The Nigerian Senate has amended its rules, introducing a restriction that prevents first-time senators from contesting for the positions of Senate President and Deputy Senate President.
According to The PUNCH, the amendment to Section 2(1)(2) and (3) was initiated through a motion presented by Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele.
The motion was titled, “Amendment to the Standing Orders of the Senate Pursuant to Order 109 of the Senate Standing Orders, 2022.”
This rule change comes amid speculation about potential efforts by northern lawmakers to impeach the current Senate President, Godswill Akpabio.
It’s worth noting that Senator Abdulaziz Yari, a first-time senator, had previously contested for the position of Senate President but lost to Akpabio, who was supported by President Bola Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress.
Bamidele clarified in his motion that the Senate Standing Rule was amended primarily to create new committees.
He said, “There are a number of issues that require further amendments to provide for the creation of additional committees of the Senate in response to emerging developments that will enhance rules of procedure for sound legislative practice.
“These developments have made it imperative to further amend the Standing Orders of the Senate 2022 (as amended), occasioned by the creation of additional Senate Standing Committees and to have the functions and jurisdictions reflected in the Standing Orders of the Senate.
“The amendments have been circulated to senators in accordance with Order 109 Rule 2 the Senate Standing Orders.”
He urged the Senate to “restrain first-time lawmakers from contesting for any of the presiding officers; Senate President and Deputy Senate President.”
Subsequently, the legislators reached a unanimous consensus to modify their regulation in order to permit the inclusion of prayers, as proposed by the Senate Leader.
In response to the need for increased organisational capacity, the Senate made revisions to its regulations, so facilitating the establishment of nine new standing committees. Consequently, the total number of panels within the Senate has risen to 83.