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Walk out: Saraki, PDP senators reconcile

Senate President Bukola Saraki and the senators of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who staged a walkout from the chamber on Wednesday have renewed their camaraderie after a one hour meeting on Thursday.

The meeting, which took place at Room 301 of the Senate new building, saw Saraki and the Senators straightening what they called the “crooked legs” of their relationship.

In July, the Senate President and senators of the PDP struck an accord on a cordial relationship with the opposition party.

But Saraki’s handling of the defection of Senator Yele Omogunwa, who represents Ondo South Senatorial District from the PDP to the APC on Wednesday, had threatened the peace deal.

However, at a meeting on Thursday morning between the PDP caucus in the Senate and Saraki, the Senate President and the PDP lawmakers ended their differences.

It was gathered that the lawmakers from the main opposition party tabled a number of issues which they explained angered them and forced their walkout from the Wednesday sitting.

Sources at the meeting told Nigerian Tribune that the PDP senators told Saraki that he could have handled the issue of defection differently in view of Section 68(1)(G) of the constitution.

It was also gathered that the PDP lawmakers reminded Saraki that it was not compulsory he read the letter from the Senator since it was clear that the PDP was not divided in line with the constitutional provision.

According to a source at the meeting, the senators also reminded the Senate President that he once wrote a letter of defection during the Seventh Senate but which was not read by the then Senate President David Mark whose action only protected him (Saraki) and others involved from losing their seats in line with Section 68(1)(G) of the 1999 Constitution.

Another source informed the newspaper that the senators also told the Senate President that there was the need to stop Senator Dino Melaye from dabbling into all issues especially such as that of defection.

It was also confirmed that the Senators told Saraki of the necessity to always recognise members of the leadership and ranking senators with institutional memory whenever they indicate interest in making contributions.

A source in the know said: “It wasn’t that Saraki came to beg PDP senators. We met to straighten what you can call the crooked legs of our relationship. We told him it was not necessary to recognize Dino on all issues, especially issues like contentious matter of defection.

“We also told him that the constitution is sacrosanct and that there was no need to encourage the type of celebration we saw on Wednesday especially as he was in that shoes before when Senator Mark saved him from losing his seat.”

Sources said that the two parties resolved to resume their camaraderie following the resolution of the differences at the meeting.