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Breaking: Armed Forces bill grounds Senate debate

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There was a dramatic twist to Wednesday’s Senate sitting as controversy rocked the legislative debate over a bill to establish a Commission for Armed Forces of Nigeria.

The bill was introduced by the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe over a year ago, but which came up for a second reading on Wednesday.

Abaribe’s lead debate extrapolated that the proposed Commission for Armed Forces would ensure equitable representation of Service Chiefs across the six geopolitical zones of the Country.

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He cited section 219 of the 1999 Constitution as amended which empowers the National Assembly to legislate on matters of the Armed Forces.

“A bill for an act to give effect to 219 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to provide for the establishment of Armed Forces Service Commission and for other related matters, 2021.

The motion sharply divided the Senate along Northern and Southern lines, with most northern Senators claiming politicisation of the armed forces.

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Though, the bill was voted out, sponsor of the motion, Enyinnaya Abaribe rejecting the outcome, insisted that individual votes must take place in line with order 73 ofnSenate rules.

Abaribe said: “Mr. President, this is parliament and the parliament is over twenty years old. You have been here since 1999 and you understand this. Let votes takes place”.

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Following the uproar, Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan called for close door.

After a close door meeting which last for about ten minutes, Senate President in his address on the matter stated that the sponsor of the motion has been prevailed upon to withdraw the matter.

Abaribe in further of the resolution behind one door withdrew the motion and the session was closed and adjourned till Tuesday next week.

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