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March 1, 2021

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What started as a solemn debate on a motion in the Senate on Tuesday, soon turned into a chaotic session when Smart Adeyemi (APC, Kogi West) said people of Abia State are governed by drunkards.

The lawmaker also called the state governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, a ‘champagne drinking man’.

He was contributing to a motion on the urgent need for the restoration and revalidation of the Safe School Initiative in Nigeria when he digressed.

The motion was sponsored by Stephen Odey (Cross River North).

In his motion, Mr Odey noted that the “Safe School Initiative” launched in 2014 to promote the security and safety of schools, pupils, student, teachers, and facilities has not been effective.

He cited the increase in cases of insecurity in the country, with the target at schools in diverse locations as a major factor.

The lawmaker referred to the kidnap of the Chibok and Dapchi School Girls in Borno and Yobe States respectively, the Kankara School Boys in Katsina State and, recently, the kidnap of students of Government Science College, Kagara in Rafilga Local Government Area of Niger State, which he said had exposed the unimaginable decadence and dilapidation in the schools in Nigeria – drawing inference from the footages from the school environments.

A few lawmakers had made their contributions when Mr Adeyemi stood up to make his.

Verbal barbs

He went on to praise his state governor, Yahaya Bello, for taking serious measures to tackle insecurity.

He said while some governors are doing their best, ”Kogi State is lucky to have a governor who has taken the issue of security as a serious priority”.

“Some governors are committed to the protection of their people, in my state the governor awarded contracts for the renovations of schools and provides security services to them.

“In some states of Nigeria today, where we have highly intelligent people, highly educated people, very enterprising people. Like Abia, they are governed by drunkards. The governor of Abia is a champagne drinking man.

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“Abia people are impoverished more than ever before. Abia people are unfortunate,” he said. He did not elaborate on why he chose to take on the state in his tirade.

READ ALSO: Again, gunmen attack police station in Abia, kill two officers 

He was quickly stopped by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, who turned off his (Adeyemi) microphone amidst murmuring in the chamber.

The Senate President cautioned Mr Adeyemi against the use of insulting language.

The Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, also cautioned his colleague and demanded that an apology be made to the Abia State governor.

Debate

At the end of the debate, the Senate urged the federal government to collaborate with the various state governments, in order to restore, revive and revalidate the Safe School Initiative in Nigeria and design and implement a workable arrangement to deploy well-armed security teams around all schools in Nigeria.

They called on President Muhammadu Buhari to make the necessary directives in this regard. The lawmakers urged the Federal Ministry of Education to urgently design a blueprint on the implementation of this programme.

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