Attempts to remove Senate President Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, may have gotten to a feverish point for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as a pro-democracy group, Movement for Democratic Goals (MDG) has alleged that governors and senators in the party are raising billions of Naira to impeach them.
It will be recalled that both Saraki and Ekweremadu have been under pressure over their positions since Saraki and other senators defected from the ruling party to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Leaders of the party, including its National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole have variously called on Saraki to resign or be impeached.
Saraki has however dared them, saying he won’t hessitate to leave if the ruling party can muster the necessary number to unseat him.
But the MDG, in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by its National Coordinator, Aliyu Abdulkareem, said: “We have been reliably informed by our sources in APC that governors and senators are holding several meetings to raise funds to begin several illegal processes that may force Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, out of office by a group of minority senators.
“We also have it on good note that the governors and senators are planning to meet this week to finalise plans and raise the said funds as part of their individual commitment to the plans that would eventually lead to the impeachment of Saraki as Senate President.
“The meeting is at the instance of a party leader, who, according to our source, has assured the President that he would leave no stone unturned in ensuring Saraki and Ekweremadu are removed from office, over Saraki’s defection from APC to Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
“We condemn any illegal and unconstitutional attempt by APC and its members to pooh-pooh the constitution in a desperate bid to impeach the Senate President by a minority vote, and we will prove to them that Nigeria is greater than any political party.”
You can’t remove me as Senate President, Saraki replies Oshiomhole
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has lashed out at the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) stating that Mr Oshiomhole’s effort to remove him from office will fail.
Mr Saraki said this in a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES while reacting to Mr Oshiomhole’s call for his resignation or removal earlier.
The APC chairman had accused Mr Saraki of not acting in the interest of Nigeria and asked that he (Mr Saraki) should resign or be removed from office.
Mr Oshiomhole expressed dissatisfaction at the way the Senate adjourned two weeks ago. He accused Mr Saraki of using his guest house as a place to write out the names of senators decamping to the PDP from the APC the day before the Senate adjourned.
“In any case, Saraki is not going to be the first senate president to be impeached and I doubt if he is going to be the last but definitely he will be impeached according to law and to democratic norms. The only way Saraki can avoid impeachment is for him to do what is honourable which again leads to the issue of character,” Mr Oshiomhole said.
In his statement titled, Response to Adams Oshiomhole, the lawmaker accused Mr Oshiomhole of behaving like a “rain-beaten chicken” as though Mr Saraki was haunting his life.
While he reminded the APC chairman of how he “crawled” to him, seeking his support to become the chairman, Mr Saraki stressed that Mr Oshiomhole cannot remove him as Senate President.
“His illegal plots, can only feed his insatiable ego and keep him awake at nights. But it will remain an exercise in futility,” he said.
Read the full statement below:
1. It is rather surprising that Mr. Adams Oshiomhole is behaving like a rain-beaten chicken, crying all over the place about Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, as if the Senate President is the apparition haunting his life and the sinking ship that he captains.
2. Having decided not to join the pigs in rolling in the dirt; we would not like to be involved in any meaningless exchange with the demagogue now in charge of APC. However, because he claimed that he was reacting to the issues raised by the Senate President during his World Press Conference, we thought it necessary to give the APC chairman some attention.
Alas, we found that instead of addressing any issue raised by the Senate President, his press conference merely showcased his obsession and those of his sponsors with Saraki’s removal, which he did without any decorum befitting of his age or his awarded office. He brimmed with hate, hurled abuses, threw tantrums, told lies, huffed, puffed. In the end, he said nothing.
3. It is indeed amazing that the same Oshiomhole, who is now describing Saraki as a politician of no consequence was the same one who only a few months ago was crawling all over the place pleading for Saraki’s support to become chairman. We are sure that those who took him to Saraki several times to plead his case must now be thoroughly embarrassed by his reckless and uncouth manner.
4. By his conduct and utterances, Oshiomhole, who accused Saraki of not acting in national interest needs to do more to convince Nigerians that his desperate desire to become party chairman is not simply to feed his over-sized ego.
5. The position of Oshiomhole and his cohorts in the APC that the Senate President must resign is a mere wishful thinking. They will continue to dream about their planned removal of the Senate President. They will need 73 Senators to lawfully remove Dr. Saraki and they will never get that in the present eight Senate.
6. The argument of APC that the Senate President must come from a majority party; that the Senate Presidency is their crown and National Assembly is their palace is only supported by ignorance and dangerous delusion. First, the issue of which party is in the majority will only be resolved when the Senate resume. Two, Section 50 (1) (a) of the constitution is clear that any Senator can be elected as Senate President. If the only thing left of the APC change agenda is to change the Senate President we can only wish them goodluck.
7. Perhaps, Mr. Oshiomhole needs to be better educated about our parliamentary history when he Stated that “For the first time in parliamentary history in Nigeria, we had a situation where the APC had majority of Senators and went on to elect a PDP as Deputy Senate President”. Where is Mr. Oshiomhole when Senator John Wash Pam of the Nigerian People’s Party (NPP) became Deputy Senate President in the Second Republic even when the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) had the majority. The same thing happened in the House of Representatives when NPP’s Rt. Hon. Edwin Umeh Ezeoke was elected Speaker in an NPN majority House. But then, it would require a level of education to understand these things.
8. What hypocrisy! To think that this same APC were jubilating when Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal retained his position after he defected from the PDP and still retained his seat, even when his new party was in the minority. These are people whose standards of morality are infinitely elastic.
9. We are sure the remaining APC Senators need to do a lot of work to bring Oshiomhole up to speed about parliamentary practice. His ignorance are too clear in his comments about how the Senate was adjourned on July 24, 2018, the distribution of committee chairmanship in the Senate and the difference between the post of Senate President and Minority Leader.
10. He has made so much song and dance about Mr. Godswill Akpabio resigning as Senate Minority Leader when he left the PDP to join APC. For this, Akpabio has become his hero and a symbol of honour. He obviously does not understand that the post of Minority Leader is a strictly party affair. And the PDP simply decided who to give it as it is not even a position that was mentioned in the constitution. Whereas, the Senate President position is a constitutional creation, which required majority votes of all the members. Again, we don’t expect people whose only experience in politics is at the provincial levels to understand this. No wonder they are talking of crowns and inheritance.
11. The fair distribution of the Committee chairmanship is one of the stabilizing factors in the 8th Senate and has helped it in achieving more than all its predecessors.
12. We need to inform this divisive element who now leads APC that if he wants to know why the 2018 budget was delayed, he should ask the heads of the MDAs. We reckon that should be easy for him since he is now their ‘headmaster’, moving around with canes to whip ministers into line.
13. Oshiomhole once again demonstrated his lack of sense of history by talking of Buhari winning more votes in Kwara than Saraki. We are sure President Buhari himself will disagree with the APC chairman. We invite the APC chairman to look at the figures of votes secured by the President in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 to know that the difference is clear, like a commercial advert stated.
14. We hereby assure this garrulous, tactless and reckless APC chairman that a million of Adams Oshiomhole cannot remove Saraki as Senate President. His illegal plots, can only feed his insatiable ego and keep him awake at nights. But it will remain an exercise in futility.
Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Senate President