Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja
Senator Kabiru Marafa has drawn the anger of his colleagues in the Senate, especially from the Like Mind Senators (LMS) group on Tuesday, as the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions has been directed to look into the report of a said interview he granted to a newspaper (not The UNION).
But his group, members of the Senate Unity Forum (SUF), led by Senator Ahmed Lawan, however, claimed that the Red Chamber is not only hypersensitive to what the public feels about it simply because an individual senator bared his mind on an issue, but would end up biting its fingers, if any contrary thing happens.
This is even as the Senate, again adjourned for a week, after resuming from a two-week recess.
Rising under Order 14 of the Senate Standing Rules, Senator Isa Misau claimed that Marafa misled the public in the interview by telling lies against the Upper Legislative Chamber.
Misau, who claimed that he received so many calls from members of his constituency in respect of the publication, urged the Senate not to sweep the matter under the carpet.
“I think, I have been called more than 500 times from my constituency in respect of this publication. I know how much I suffered, God in his infinite mercy, granted me this privilege in 2015; and I will not allow somebody, who enjoyed the 7th Senate, to come and not allow us to do our work properly here.
“Mr. President, I think the leadership has to do something about this, the Senate should do something about this. We cannot allow one person to continue to tell lies against the Senate, misleading the public. I think it is better we take decision so that we correct things, not only Marafa, but anybody that is here would not be allowed to be misleading the public. I think it is not okay Mr. President,” Misau prayed.
Lending his voice in support of Misau, Senator Matthew Urohghide noted that such interview has the capacity of smearing the integrity of the Hallowed Chamber.
Urohghide called for a drastic decision to be taken against Marafa to serve as a deterrent to other persons that may tow similar line in bringing disrepute to the Senate.
“I want to lend my voice to the submission that was made by Senator Misau in respect to the publication of the interview that was granted by Senator Kabiru Marafa. I want to say with every vehemence and every element of responsibility that the publication smear the integrity of this House, and have totally put by hold reputation, and of course, reputations by other distinguished senators here to disrepute.
“When I got calls from a very large number of my constituents in respect of that publication, I felt diminished by that publication of that interview. The leadership of this House that I have so much reference for through out have been brought to total disrepute.
“For one other senator to think and act in a manner that will reduce my person and this institution is totally unacceptable. Mr. President, I want to say we need to take a drastic decision that will serve as a deterrent to other persons that want position or pose like Marafa that will bring this distinguished Senate to disrepute.
“If anybody had bothered to read that interview, you will know that it is an issue that we must not treat with lip gloss. It is an issue that we must look at very dispassionately, and this is not the time to raise unnecessary passions. We are all honourable men and distinguished senators of the federal republic. I don’t think all the issues raised by Marafa not only were all issues of lies, they were things that were unfounded, things that have no basis, things that have not happened in this Hallowed Chamber, and therefore, if anyone is at liberty to inform the public, if anyone is there to misguide the public, if anyone is playing to the gallery, it should not be at the expense of we distinguished senators, and of course, distinguished Hallowed Chambers.
“I want to crave the indulgence of this House, of this Senate. I want to say that we must look at it, and I hereby rise to second the motion that have been moved, and of course, the publication that have been laid by Senator Misau that we must do the needful at this time because a stitch in time saves nine,” Urohghide submitted.
However, reacting to the issue, leader of the SUF, Lawan, urged his colleagues to be more sensitive to the way they discharge their functions and mandates as provided for in the Constitution.
Marafa Draws Senate Anger Over Interview
Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja