Plot To Remove Saraki Thickens
There are strong indications that All Progressives Congress (APC) senators are determined to dethrone Dr Bukola Saraki as Senate president following his defection to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday. Senator Abu Ibrahim (APC, Katsina South) gave the hint yesterday in Abuja while speaking to reporters in reaction to Saraki’s defection to the PDP earlier this week. He insisted that APC senators remained the majority in the Senate and that there is no way they will allow a ‘renegade’ to preside over them. According to him, Saraki must resign his position as Senate president for peace to reign in the upper legislative chamber in the overall interest of the nation and democracy. Senator Ibrahim, who is the chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs, further declared that the possibility of the Senate reconvening before the adjourned date cannot ruled out because, according to him, the rules of the upper chamber stipulates that 30 members can resolve to reconvene the Senate at any time. LEADERSHIP Friday recalls that after presiding over the proceedings on Tuesday during which the defections occurred, Saraki announced that the Senate was immediately proceeding on recess to reconvene on September 26, this year. There are, however, indications that senators in the ruling party may be considering forcing a reconvening of the Senate under the guise of the rule referred to by Senator Ibrahim in order to have a go at removing Saraki from office. The Katsina South senator had earlier asked Saraki to leave the APC following the role he played in the defections of 14 senators and 37 House of Representatives members. Senator Ibrahim had insisted that both Saraki and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, resign from the APC in their own interest or face expulsion from the party. Consequently, the APC leadership issued a query to Saraki preparatory to expelling him from the party just before he defected on Tuesday But speaking yesterday, Senator Ibrahim, who doubles as the chairman, Board of National Committee for Buhari Support Groups, stated that Saraki had taken a commendable step by leaving the APC, however, he should go the whole hog by resigning his position as Senate president, adding that if he fails to do so, the Senate will never know peace. The senator argued that the call on Saraki to resign his position is in line with the convention that the party with the majority should also produce the leadership. The lawmaker vowed that APC senators would not allow “a renegade” as their leader in the Senate. Ibrahim said, “Well, I think it is commendable that he has left the party. He has chosen the path of survival because it is the issue of political survival, not anything for Nigeria. “But the next is for him to resign as Senate president, because by all conventions all over the world the majority party produces the leadership; Senate president, the majority leader and others. “Again, let him be gentleman enough and resign as Senate president. If he doesn’t (resign) we will never have peace in that Senate because it is absolutely clear that APC has majority to produce the leadership. “I hear the PDP claiming majority, but it is crystal clear that APC has majority. We will have more members. We will have elections (to fill vacant seats due to death of members) . We will have the two members. We also have some alliance with All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). It is clear that APC has majority. “APC with majority should produce the leadership in the Senate. 49 cannot produce the leadership. Saraki should go the whole hog and resign as Senate president.” On the allegation that some senators attempted to break into the Senate chamber on Wednesday to reconvene plenary, he said: “How do you break into the chamber? If we like, we can reconvene legally because it is legal for us to reconvene. We don’t need to break into the chamber when we have the number. I will never subscribe to that. “We can reconvene, the rules are there – that if we are up to 30 we can reconvene. Why should we break into the chamber when we can reconvene legally and do what we want to do. “It is legal. I don’t see why anybody should contemplate that we can break into the chamber. I don’t know about it, and even if I know about it I will say it is unwise.