New Telegraph

Senate vows to defend Nigeria’s unity

…inaugurates leadership of Southern Forum

Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Age ge, yesterday, declared that members of the upper chamber of the National Assembly would remain committed to the unity of Nigeria despite the current challenges confronting the country. The declaration came on the heels of widespread insecurity across the country and the resurgence of ethno-regional nationalism and agitations for self-determination by the peoples of the Southern and Middle Belt regions of the country. Omo-Agege spoke shortly after he inaugurated leadership of the Southern Senators’ Forum (SSF) at the National Assembly.

He explained that although the Red Chamber had always had a Northern Senators’ Forum (NSF) and a Southern Senators’ Forum (SSF), the brief ceremony was meant to inaugurate the executive committee of the latter in the 9th Assembly. Omo-Agege noted that contrary to perceptions in some quarters, having separate platforms for the two broad regional blocs was not an indication of a division in their ranks, but an avenue to articulate certain common positions in the parliament.

“Let me make this clear; we are united. Both the Northern Senators’ Forum and Southern Senators’ Forum are united behind the leadership of the 9th Senate headed by Dr. Ahmad Lawan. It is a leadership that we put in place; it is a leadership that we supported then and it is a leadership that we will continue to support.

“In addition, we have all resolved that we will support a united Nigeria, notwithstanding the challenges facing this country,” he said. Chairman of the newly inaugurated Forum, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC/Ekiti) described the enthronement of the sixmember executive committee as a honour and a mark of trust bestowed on him and his colleagues. Bamidele expressed appreciation to members of the forum for founding him and others worthy to lead the group at this time. He said: “We didn’t have to defeat anybody in any election to emerge as leaders of the forum. It was by consensus and it is important that we understand that it is a position that we are holding in trust on behalf of our colleagues.

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