Abuja – The Nigerian Senate has passed amendments to its standing orders, effectively barring first-term senators from vying for the positions of President or Deputy President of the Senate.
This move comes in response to past instances, such as Senator Abdulaziz Yari’s bid in June of the previous year, where first-termers contested for these top leadership roles.
Senator Yari, representing APC Zamfara West, had previously utilized his ranking status as a member of the House of Representatives during the 6th National Assembly to challenge Senator Godswill Akpabio of APC Akwa Ibom Northwest for the Senate President position, ultimately losing the race.
Under the newly enacted rules, first-term senators, regardless of their prior legislative experience in the House of Representatives or State House of Assembly, are now ineligible for the positions of President and Deputy President of the Senate.
The amendment, categorized under rule 3 sub 2, 1, 2, 3, and 4, states that “a senator vying for the office of President of the Senate or Deputy President of the Senate must have at least served in the senate once.”
Additionally, the Senate introduced amendments to its standing rules related to the functions and jurisdictions of newly created standing committees in August.
The Senate Leader, Opeyemi Bamidele of APC Ekiti Central, initiated these changes, which were seconded by the Minority Leader, Senator Simon Mwadkwon of PDP Plateau North.
Earlier this year, on the 7th of August, the Senate had expanded its standing committees from 63 to 74. However, to date, none of these committees have been inaugurated, adhering to the established procedures and practices.