The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday insisted that the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, must vacate his seat or be impeached at all cost. Oshiomhole, who stated this at a press briefing in Abuja said that the impeachment must happen at all cost while lamenting that the Senate President had frustrated infrastructural development through the passage of appropriation bill.
The national chairman also reinstated confidence that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, would not defect from the party. According to Oshiomhole, it will be wrong for people to be discussing the lawful or unlawful impeachment of the Senate President when the act had not been carried out, insisting that allowing Saraki to continue as the Senate President would amount to allowing the minority to lead the majority in the Senate. He said this would be a repeat of what happened in President Goodluck Jonathan administration, where 16 governors were taken to be more than 19 governors under Nigerian Governors Forum election.
The APC boss also faulted the claims of the Senate President on why he defected from the party, stating that Saraki had plotted to make APC the party minority in the Senate by collating 36 names of Senators to defect to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but failed to achieve his bidding when only 15 Senators agreed to sign the defection list. He argued that the defection of the lawmakers to the PDP was properly planned as the two houses announced members’ defection simultaneously. The chairman said that the allegations of Saraki that President Muhammadu Buhari made 200 juicy appointments without considering him or the Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogora did not hold water. He also said that the issued raised by the Governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed, that himself and the Senate President were framed up in Offa robbery case, it was a criminal case and the APC had no hand in.
According to him, the suspects, who were seen with the Senate President’s entourage, mentioned him in the crime and he needed to defend himself. The APC national chairman posited that contrary to Saraki’s claims that he had acted in national interest, the senate president had acted all the time for his selfish interest. He stated that at no point in time had Saraki’s act reflected national interest or party interest, to the extent that he connived with opposition party to trade away APC position as Deputy Senate President and juicy committees.He said: “There is the futile attempt he has made to suggest that the Tuesday’s incidence was an attempt to carry out an illegal impeachment. How can a presiding office arrive at such a conclusion that there was a plan to carry out an illegal impeachment. Until an action takes place, you cannot determine the outcome, if impeachment itself is unlawful, then you can understand where he is coming from.
It is lawful to impeach anyone, including the President the Senate and his deputy if the number required to do so is present. So, he cannot preempt that. From their own statement, they claimed to be aware that the Senate Preside was going to be illegally impeached and so mobilized thugs to the senate.
They told the world that they have adjourned till 25th September. But meanwhile, about 15 PDP Senators were in the Senate and imported things that molested two of our members they signed in the senate. Do you find any APC senator in the senate? If APC senators were not in the senate and it was PDP Senators that were there, what is the basis of the false claim that there was an attempt to carry out an illegal impeachment. In any case, Saraki is not going to be the first senate president to be impeached and I doubt is he is going to be the last. But definitely, he will be impeached according to law and democratic norms. The only way he can avoid impeachment is for him to do what is honourable.
“We saw Senator Akpabio who was the PDP leader in the senate. Once he made up his mind to leave the PDP, he wrote to inform the PDP even before his defection that he was resigning. So, Senator Saraki has demonstrated neither character nor being a man of honour.
I told him when we held a meeting that he came to join the APC as a senator and it is on our platform that you became senate president. Once you made up your mind to leave, the honourable thing to do is to resign as senate president. If he does not resign, he will be impeached according to law and not by thuggery or by mob or anything that undemocratic. He cannot sustain a minority rule in the senate and that is what is hunting him in the senate. “When I say that the senate president will be impeached, let me emphasis that he will be impeached properly according to law.
The constitution is clear how a presiding officer can be impeached and because several impeachment has taken place, we are not about to witness what has not taken place before. We have enough precedent to fall back on. I have looked at the constitution which does not say that an impeachment is illegal. It is done, you cannot arrive at the conclusion that it is unlawful. How can we be accused of planning an illegal impeachment when it has not commenced. If he think that by saying that he will preempt the APC from having him impeached, he is deceiving himself. I think that the time of Saraki is over, the way he has manipulated the politics of Kwara stat, he failed to understand that the Nigerian project is far mor complicated than being at the mercy of his own dynasty. He will not only be impeached, we will work hard to have him defeated as a senator in his own Senatorial zone come 2019 by the people of Kwara stage who are fed up with Saraki. Go and check the results of the elections that made him a senator and you will find out that the President got more votes from Kwara Central than what Saraki got for himself. “So, he can’t claim that the vote the APC got from his Senatorial zone was because of him. They were inspite of him and that is why his leaving is of no political consequences as far as electoral issues are concerned.”
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