The Senate was thrown into chaos Wednesday as lawmakers argued over sitting arrangements.
The confusion erupted after the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, refused to allow former minority leader, Godswill Akpabio, contribute to a point of order earlier raised by Bassey Akpan.
Mr Saraki said he would not recognise Mr Akpabio’s contribution because he was not sitting in the appropriate seat.
“Senator… eh… former Minority Leader, you know you can’t speak from there. You can’t. Go to your seat, when you get to your seat, I’ll recognise you,” he said.
He, thereafter, asked the leader of the Senate to proceed with other items on the Order Paper.
But the senate leader, Ahmed Lawan, stood up to defend Mr Akpabio.
“If he decides to sit there, let him. There is no microphone there. Let us not take the panadol for his headache. Let me advise, that even though we have only six, seven months to go, let’s do what is right,” he said.
Thereafter, lawmakers began to shout at one another, with each person trying to defend his or her party.
Efforts by the senate president to call senators to order were unsuccessful as some of them were seen rising from their seats to confront colleagues from the opposition parties.
Mr. Akpabio, a former governor of Akwa Ibom State, is a first-time senator. He was elected to the upper chamber on the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
But he defected to the governing All Progressives Congress weeks ago. He also resigned his position as minority leader of the chamber.
In contrast, Mr. Saraki was elected to the Senate on the platform of the APC but he soon fell out with the party after he emerged senate president against the wishes of the party and its leadership.
That left him in constant confrontation with the party and President Muhammadu Buhari, culminating in his return to the PDP from which he joined the APC in 2013.