In a statement signed by its acting National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, the ruling party appealed to security agencies to protect the APC Senators.
• Opposition party planning to attack our senators – APC NWC
• APC leadership involved in brigandage – PDP
• Nigeria unlucky to have APC as ruling party – Senate president
Romanus Ugwu and Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The political chess game between the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has continued to rage as both parties continued their battle of words over President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
The APC National Working Committee (NWC) and its lawmakers at a meeting, yesterday, insisted that being in the minority, Saraki could no longer preside over the senate.
National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, in his opening remarks at the meeting, insisted that there was no going back on the removal of Saraki.
“The minority can always have their say and the majority will have their way at the Senate. If they have only 49, and the APC have 56, they will tell us anywhere in the world where the minority will produce the leaders of the house.
“We cannot be subjected to a minority rule in Nigeria. Whether Senator Saraki likes it or not, he can only take the part of honour by allowing the APC to take its rightful lead of the Senate. If not, he would be impeached lawfully and democratically.
“Going to court to stop his impeachment will be an exercise in futility. It is the senate that would determine who would lead them. As the governing party, we are committed to leading with example. In everything we do, we ensure it is in the provisions of the law, including the impeachment of Senator Saraki,” he noted.
Apparently to ginger the lawmakers into action, Oshiomhole said: “We have very important issues which requires the NASS to deliberate on before the presiding officers hurriedly adjourned the Assembly. The issue of obtaining foreign loans, without which the government cannot perform, the virement and the president’s request for the approval if N242 billion for INEC
“You must act to actualise these, so that the country will not shut down as expected by Saraki. These issues require your serious attention to ensure that government gets the required assistance to provide the dividends of democracy to Nigerians.”
The ruling party also fired another salvo as it claimed that it had discovered plans by the opposition party to organise thugs to attack some of its senators as part of its plans to stall the removal of Saraki.
In a statement signed by its acting National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, the ruling party appealed to security agencies to make special security arrangements to protect the APC Senators.
It equally accused Saraki of inducing senators to avert his impeachment.
However, both Saraki and the PDP dismissed the claims as childish and laughable, even as they accused the leadership of the APC of involvement in brigandage.
According to the APC: “We were informed that the plot was hatched in the private residence of a PDP leader in Maitama-Abuja on Sunday night. The meeting was attended by 15 pro-Saraki senators including the senate president himself.
“We learnt that the PDP expressed worry over the APC’s Senate majority and considered several options to stop the APC from taking over the senate leadership among which is attacking some APC senators to ensure their inability to attend legislative sittings.”
Explaining how the APC planned to carry out the attack, the APC leadership said: “The PDP have recruited thugs for this purpose, we have now learnt. During Sunday’s meeting, the PDP Senators planned several types of attack, one of which is to lure some of them (APC Senators) out at night in the guise of inviting senators to a political settlement meeting and thereafter instigate a violent confrontation during the meeting and unleash standby PDP thugs on APC Senators.”
But media adviser to Saraki, Mr. Yusuph Olaniyonu, who said his principal would not be dragged into APC’s latest diatribe, said it was unfortunate that such an allegation was coming from a ruling party.
Olaniyonu who added that with a party like APC in power, Nigeria would never move forward urged Nigerians to disregard the accusations.
“These people (National Working Committee of APC) are in the gutter. All they want to do is to drag people to their own level. We can’t join them in that gutter. It is also unfortunate that such an allegation will come from a ruling party.
“Nigeria is unfortunate to have characters like that presiding over a ruling party. It is very clear why Nigeria is where it is right now. With such people in office, a country like Nigeria cannot move forward,” Olaniyonu said.
The PDP also dismissed the allegations as it said the ruling party is hallucinating by linking it with any attempt to attack anybody, including senators.
In a statement by Kola Ologbondiyan, yesterday, PDP said the allegation was an indication that Presidency and the ruling party have hit a brick wall in their alleged plot to illegally impeach Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu.
It added that Nigerians were aware that it was the APC that has allegedly been involved in sponsoring violence and attacks in the residences of the presiding officers of the Senate as well as in the National Assembly.
According to the party, “equally derisory is the APC’s claims that it is in talks with some PDP senators to get a two-third vote to impeach the Senate presiding officers when it is public knowledge that all PDP senators are loyal to their party and had already pledged their loyalty to the presiding officer which they elected by themselves.
“It is, therefore, foolhardiness for the leadership of the APC to contemplate a capacity to impeach the presiding officers of the National Assembly whereas they are neither senators or members of the House of Representatives.
“It is also funny that rather than lobby senators and members on their party position, if they have any, the APC leadership toed the path of brigandage, claiming to have powers to upturn or upstage the leadership that it did not ab initio bring into existence.”
In a related development, PDP vowed to checkmate any attempt by the APC to rig future elections, beginning with the forthcoming Osun governorship election.
The party said it had taken into consideration open boasts and chest thumping by top government officials and APC chieftains, especially on their alleged manipulation of the Ekiti State governorship poll and the by-elections in Bauchi, Katsina and Kogi states, where thugs were allegedly allowed to freely use weapons against its supporters.
The PDP in a statement said it had also noted the convergence of APC governors in constituencies where elections were held to allegedly supervise the free distribution of funds to buy votes, bribe electoral officers and openly intimidate the people.
It stated that in as much as it remained a law abiding political party, which conducts its affairs within the ambit of the electoral law, it would henceforth “directly and physically confront and resist the desperate and greedy power grabbers from always having a field day in seizing our democratic institutions and circumventing the rules during elections.”
Consequently, the party directed all its governors, officials at the state and zonal level, as well as its national and state assembly members to be prepared to move into Osun State and provide all support necessary in all the nooks and crannies of the state in the governorship poll.