APC restates move to sanction Saraki, Dogara
• Nigerians in Diaspora support action
• PDP warns against witch-hunt on Clerk, others
Indications emerged yesterday that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is still keen on sanctioning the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and their band of supporters in the National Assembly who defied the directives of the party.
APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who spoke with reporters after the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun-led National Working Committee (NWC) met with a group of senators led by Ahmed Lawan, said the party would follow due process to carry out the punitive measures on the renegade lawmakers.
Asked whether the party is going ahead to sanction the Saraki/Dogara groups, he said: “They party has not changed its position on the matter. Sanctions must follow due process. You won’t tell someone his offence, not the issue of disciplinary panel, but there will be due process.”
Mohammed, who disclosed that the aggrieved lawmakers were at the secretariat of the party to confer with the party leadership, said there was nothing wrong if they exercise their rights to go to court over the outcome of the election of the Senate Presidency.
According to him: “There are our senators that will like to confer with the party leadership, they came to confer on the crisis in the National Assembly. I think the party made its expression clear on the matter, that it is unhappy with the outcome of the election and I think we won’t say anything beyond that. What the senators will do is within the capability and rights of the senators.”
In the same vein, members of the Nigeria Group 2015 in the United Kingdom (UK) have expressed serious concerns about the purported elections of the Senate President, Deputy Senate President, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives conducted on Tuesday, June 9, 2015.
In a statement issued yesterday in London and signed by Mr. Kingsley Ogbonda, Lead Officer – Communications, the group said: “Whereas the said elections may have met the requisite provisions of the constitution having been conducted with the required quorum; we are deeply concerned in the manner they were done. The behaviour, way and manner of those who put themselves forward to be elected and those who voted and conducted the elections have brought the whole process into disrepute and rendered them morally objectionable.
Elections for the principal offices of the National Assembly are not matters to be treated cavalierly. It is not a game for errant juvenile. If those who have found themselves in these two Houses think that Nigerians are still in for their characteristic mindless jokes, they better think differently. We demand good governance now.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cautioned the Presidency and the APC against any attempt to intimidate or harass the Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa and the National Assembly Service Commission for performing their statutory functions during the inauguration of the federal legislature.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, in a statement yesterday said any attempt by the APC to transfer their frustration, which was a product of their ineptitude, would amount to witch-hunt and victimisation.
The party said the undertone of the statement of President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, that the Clerk was adequately requested to shift the time for the inauguration to enable the President address the APC legislators but he ignored it “amounts to putting undue pressure on civil servants in the National Assembly for performing their legitimate duties and sends a serious signal which should not be ignored.”
It said the APC displayed its arrogance and disrespect for the dictates of the constitution by attempting to adjust the President’s promulgation order on the National Assembly and seeking to put their interest over and above the supreme law of the land.
Mohammed, who denied knowledge that Saraki was billed to be at the party secretariat alongside the aggrieved senators, however, said that he was not aware if the aggrieved senators had made good their threats to go to court to challenge the legality of Saraki’s election as President of the Senate.
The group further said: “What is more worrying about Bukola’s actions is that he teamed up with members of PDP whom Nigerians after sixteen years of forced toleration repudiated in just few months ago. Perhaps, Bukola needs to be reminded what Nigerians mean by CHANGE. By change, Nigerians want a functioning government where the President and the legislative bodies are in synch in delivering service to the citizens, that upholds the rule of law and order against impunity, fights corruption and restores confidence of its citizens and the world in its conduct.
“President Buhari is right to remain above the fray and ambivalent about Bukola’s behaviour. But APC if it is to usher in the change Nigerians deserve and for its own survival, must sanction Bukola. All those who feel that they have paid for President Buhari’s success must not forget that as Nigerians, we know how they made their money. If truth be told, they have still not settled their debt to us – the people.”