Posted by News Express | 13 August 2018 | 2,043 times
There is palpable fear of a rowdy session as the National Assembly reconvenes tomorrow or Wednesday to deliberate on the 2019 election budget.
The fear being expressed is that the All Progressives Congress (APC) senators, allegedly with the help of the executive, might spring a surprise when the National Assembly reconvenes by forcibly removing Senate President Bukola Saraki and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu.
Yusuff Lasun, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, disclosed last week that the House would reconvene on Tuesday or Wednesday to approve the N242 billion budget of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the 2019 general elections as requested by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The National Assembly is on recess and it was expected to resume September 25.
However, Yusuph Olaniyonu, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Saraki, told Daily Independent that he did not have information to the effect that the National Assembly would reconvene on Tuesday.
When asked how prepared are the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) senators if the APC senators spring surprises when they reconvene, Olaniyonu said, “Let them reconvene; when they reconvene, we will see”.
Speaking with Daily Independent, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim said the only surprise they were expecting from senators clamouring for the removal of Saraki was to muster two-thirds majority, adding that anything short of that would not be acceptable to the whole world.
The senator, who is the Senate Committee Chairman on Banking, Insurance, and other Financial Institutions, in a text message, said: “The only surprise we are expecting now is for them to gather the 2/3 as required by the constitution. We are sure the whole world will not accept another.”
Senator Ibrahim, in a joint statement with Isa Hama Misau, the Senate Committee Chairman on Navy, about two weeks ago, had warned his colleagues in the APC not to foment any trouble when the Senate resumes, saying Senate President Saraki will never resign from the position.
The senators had warned those clamouring for Saraki’s removal that they 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 executive arm of government.
“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 represents different constituencies in our country,” they had said.
Recall that the APC, the presidency and, of late, the National Chairman of the ruling party, Adams Oshiomhole, have been spitting fire in their insistence that Senate President Saraki, and his Deputy, Ekweremadu, must resign or be impeached.
Their argument has been that the opposition PDP should not lead the National Assembly, where the APC is the ruling party and majority in the Senate.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Olaniyonu, on Friday, Saraki – while responding to Oshiomhole’s impeachment threat – said Oshiomhole was dreaming, adding that those planning the impeachment would need 73 senators, that is a two-thirds of the Senate, to lawfully remove him, and he maintained that they would never get that number in the present eight Senate.
•Excerpted from an Independent report.
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