Senator Marafa Reacts Over The new Committee Saraki Gave Him To Chair

A member of the Unity Forum who has been at loggerheads with the Bukola Saraki-led leadership of the Senate, Senator Kabir Marafa, has described Thursday’s reshuffle of the leadership of committees in senate as a result of efforts the APC has been putting in place to end crisis in the upper chamber.

He said the party leadership had, in the last few days, been reconciling APC caucus in the Senate.

Marafa spoke with State House correspondents on Friday shortly after he met behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The embattled President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, had on Thursday conceded the chairmanship of committees that lawmakers considered “juicy” to some members of the Senate Unity Forum, who, in 2015, opposed his candidacy and supported Senator Ahmed Lawan.

Members of the forum, who got the chairmanship of the “juicy committees”, included Marafa, who became the Chairman of the Petroleum Resources (Downstream) Committee from National Identity and National Population Committee.

Marafa, who described the reshuffling of committees as a routine exercise, however, said Thursday’s exercise was different because of the circumstances prevailing in the Senate.

He said, “Reshuffling of committees is nothing new in any parliament. Maybe what made that of Thursday a bit new is the circumstances that surrounded the emergence of the present leadership in the Senate and what followed.

“In the last few days, the party has been on top of the situation, trying to reconcile their children. The APC caucus in the Senate has been badly fragmented and the party wants to see an end to that.

“What you see now is a result of the efforts the party has been putting in place in the last few days.”

Marafa said it would be correct to say that peace had returned to the upper chamber as far as the wish of the party is respected.

He said his disagreement with Saraki and the leadership was not personal but about party loyalty.

The lawmaker said he and some others decided to toe the line of the party on the choice of Senate leaders because that was the most sensible thing to do.