COSMAS EKPUNOBI and ADEKUNLE ADESUJI:
Libyan President, Muammar Gaddafi came under fire in the Senate yesterday as the Senate President, David Mark dismissed him as “a mad man” over his inflammatory remark about Nigeria.
Also yesterday the Senate passed a resolution mandating the security operatives to fish out those behind the Warri bomb blast for prosecution, even as the Upper House lampooned top government officials reported to have made uncomplimentary remarks over the blast.
The resolution followed a motion by the deputy majority leader of the Senate, Victor Ndoma-Egba drawing the attention of his colleagues to last Monday’s attack on post amnesty conference in Warri, Delta State by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta.
The Libyan leader was reported to have called for the division of Nigeria along religious lines (Christians-Muslims) as the only way to avert further blood bath in the land.
However, Mark enjoined Nigerians to ignore Gaddafi.
Trouble started on the floor of the Senate yesterday when Senator Ayim Ude through a point of order drew the attention of the lawmakers to a recent call by Gaddafi for the division of Nigeria along religious lines.
But Mark said discussing Gaddafi’s remark would amount to giving unnecessary publicity to “a mad man.”
He said: “Why do you want to give a mad man that level of publicity. He said the same thing about Switzerland, he said the same thing about England and it did not work. In my own opinion, I do not think he needs that publicity at all.”
Other senators who spoke to journalists at the end of the session also came down heavily on the Libyan leader.
Senator Joel Danlami described him as a reckless and an incurable madman who should restrict his advice and energy to his country Libya.
“He is a reckless leader and his madness is incurable. Nigerians have lived together and we have mixed, intermarried as Christians and Muslims and I believe we need to live together. Even in Israel, we still have Muslims, in some places, Arabs are there and I believe he has lost his conscience and he is not a leader people should believe in.
“He should carry his cross and he should limit himself to Libya. Nigeria is not the only country that has crisis, what will he say of Sudan? What solution will he give to Sudan where religious crisis has been ravaging them? It is madness. He is mentally unstable. Gaddafi is reckless and people like him should be disregarded.”
In his own contribution, Senator Otaru Ohize said that Gaddafi’s utterance was a great disservice to Nigeria, which should be taken with a pint of salt.
He said: “It is not something we should give weight to. He is not wishing Nigeria well; it is the greatest disservice to Nigeria and it is condemnable and it amount to nonsense, let us ignore him.”
Also contributing, Senator Mohammed Jibril said Gaddafi no doubt was out of his senses to make such comment.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives yesterday frowned at comment made by Gaddafi that Nigeria should be divided into two.
In separate reactions by lawmakers, they condemned the suggestion saying he does have the knowledge of the Nigeria.
In his own comment, Hon. Emmanuel Jime said: “It is unfortunate because his opinion bothers on ignorance and it is impossible because if you go to the northern part of the country you will see Muslims and Christians from the same compound. Gaddafi’s suggestion is a reckless suggestion. It is surprising that a man that has been advocating a strong Africa is making such statement. He should not be given much credit because doesn’t deserve much attention.”
He said Nigeria problem was non-religious, adding that Nigerians have been together and there is need to focus on factors that bind us together.
Dino Melaye said Gaddafi’s comment should not been taken serious because a man of his age should have a symptom of misbehavior.
“The country is formed by God so mere statement of a lunatic should not shake us. We are united; our problem is domestic and is going to be tackled domestically. Distance between Nigeria and Libya is very wide.”
On his own, Patrick Asadu said: “Gaddafi is seeing Nigeria as a great competitor so he is not in the best position to tell us what to do. He’s dreaming of becoming the President of Africa. If you want to divide this country, how can we divide Jos?”
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