate means well for this country and there is nothing and I repeat, there is nothing that we do not have the capacity to resolve politically. I thank the leadership of PDP caucus for that very good quality.”
Responding, Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, said the matter had been amicably resolved as the meeting provided the platform to sort out their differences in the interest of peace and unity.
Responding, Saraki said: “I can also note and add a word to commend the friends of the PDP caucus and continue to show that this Senate is one family. As we have always said, the major issues are national issues. We are here representing the country and the people that voted for us. The issues before us are not really known but what is important is to continue to move Nigeria forward and I must continue to appreciate the collaboration and the brotherhood that has existed in this chamber and will continue to exist in the interest of this great country.”