Embattled Senator Dino Melaye’s decision to sit on an interim seat near where the former Senate President David Mark usually sits, has sent observers thinking if it was his subtle announcement of a (proposed) defection to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, to which Mark belongs.
Mild drama started when the senator who represents Kogi West in the Senate urged the Senate President, Bukola Saraki to order the sergeants-at-arms to create a space for him on the side of the minority Peoples Democratic Party, saying that he would sit near the former Senate President, David Mark, in the interim.
Members of the opposition party, PDP, after Melaye’s speech, then ushered him to a seat beside Mark’s own, even though Mark was absent at the proceedings.
Saraki, however, ruled that there was no need for Melaye to relocate to another seat.
Senator Ahmad Lawan, who is the Majority Leader, also raised a point of order saying that Dino Melaye remains a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress and could only change seats on the side dedicated to the majority party.
Lawan then asked the Chief Whip, Senator Sola Adeyeye, to take Melaye back to the APC section.
Ike Ekweremadu, the Deputy President of the Senate, saw the issue differently, however.
Quoting relevant sections of the Constitution, Ekweremadu argued that it was part of ensuring Melaye’s welfare, which is part of the duties of government to its citizens, that the lawmaker should be allowed to sit anywhere he chooses.
Also, the Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, said the PDP caucus would welcome Melaye to sit with them as part of being their “brother’s keeper.”
He also noted that any member of the Senate is free to sit in any part of the chamber.
Melaye eventually settled for a seat in the PDP section.