Jun 22, 2015

APC versus Saraki: The Senate Leadership Fight Gets Tougher


 The crisis within the ruling All Progressives Congress took a turn for the worse on Sunday with the Senator Ahmad Lawan group in the Senate accusing the Bukola Saraki group of plotting to make President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration fail at all cost.

“We are convinced that there is a general conspiracy in this country to sabotage the APC government, particularly the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. For God sake, why should Senator Bukola Saraki be declared as senate president with 57 votes while 51 other senators were disenfranchised.
“The management of the National Assembly knew that 109 Senators were being expected on the day of that inauguration. Why did they not wait for others to arrive before rushing to conduct election?

“The election of a PDP senator as deputy senate president is evidently a grand conspiracy to sabotage the Buhari government,”

spokesperson for pro–Lawan group, Senator Kabiru Marafa, said this in an interview with Punch.

Marafa argued that the inauguration of the 8th Senate and subsequent election of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, with 57 senators in attendance was an indication that the perpetrators of the act actively involved the management of the federal parliament.

While the APC had endorsed Lawan as its candidate for the senate presidency, Saraki defied the party and manoeuvred his way to clinch the post with just a little above half of the senators.

The senate president had teamed up with senators of his former party, the PDP, to assume power in an alliance that saw Ike Ekweremadu of the PDP becoming the deputy senate president.

Lawan loyalists, under the Senate Unity Forum, said on Sunday that the election of Ekweremadu was a grand conspiracy to sabotage Buhari’s administration through the legislature. 

The Saraki supporters style themselves Like Minds Senators. Both Lawan and Saraki groups had on Friday disagreed on how the principal officers of the Senate should be chosen.

Marafa continued, “The conspirators had hijacked the media and are using them to complicate issues even in the court of public opinion. Why should we go to court?

“The Senate standing rule that was reviewed overnight is another pointer to the fact that the inauguration of the Senate on June 9 and the election of Saraki/Ekweremadu was part of the planned conspiracy.

“That is a criminal conspiracy. Our standing rules were changed. Who changed them? Why were they changed? For what purpose and who ordered the change? Who brought ballot boxes inside the chamber on June 9?

“Those who brought in the ballot boxes were obviously privy to the grand conspiracy. The rule of division was adopted in 2011 when David Mark contested election. People’s names were being called and each person would stand up and say who they want to vote for.

“But on June 9, boxes were brought into the chamber. Who brought them? Who changed our rule? President Buhari should prosecute the perpetrators of the criminal act because that was corruption.”