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Bill on Donkeys Tears Senators Apart



There was heated debate and sharp division in the Senate following consideration of a bill seeking to protect and preserve donkeys from extinction in Nigeria.

The bill was sponsored by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi (APC, Kebbi North).

Arguments against the bill started immediately when the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, called on the
Senate Leader to make his presentation on the lead debate.

The Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia South), immediately raised a constitutional
point of order against the presentation.

Abaribe cited relevant sections of the 1999 Constitution (as amended)
to kick against the bill, arguing that animals, animal husbandry and livestock were not part of the 68 items on the exclusive list which could be legislated upon by the Senate.

He argued that legislating on the bill, would invariably make the Senate go against the laws of the land by dabbling into issues that are on the residual list of the constitution, meant for legislative actions of state House of Assembly and Local Government Councils.

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