- It’s fight to finish – PDP
No fewer than 34 senators of the All Progressives Congress, APC are backing the Senate President, Bukola Saraki following media reports on alleged plot by his party’s leadership to mobilise for his removal from office.
The angst of APC leadership against Saraki who emerged Senate President at the inauguration of the 8th Senate June this year, against the wish of APC leadership, was yet to subside weekend. His current travails at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, according to many senators who volunteered comments to Nigerian Pilot weekend, are largely traceable to his emergence as Senate President and Chairman of the National Assembly.
At the CCT, Saraki was arraigned for alleged false asset declaration when he assumed office as Governor of Kwara state over a decade ago.
Ahead of the resumption of legislative business at the Senate tomorrow, the leadership of APC, it was learnt, has intensified consultations with its members in the Upper House on strategies to impeach Saraki from office.
Said one APC senator from the South-West:“If we choose to get him out of office, how is that your business? I suggest you leave Senate and APC business to senators.”
The lawmaker added that party position must be respected by all party members at all times. When asked if the emergence of Saraki as Senate President is different from how former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal emerged against the wish of his party then, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the senator retorted, “the scenario and dynamics have since changed.”
On Saraki we stand
Nigerian Pilot gathered that the senator’s position is at variance with that of majority of his APC colleagues who described Saraki’s travails as “bare-faced persecution.”
One of them from North Central told this newspaper that most APC senators disagree with the party’s position on Saraki. Pleading legislative independence, he said “what our leaders are trying to do is to cage us, coerce us and then render us incapable of prosecuting our legislative mandate in the greater interest of Nigeria. If they are scared in any way, of the independent will of the Senate President, let them dialogue with him.”
A South-South APC senator who announced to this newspaper that he is unrepentantly pro-Saraki, said: “our leadership is funny. May be the meeting they are planning to hold on Monday or thereabout is on our Senate President too. But all we are saying is that on Saraki we stand. We see injustice in his CCT case. Somebody campaigned and won elections as his state governor donkey years ago. He served meritoriously for two terms of four years each and was voted to represent his people in the Senate. He did his first term and got a second term. Now he is the Senate President. Suddenly some people want him out at all cost because he is not their choice.”
The visibly angry lawmaker declared that; “for sure, we will reconvene on Tuesday. We do not have any problem with that and neither do majority senators have any problem with our legislative leadership. More than half of us in the APC are solidly behind the Senate President.”
He said that every Senator must jealously guard the sanctity of the legislature, adding; “yes, he belongs to the APC. But our Senate President must be protected and the sanctity of his office and indeed, the Senate maintained. We abhor the self-serving politics people are bringing in. Have they so easily forgotten the Aminu Tambuwal scenario and the damage it eventually did to the PDP?”
As for PDP senators spoken to, they did not mince words in telling Nigerian Pilot that their lawmakers are in total support of the Senate President. Said a South-South PDP Senator weekend, “the entire country knows our position. We stand for the doctrine of separation of powers. In this case, that means that the executive must let the Senate do its mandated work of lawmaking. Let them go and learn to manage crisis in more enlightening manner and stop distracting us from our work. All PDP senators stand for the Senate President.”
Already, all 49 PDP senators in the Upper House have remained a block of support for Saraki and are prepared to go the whole length of his travails with him. Should the need arises, the 49 PDP senators would team up with the 34 APC pro-Saraki lawmakers to ensure that the status quo ante in the leadership of the senate under Saraki remains.