APC, PDP gear up for showdown over Saraki

Bukola Saraki

•APC lawmakers: He must resign or be kicked out
•PDP Senators not taking removal threat lightly

The two major political parties are oiling their political machines for a showdown in both chambers of the National Assembly when the lawmakers resume from their recess on September 25.

At issue is whether the Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara should continue in office or not following the defection of over 50 federal lawmakers from the APC to the PDP.

The Senate president is one of the defectors.

Dogara is yet to defect but going by his pronouncements before the defections, the popular belief is that he is PDP bound.

To Senators elected on the platform of the APC Saraki must step aside as he now belongs to a minority party in the senate.

APC members in the House of Representatives are equally asking Dogara to be ready to quit if he defects.

They have the backing of the APC whose national Chairman Adams Oshiomhole said recently that the crown Saraki is wearing belongs to the APC which he must drop now that he is in the PDP.

The PDP is however not taking the plot to sack Saraki and Dogara lightly.

It was learnt that the PDP has mandated its Senators to stand by Saraki at all cost and resist the plot to sack him

Investigation by our correspondent revealed that APC Senators are determined to ensure that the party asserts its majority in the Senate and House of Representatives.

Findings confirmed that in one of their strategy meetings APC Senators considered many options and possible successors to Saraki.

A reliable member of the PSG said: “We are already weighing options on those who could succeed Saraki when we move to assert our right as members of the party in the majority in the Senate.

“If APC seeks replacement from the North-Central where Saraki comes from, our choice will be made known.

“But where the choice is ceded to the North-East, we have capable people from there to succeed him. We may also look elsewhere, we have our strategies.”

“In the next few weeks, events will unfold in the National Assembly but we will follow constitutional and legal processes.”

According to a top source, some APC Senators had been meeting and reaching out to like minds among PDP Senators on how to ease out Saraki.

The source said: “The APC Senators have drawn the battle line and they want to use constitutional means to ask Saraki to step aside.

“If you look at Section 50 (2) (a) of the 1999 Constitution, it is not by the votes of two-thirds of Senators alone that Saraki or his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu can be removed.

“Section 50 (2) (a) says “if he (Saraki or his deputy) ceases to be a member of the Senate or of the House of Representatives, as the case may be, otherwise than by reason of a dissolution of the Senate or the House of Representatives.

“But pro-Saraki senators have been talking of two-thirds alone without paying attention to Section 50 (2) (a).

“Since there are three conditions for the removal of either the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, any of the conditions can be applicable.

“Some APC Senators are already reaching out to their PDP colleagues on why Saraki should step down as Senate President because of his defection.”

PDP is battle ready and is confident that Saraki and Dogara will survive APC plot.

Boroffice to Saraki: Resign honourably

The Senator representing Ondo North, Professor  Ajayi Boroffice yesterday added his voice to those demanding  Saraki’s resignation  or be booted out.

Boroffice said Saraki should do the needful since the APC has majority in the senate.

The chairman, Senate Committee on Science and Technology described Saraki’s tenure as turbulent and crisis-ridden over the last three years.

Boroffice said that the prevailing frosty relationship between the executive and the legislature should not have arisen if not for Saraki’s ulterior motives.

The Asiwaju of Akoko spoke with reporters in Akungba, Akoko South West Local Government Area of Ondo State shortly after laying the foundation of model basic science laboratories in the university town.

The Senator maintained that if Saraki declined to relinquish his position honourably, APC Senators would do the needful.

He, however, said that Saraki’s defection and others would not have any impact on Buhari’s chances in next year’s elections.

The lawmaker said the defectors left APC because they were not comfortable with the anti-graft crusade of the Buhari administration.

He extolled President Muhammadu Buhari for his courage to tackle the menace in spite of loud criticisms.

Saraki not resigning: APC can do its worst, say Misau, Ibrahim

Two of the senators who defected from the APC to the PDP last week, yesterday told their former party that Saraki will not resign.

Isa Hama Misau and Rafiu Ibrahim who represent Bauchi Central and Kwara South respectively dared APC senators who are calling for Saraki’s resignation to do their worst.

They were responding to a statement by their counterpart from Katsina South, Abu Ibrahim who asked Saraki to resign immediately.

A similar statement demanding Saraki’s exit as Senate president came on Friday from the Leader, Buhari Parliamentary Support Group, Senator  Abdullahi Adamu (APC-Nasarawa) who said  the  Senate President by his defection, had “stepped on banana peel and should be prepared to bear the consequences.

“If Saraki knows political intricacies and the political terrain or the path where the banana peel in political landscape is, he will be more cautious,” Adamu told reporters, adding: “the way he is going now, he has obviously stepped on banana peel and only God knows how far he will slip.

Misau and Ibrahim, in a joint statement yesterday vowed that Abu Ibrahim and his colleagues would meet their match if they tried anything illegal even with all the deployment of security forces which they might have been assured of by the federal government.

They said:”it is obvious from the statements of Abu Ibrahim that he and his cohorts are not democrats. They do not believe in rule of law, the provisions of the constitution, the standing order of the Senate, parliamentary procedure and the due process.

“How will a supposed democrat be threatening disruption of peace in the parliament because his party lost members and lost its majority status?

“His statement showed why one of them led thugs to disrupt the proceedings of the Senate, stole the mace, the symbol of authority of the legislature, and yet there is no consequence.

“Both the mastermind and his thugs have been protected from being prosecuted. Now, Abu Ibrahim has given us an insight into what they are planning and we will be ready for them.

“He has also shown an indication of how he, as the chairman of the Police Affairs Committee, has been misusing the police against other Senators.

“APC should note that they are now the minority party. PDP have more members. When we resume, if they push us, we will move for a head count of members and change some of our principal officers to reflect party strength.

“Today, by the list paraded by APC themselves, they have only 48 Senators and PDP has 54, APGA has 2 and ADC has 2. There are two vacancies. That is the distribution in the Senate. Let them continue to deceive themselves.

“We will use our strength to defend the position of the present leadership of the Senate under Dr. Saraki and Senator Ike Ekweremadu. We will defend democracy and rule of law against the pretenders. We will show that every Senator represent different constituencies in our country.

“Our colleague from Katsina State has equally demonstrated that even though he has spent four terms in the legislature, he has not imbibed parliamentary ethos. Even his knowledge of the provisions of the law and the Senate rules is suspect.

“That is why he misrepresented the provisions of Rule 12 Order 1, 2 and 3 of the Senate about the process of reconvening the Senate after it properly adjourned. By the provision, without all the leaders of the four parties initiating the reconvening of the Senate before the adjourned date, nothing can legally happen. Also without the consent of the Senate President, nothing can happen.

“We urge him and his colleagues to know that if they try anything illegal and indecent, we will resist it through legal means. They saw an instance with the way our colleagues in the House of Representatives quickly gathered to foil their failed coup early this week.

“Abu Ibrahim and his cohorts have shown that they are desperate to win the 2019 elections at all cost by all means. We are surprised that this defection is making APC so uncomfortable that they are ready to bring the country down because some Senators left their party. We gave them all the opportunities to make amends from their destructive, non-inclusive and dictatorial ways. They did not take the chances and were behaving as if nobody matters. They are running a government by cabals, serving selfish interests and forgetting all the promises the party made to the people before being elected into office.

Saraki’s continued stay as Senate President is constitutional – Makarfi

Yesterday, one of PDP’s presidential aspirants, Senator Ahmed Makarfi told newsmen in Minna, Niger State, that the 1999 Constitution is silent on whether a party in the majority or in the minority should produce either the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

He said: “The position of the presiding officers of the National Assembly, based on the constitution of Nigeria is an election of one among equals based on voting irrespective of party affiliation. The constitution said that the Senators are to elect among themselves, it did not say that it must be from a majority party. (The Nation )

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