SENATOR DICKSON TACKLES ADAMAWA LAWMAKER FOR FALSIFYING BAYELSA POPULATION DURING PLENARY

Senator Aishatu Ahmed Binani Dahiru came under heavy criticism for lying in her motion concerning Bayelsa State at the legislative debate on Tuesday.

Senator Binani representing Adamawa Central Senatorial district sponsored a “bill for an act to provide the legal framework to establish the Federal Medical Centre, Mubi, Adamawa State.

At the plenary, she noted that there is need to consider the bill given that Mubi was old enough to have a Federal Medical Centre.

She further made comparisons of smaller states in Nigeria, having Federal Medical Centres, including Bayelsa State.

Uncomfortable with Senator Binani’s submission, citing Bayelsa as a smaller state in Nigeria, Seriake Dickson representing Bayelsa West Senatorial district faulted the assertion that Bayelsa was smaller in population.

He said the military administration which was dominated by northern elements created states as they wished, arguing that states were not created based on population.

He said: “No one in the Senate, no one in this country, will tell Bayelsa that we have eight local governments.

“In my Senatorial district, it will take me four days to go round. In Sagbama Local Government where I come from, it took me three days to go around as governor.

The size of Bayelsa is bigger than some eight states in this country in terms of physical landmass and water bodies.

“I just feel, I should stand up to enlighten the sponsor of this bill and by so doing, the rest of Nigerians. But when people talk about population, we should be careful, because if you look deep into it and you ask, who conducted, who verified; what and what accounted, where are the houses, where are the communities; who are the residents and how justifiable are these? You discover that something is wrong.

At this point, the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan moved to protect Senator Binani, urging the visibly angered former governor, not to input ill-motives into the motion.

Lawan said: “Distinguish Senator Seriake Dickson, frankly, I have to guide this debate because you have made your point and given our standing orders, one shouldn’t input improper motives on submission by our colleagues.

“I think the discussion is not on the Bayelsa population or census conducted before.

“I think we should concentrate on the main focus of the motion that will establish the Federal Medical Centre. I agree there are many questions people would like to ask, but I think the essence of this debate is to focus on the principles and merits of the bill and you are very conversant with that process.

Dickson insisting that the bill was laced with falsehood maintained that Binani could have made her point without a reference to Bayelsa, while he called for the Bayelsa aspect to be expunged from the bill.

“What I will continue to say with due respect is that debates on this hallowed Chambers must be based on variable facts. So if anyone is standing here, she could as well make her case without making reference to Bayelsa.

“She on her own referred to populations and figures that are not verifiable.

“The base was not explained and I was only rising to explain the truth without prejudice to the merits of the bill.

“That the factual premise that she has pushed forward as the reason or one of the reasons why this bill should be considered is faulty.

“That should be expunged because it is not factual; it’s not correct.

Senate President again interjected to calm nerves, saying: “I am sure that is the way you have rounded off.

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