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Saraki won’t resign, senate leaders declare

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FILE PHOTO: Nigeria’s Senate President Bukola Saraki speaks during an interview with Reuters in Abuja, Nigeria May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Paul Carsten/File Photo


Contrary to threats by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to make the upper chamber of the federal legislature ungovernable and force the Senator Bukola Saraki to vacate the office of President of Senate, leaders of the Senate have resolved that Saraki would not be forced to resign.

Moreover, the Senate leaders called on Nigerians and the international community to take notice of recent threat by the Senator representing Katsina, Abu Ibrahim, to the effect that there would be no peace in the 8th Senate unless Dr. Saraki relinquishes office as President of Senate.

In a statement signed by the Chairman, Senate committee on Navy, Isa Hama Misau and his counterpart on Banking and Insurance, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, the leading lawmakers warned their Katsina colleague and his backers in APC to perish the idea of forcing Saraki to resign.

Misau, who represents Bauchi Central and, Ibrahim (Kwara South), disclosed that when the Senate resumes on September 25, “Abu Ibrahim and his colleagues will meet their match if they tried anything illegal even with all the deployment of security forces,” saying that as the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, will never resign from the position.

While pointing out that the Katsina Senator and his supporters have shown through by his utterances that they are not democrats, Misau and Ibrahim said the Senators have resolved to resist any illegal and indecent attempt to disrupt proceedings in the upper chamber through all possible legal means.

The two leaders stated: “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 tried 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 and foiled their failed coup recently.

“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.’

The Senators regretted that APC leaders failed to take advantage of “opportunities we gave them 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.”

Frowning at the furore being generated by the ruling party over the defection of some members, the Senators said: “The APC government has always demonstrated serious contempt for the legislature. That is why they have sent only a paltry 11 executive bills to the National Assembly in 38 months despite their promise of reform in various sectors of the country, The APC government came in 2015 and the first proposal they put forward was to have emergency powers in a democracy. Thank God we did not fall for their antics.

“We call on all Nigerians and the international community to take note of the threat by Abu Ibrahim and know that if there is any illegal move to reconvene the Senate or there is breakdown of law and order in the Senate, the man has leaked their plan.  The APC cabal in the Senate should be held responsible. Nigerians and the global community should know the type of people in charge of Nigeria now and how they seek to desecrate and destroy democratic institutions at will.”
“It is obvious from the statements of Abu Ibrahim that he and his cohorts are not democrats. They do not believe in the rule of law, the provisions of the constitution, the standing order of the Senate, parliamentary procedure and the due process.”

The Senators disclosed that the entire members of the Red Chamber are resolute in their stance against the meddlesome excesses of the ruling party, stressing: “APC should note that they are now the minority party. PDP has 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.

“(As at) 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.

“How will a supposed democrat be threatening disruption of peace in the parliament because his party lost members and lost its majority status? His statements showed why one of them led thugs to disrupt the proceeding of the Senate, steal 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.”


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