A group known as Open Society and Good Governance Initiative on Tuesday, embarked on a protest to the National Assembly, demanding that the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki be suspended instead of Kabiru Marafa who was being investigated by the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions over Media interviews he granted to the media a fortnight ago.
The protesters bearing various placards with inscription “suspend Senator Bukola Saraki not Kabiru Marafa”, noted that the embattled Marafa was exercising his freedom of speech and opinion, and such must not incur the wrath of the Senate because as a Senator, it behoves on him to air his views on issues.
President of the group, Mr. Emeka Ude told DAILY POST that there was need to strengthen democracy by allowing free speech as enshrined in the Constitution, while also expressing disappointment over Dr. Bukola Saraki-led Senate’s attempt to shut down vibrant Senators instead of resigning his position as Senate President to face his trial at the CCT.
“We are here to protest because it was lawful for the likes of Senator Marafa to express his views and where that was considered as undermining the integrity of the Senate as was the case to the extent that they were considering suspension of Marafa was rather unfortunate”, Ude said.
He added: “Several Senators have made unpalatable comments on issues in the past and none was suspended for such. Was it because this one bothers on Car purchase which was meant to service their ego rather than National development?,” he asked.
Meanwhile the Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Samuel Anyanwu earlier submitted the report on Marafa during plenary. This follows the motion moved by Deputy Leader of the Senate, Bala Ibn ‘N’allah and the motion was seconded by Senator David Umaru representing Niger East Senatorial District.
With the submission of Samuel Anyanwu’s report, the issue has now been set to be discussed by the Committee of the whole at any other plenary against the expectation that the Committee might have recommended his expulsion which should be pronounced today.