Suspend Saraki Not Marafa – Protesters Tell Senate


SAN FRANCISCO, February 23, (THEWILL) –  The Upper Chamber of the National Assembly was on Tuesday warned against suspending Senator Kabir Marafa (APC, Zamfara Central) who has shown strong opposition to Senator Bukola Saraki's leadership of the Senate.

This demand was made by some protesters congregating under the auspices of Open Society and Good Governance Initiative, who besieged the National Assembly premises to demand the resignation of Saraki as Senate President in view of his trial for assets falsification at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT.

It would be recalled that the Senate had last Tuesday directed its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to investigate a report in which Marafa allegedly maligned the upper legislative chamber.

This was after a senator from Bauchi state, Isa Hamman Misau, informed the House that Marafa had, in an interview with the Punch newspaper on February 7, told lies against the senate, stressing that no lawmaker should be allowed to tarnish the image of the senate.

In his contribution, a senator from Edo state, Matthew Uroghide said that Marafa's action was unacceptable and should not be treated with levity. Saraki thereafter referred the matter to the committee, directing it to submit its report within a week.

But demonstrating the same day the Ethics Committee submitted its report, the protesters displayed placards inscribed with messages such as: 'Suspend Saraki not Marafa', 'Leave the senate and face CCT trial', and 'Democracy survives on inclusiveness, not suspension'.

They were categorical that there was the need to strengthen democracy by allowing free speech as enshrined in the Constitution.