Senator Anyanwu admits Saraki shutdown of NASS personal, as PDP lawmakers say recess done to re-plan against removal of Senate President


Bukola Saraki.

*Saraki shutdown legislative business for person gains – Ndume, Ibrahim, Marafa

*Say, the recess must immediately be called off

*Senate is not Saraki, he is just a member of the Senate – APC Senator

*We are on lawful break but no law stop from coming back and going back – Marafa

*PDP warns against removal of Saraki

*Nothing will happen if he is removed – Observers

*PDP sat to impeach Tambuwal after defection as Speaker – Concerned Citizens

*Says, “Saraki must go”

By Kemi Kasumu, General Editor

“The APC know what to do and I do not need to tell them how to call the bluff Saraki and rescue Nigeria finally from him.  If they allow the eight weeks recess to succeed, Saraki and his PDP group, who have held the country down since three years, would have had enough time to plot havoc,” he said.

The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, buoyed by the influx of bigwig politicians into its ranks, this week, were at each others’ throats last night, over fears that moves were afoot to impeach the current leadership of the National Assembly.

While APC lawmakers cited outstanding legislative proposals, their PDP counterparts alleged ulterior motives in the agitation, even as some of them chided the Presidency for laxity in the implementation of its legislative agenda.

The agitation for the resumption of the National Assembly was, however, rebuffed by the PDP which warned the APC not to truncate the nation’s democracy with the enthronement of its kangaroo-style siege to state legislative houses at the federal level.

Among outstanding issues cited by the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Senate), Ita Enang, last week, were 2018 virement proposals including proposals for elections, approval of borrowings to fund the 2018 Appropriation and approval of the 2018 budgets of 64 government-owned corporations.

There are also outstanding appointments laid by Mr. President along with the 2018 budget, including a request for approval of appointments which will ensure the fulfillment of the purposes meant.

The two chambers of the National Assembly shut down penultimate Tuesday, following the siege to the homes of the two presiding officers of the Senate, Senate President Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.

Senator Saraki escaped the siege to surface in the chamber and presided over the session during which 14 APC senators defected to the PDP and squashed alleged moves to remove him from office.

But a respondent told The DEFENDER that it was never hidden from any sincere watcher of event that the shutdown of the National Assembly was not recess that Saraki and the rest of the legislators wanted Nigerians to believe.

He said, “When Saraki was being asked to make clear his party membership status and or he is forced to do so, all of us knew that he would have no choice than to obey. He knew that defecting from APC would mean his relinquishing his position and so he quickly shutdown the National Assembly so that nothing would be done to remove him.  He and his supporting Senators however do not know more than the people they are trying to outsmart because in no time he will be removed because only one person cannot be so monsterous to hold over 180 Nigerians into ransom.

“The APC know what to do and I do not need to tell them how to call the bluff Saraki and rescue Nigeria finally from him.  If they allow the eight weeks recess to succeed, Saraki and his PDP group, who have held the country down since three years, would have had enough time to plot havoc,” he said.

Speaking on a Channels Television programme on the eight-week recess, former Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume said: “What I want to do personally is to call on the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to reconvene the Senate because we have critical matters of urgent national importance before the National Assembly.

“His closure of the National Assembly that day was unbelievable. I was shocked by the way he acted.

“The Senate is not Saraki; he is just a member of the Senate. Saraki is just a presiding officer that anybody can be, so for him to have just shut down the National Assembly because of personal issues, is very unfortunate and uncalled for, especially when you have significant matters before the Senate,” he added.

His agitation was echoed, Thursday, by Senators Abu Ibrahim and Kabiru Marafa who told a print media that the recess should be immediately called off.

Abu Ibrahim said, “First, the recess was done abruptly to everybody’s surprise, but I think it was done to forestall certain things.

“So, obviously we must make every effort to find time, even for a day because it is only paramount and it requires our approval because the president is a very prudent and law-abiding president; if it were previous presidents they would not even fight us, and they will do it. Even for that, we should emphasize the interest of the nation, give a day and come and sit down and pass this and send it to Mr. President.

“This is a difficult situation but let me use some connections that I have within the National Assembly and see if we can be able to come back. In the next one or two weeks, we would be pushing and see how it goes.”

Also speaking, Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (downstream), Senator Kabiru Marafa, APC, Zamfara Central said: “I am absolutely in support that we should reconvene as there are pressing national issues as enumerated by the leadership especially as the majority in the Senate and that is why we are elected.

“There is nothing bad about us coming back; attend to the issues and go back. I agree that we are on a lawful break which we are entitled to, but the law did not say that we cannot resume and attend to issues of national importance and we go back to continue with the break.

“The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has to conduct the elections. It is only natural we reconvene and address the issues and go back for a holiday.”

The calls were, however, expectedly dismissed by PDP senators, who Nigerians have now always blamed for allowing themselves for cheer hate politics to be used by Saraki as tools to take the country along self-ambition to the sorry case under the 8th Assembly that it is.

Senator Matthew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo South) said: “Is it today that they knew INEC would need money to conduct the election? The executive knew that the National Assembly would go on its annual recess like the judiciary, why is the executive blaming the legislature now? Why did they not bring the INEC budget two or three months ago?  Why now when they knew that we would go on break?  Instead of doing that on time, they were pursuing their selfish agenda of changing the leadership of the Senate.”

Senator Urhoghide, recall, was the PDP senator who moved the motion for the impeachment of President Buhari on the floor to the watch of Saraki in one of the recent proceedings of the State.

A respondent asked if anything positive could ever be supported happening to this country under Buhari by that PDP senator.

In the media interview reported by Vanguard, Senator Samuel Anyanwu (PDP, Imo State) admitted that the recess was done to re-strategise against what was perceived by the PDP caucus that is Saraki’s stronghold in the Senate as parliamentary coup experienced on the day the National Assembly was shutdown.

Senator Anyanwu admits NASS shutdown is Saraki’s interest

Senator Samuel Anyanwu (PDP, Imo East) said: “We are on recess, and it is allowed. After a long journey or battle, you go on recess. I thought they said the senators don’t do anything; they don’t work, they just go there and eat money. Now we have to rest, and most of us are out of the country for various reasons while some are in their constituencies politicking.

“But if there is a serious issue that requires urgent attention that will help the country to move forward, that will make Nigerians happy, why not? We are there, they elected us, they will recall us, and we could come and do the right thing. Of course, we know we would have concluded most things if not for the fact that there was a parliamentary coup which did not succeed and we have to go back and re-strategise.”

Powers to re-open NASS lies with Senate President – PDP

The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondinyan, in the same media report said on Thursday that the APC should not toy with the idea of enthroning at the national level what it described as its kangaroo-style tactics operated at the state level. The party’s spokesman said doing such could truncate the nation’s democracy.

He said: “The decision to either reconvene the Senate or not lies with the President of the Senate and you don’t just wake up as a senator from the right side of the bed or from the left side of the bed and jump out and say, come out and open the Senate.

“There must be a matter of urgent national importance. There must be such urgent national importance for you to open the Senate.

“And we want to warn APC. If they think that the kind of kangaroo processes that they adopt in the states can be done in the National Assembly, they will put the polity under unnecessary pressure and will truncate this democracy.

“PDP will not accept any underhand measure from the APC on the issues of the National Assembly where there are rules and the constitution that guide the operations of the National Assembly.

“The National Assembly is not a kangaroo assembly where they can deploy police to go and shut down. They will just truncate this democracy,” the PDP spokesman warned on Thursday.

Why Saraki must go – Concerned Citizens

The PDP was however rebuffed by a sitting of some concerned citizens who said Thursday night in Lagos that the former ruling party has no moral confidence to agitate over whether to remove Saraki or not, saying it was only raising empty alarm because it knew how it used such kangaroo-style in the past which it now does not want APC to use against its own interest.

Speaking for the group in a media interview with The DEFENDER, an economist, Mr. Wale Ogunyemi said, “No Nigerian does not know how desperate some looters of this country have gone to unseat President Muhammadu Buhari to stop him from the business of recuing the country from the grip of wicked politicians who for years have shown no concern for the welfare of the masses.  The PDP is the name of the group of those looters.  Today they are split into many other names: SDP, ADC, there are others.  Only the APC is not their member and Saraki has represented all of these names for three years yet pretended he was APC Senate President.  So, what is PDP complaining about?

“We laugh when we read that APC is just having replay of what it did to PDP and they cited the Tambuwal’s defection and yet was allowed to go on as Speaker.  We are vehement in our position to tell Nigerians where the PDP goofed on this.

“If they want us as Nigerians to believe that what Saraki has done to APC as Senate President is payback for what Tambuwal did PDP as Speaker, then that is fine.  But we must preach to the PDP leaders and whoever in the media and legal community are backing them to stand by their words by accepting that all of those things that PDP did in reactions to Tambuwal for defecting as Speaker must also be tolerated with APC as they will be done to Saraki for defecting as Senate President.  PDP not only withdrew all the security details of Tambuwal but also they actually instituted his impeachment until he and his supporters climbed the gates locked against them to scuttle the impeachment.  Now, where is the claim of people who said Saraki is payback for Tambuwal?” Ogunyemi asked.

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