PAN Yoruba socio- political group, Afenifere, on Sunday said it was alarmed that the sitting of the Senate on Thursday 27th July, 2017 slated to debate and approve the Shehu Sani-led committee report on loan meant for Lagos-Ibadan rail project had only two out of the 18 senators from South West in attendance.
Afenifere lamented the situation in a statement made available by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yinka Odumakin, describing the figure of South West senators as not only “appallingly embarrassing” on a normal legislative day but more of a treason against the people they represented given that an issue slated for discussion was of critical importance to the South West.
“Afenifere is alarmed that the sitting of the Senate on Thursday 27th July, 2017 had only 2 out of the 18 Senators from the South West in attendance.
“This figure is appallingly embarrassing on a normal legislative day but is more of a treason against the people they represent given that an issue of critical importance to the South West was on the table for discussion,” Afenifere said, just as it further described the incident as a sad day for the South West more when the senators, who were representatives of the zone were not unaware that the issue was coming up for discussion.
The group, however, recalled that it took intense lobbying by the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, to save the project from being stalled by senators from other zones in the country.
According to it, this is “in spite of the persuasive argument by Senator Sani’s Committee that the Lagos-Ibadan project was a pilot one by the funders to see how effective we can be before approving the requests in other zones.
Lagos Ibadan rail project is funded by loans from China sourced by the Federal government.”
Afenifere, while expressing appreciation to senators from other zones for saving the project from being killed “when our own representatives were not available at their duty posts,” insisted that, “Our absentee senators owe their constituents explanation on this gross dereliction of duty at the most crucial moment.”
“The Yoruba nation has had quality and effective representation at the National Assembly in the past not to be shocked by this un serious approach to legislative duties. We seriously admonish a rethink and more dedication to duty by our elected representatives,” the group charged.