Saraki Senate leadership; why he should quit or not if he dumps APC

The fascist clampdown on the Senate President and the Deputy, Senators Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu by the APC-led Federal Government just assumed the most absurd dimensions- crude and cruel, and even rascally.

There are clear indications that the Kwara-born politician Dr. Bukola Saraki will be announcing his defection to the PDP in a matter of days.

President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has spoken on his status if he finally dumps the All Progressives Congress, APC for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

President of the Senate, has spoken on his status if he finally dumps the All Progressives Congress, APC for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The loyalists of the former Kwara Governor in the chamber are also battle ready to keep his presiding status, regardless of which party has the majority of members between the APC and the PDP in the National Assembly.

Saraki, who spoke with the Punch through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olayiyonu dismissed the call by members of the Parliamentary Support Group that he should quit as presiding officer once he defects from the ruling party.

The PSG is a group of APC senators supporting President Muhammadu Buhari.

Saraki noted that two-thirds of senators were needed to remove the Senate President.

He said, “We all know the process of electing and removing the Senate President. It is not that a party must determine who takes charge; every member of the Senate will have a vote in the election or removal of the Senate President.

“The constitution is clear on how the collection of those votes is done and what number is needed to elect or remove the Senate President.

“So, anybody who says anything outside those provisions is just deceiving themselves. The person is speaking in a vacuum.

“We are not bothered here. The Senate President is still attending to his official duties from home despite the recess. Everything is normal here. They are the ones who have reasons to be bothered.

“I say this without intending to insult any senator. I try not to respond to any senator but allow the senators to engage themselves.”

This time around, the desperation is to physically remove the irrepressible duo from office, impose their replacements, and forestall the planned defection of about two dozen senators from the APC.

Former Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume has urged Bukola Saraki to quit as Senate President once he dumps the All Progressives Congress, APC.

In an interview with Punch,Ali Ndume Said Saraki should not continue because the leader of the Senate must emerge from the party that has the majority.

He said, “It requires that the leadership should emerge from the majority; that is the practice all over the world.”

A former Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume has urged Bukola Saraki to quit as Senate President once he dumps the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Ndume in an interview with the Punch, Said Saraki should not continue because the leader of the Senate must emerge from the party that has the majority.

He said, “It requires that the leadership should emerge from the majority; that is the practice all over the world.”

“It is the practice of the democracy we are copying that the Senate President must come from the party that has the majority. And Nigeria’s case will not be different.

“Morally, yes. It is only in our place that people just do things that are aberrations.

”If not, morally, ab initio, Ekweremadu, coming from a minority party, is not supposed to be the Deputy Senate President. And Saraki cannot continue, morally; if I were him, once I leave the party, I will leave Senate presidency.’

Democracy and democratic governance in the country have never come under greater existential threats than in these appalling moments, where all democratic gains and even norms of civilised conducts are being reversed by government actions and inactions with unmatched impunity. One would often wonder what would have been the fate of the nation’s democracy and indeed that of the legislature if Senator Saraki and Senator Ekweremadu were less mortals and politically less audacious.

This defining moment has brought the two men more into view as faces of Nigerian democracy, as personifications of courage in adversity and men truly adept and sagacious in the Nigerian politics. Their mettle in the face of debilitating danger has become a classic study in political courage at a time when most leaders in their ranks are cowering even from their own shadows.

Senator Saraki and Senator Ekweremadu are deliberately made the most distracted and hounded Nigerian senate president and deputy in history, positions they won constitutionally and democratically, having been freely elected by their colleagues in line with Section 50 (1) of the 1999 Constitution. But despite their humiliations and travails, Senator Bukola Saraki and Senator Ike Ekweremadu, as statesmen and patriots, have continued to put the nation first.

Times like this truly demand for men like Senators Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu, and indeed all the federal legislators in both chambers, who have stood with these dogged presiding officers through the thick and thin, in defence of democracy and independence of the legislature.

It is about getting at the two leaders of National Assembly at all costs. A drowning man may catch at anything; that is why they are revisiting the Offa bank robbery against Saraki, after the Supreme Court of Nigeria had confirmed that indeed his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal was a travesty of justice. And of course, discerning minds have always known that the political trial was never meant to serve justice

The second case opened by the Attorney General added the Deputy Senate President, Sen Ike Ekweremadu, over allegation of forgery of senate rules to aide their emergence as presiding officers. The bogey forgery trial was based on a spurious police investigative report in which neither Senator Saraki nor Senator Ekweremadu was mentioned.

They were charged nonetheless. Even without a shred of evidence or reasonable conjectures, the same reason the case was eventually withdrawn by the Federal Government. But not without embarrassing themselves in the bid to humiliate the Senate and the Legislature.

While both innocent men were forced into the dock for the trumped up charges, it was actually the nation’s democracy and legislature that was on trial. The promoters were only reminding the world that Nigeria is not yet qualified to practice democracy or to be counted among civilised countries.

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