The Senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, has stated that it would be dangerous for the governing All Progressives Congress, APC to forcefully remove the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, from office.
Mr. Ekweremadu is a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
His emergence as deputy senate president was a fallout of a rare coalition between some APC lawmakers and opposition members who rejected the APC leadership’s nominees for the positions of senate president and deputy.
Mr. Ekweremadu’s emergence has irked the leadership of the APC and President Muhammadu Buhari with the latter saying he is deeply disturbed that the PDP is occupying a top office during his administration.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja, Mr. Sani said the APC is to blame for the emergence of Mr. Ekweremadu as the number two man in the Senate.
He said removing Mr. Ekeremadu would be bad for the party since the APC does not enjoy absolute majority in the Senate, unlike in the House of Representatives.
“Yes, the party has gotten itself into a deep hole. It’s like an arrow that got deep into a skin. You don’t pull it off by force. It was easier for members of the House of Representatives to address their problem than the Senate for two reasons.
“One, APC does not have an overwhelming majority in the Senate. The difference we have is about eight Senators, or to a certain level seven, because there are some other persons in court. But, in the House of Representatives, there is an overwhelming majority of APC members.
“Two, Ekweremadu is now the Deputy Senate President. It is easier to play safe than to try to remove him. The dilemma the party is in now is that the PDP Senators see Ekweremadu as their own representative in the principal officers’ cadre, and because he is there, they do not oppose any motion, bill or anything coming from the Presidency,” he said.
Mr. Sani said although he would be happy to see the ouster of Mr. Ekweremadu, he realised the APC would have to contend with a very potent and angry opposition in the Senate.
“In the event that we are in need of two-thirds of members to resolve certain issues, we are definitely going to have a problem,” he said.
Mr. Sani said the emergence of Mr. Ekweremadu has now taken an ethnic colouration.
“He is being seen as a representative of a section of the country, South East, in the power equation of Nigeria. If he is ejected, there is no way the people in that region would not be provoked to stand up against this administration.
“So, those who voted for Ekweremadu to be deputy to the Senate President got the party into a difficult situation,” he said.
Mr. Sani said the only way the APC can find a way out is for Senators belonging to the party to work together to ensure the success of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
“There are a good number of APC Senators that are aggrieved with its leadership. With that division, if one decides now to antagonise the PDP members in the Senate, one can imagine the chaos that is likely to break out there,” he said.
Senator Sani also lauded the decision of Mr. Buhari to remain neutral and stay out of the leadership crisis at the national Assembly.
“The president’s philosophy is that he is for everybody, and for nobody. Clearly, that is the best the president can do in the circumstance.
“He cannot do otherwise than to seek to work with the National Assembly if he is to succeed in the execution of his programmes, rather than to be bogged down by the problems in the National Assembly.
“If the PDP, as the opposition, made a clear statement that they were prepared to see to the success of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, it would be a victory.
“Nobody in the PDP can dare challenge good programmes that would be of benefit to the socio-economic and political dynamics in Nigeria,” Mr. Sani said.

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