Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South) has explained why his bill seeking the establishment of an Armed Forces Service Commission, which caused a rumpus in the Upper Chamber, was rejected.
Reports reveal APC Senators like Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, Abdullahi Adamu, Adamu Aliero and Mohammed Bulkachuwa had kicked against the bill while their PDP counterparts like Emmanuel Bwacha, Chukwuka Utazi and James Manager supported it.
While supporters of the bill argued it was merely to give effect to a constitutional provision for the National Assembly to create the Armed Forces Service Commission, APC Senators said the proposal was meant to whittle down the powers of the President.
But speaking on Wednesday during an interview on Channels TV politics Today, Abaribe said he is not considering “altering” the bill but intends to re-present the bill.
“People didn’t understand what that bill is all about; it is a bill that is incumbent upon us as the National Assembly to pass because it is embedded in the constitution – section 219 of the constitution
“And it is a very simple and straightforward bill, what happened that day was that we have among some of my colleagues a default position, every little thing that you say, they say oh, he is against President Buhari… Oh okay, let us say no, without looking at the content that you have brought out.
“And all they thought was that we wanted to whittle down the powers of President Buhari and that is not what the bill is all about…All that the bill was about is to let us do what is in the constitution.”
Citing the constitution, he said the bill talks about three specific sections of 217, 218, and 219.
Abaribe further explained the bill seeks to establish the Armed Forces Service Commission to ensure the composition/appointment of Service Chiefs of the Armed Forces of the Federation reflects the Federal Character of Nigeria in the manner prescribed in Section 217 (3) of the 1999 Constitution.
He agreed there is a perceived lopsidedness in the appointment of service chiefs and other security agencies by President Buhari.
Abaribe affirmed he intends to re-present the bill and that was the only reason he stood it down.
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