Peace committee condemns politics of Senate leadership



THE National Peace Committee headed by former Head of State, AbdulSalami Abubakar has expressed regrets over the rancorous situation that characterized the campaign for and election of the President of the Senate.

In a statement issued in Abuja, the committee‎ lamented that the contest was turned into a “dogfight” and commended President Muhammadu Buhari for maintaining neutrality in the whole process.

The statement signed by Abubakar and the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese of the Catholic Church, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, and titled, “An Appeal for Order, Maturity and Discipline in the Senate” congratulated “the President, Vice President, Governors and all the members of the National and State Legislative Assemblies across the country for very successful and peaceful inaugurations recently. Nigerians at home and around the world watched with pride and gratitude to God as world leaders assembled from across the globe to show solidarity with our nation in its moment of historic joy.

“Even the most optimistic of us did not imagine that we would be where we are today in our country. Up till the last elections, the atmosphere after every election since 1999 has been poisoned by endless quarrels among the political elites, long drawn out appeals at Tribunals and occasional violence leading to loss of lives. Happily, this has not been the case since the last elections. All the doomsday prophets have watched as God has guided our nation. What else can we ask for?

“This is why we have watched with some measure of sorrow, the unacceptable attitude of the members of the highest Legislative body, the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the last week. What was supposed to have been a routine process of inaugurating the Principal officers is gradually turning into a vicious internecine duel that threatens to undermine the moral authority and efficacy of that important body.

“The story of the process leading to the elections of the principal officers in that august body in the last week is well known to all Nigerians. Given the maturity, track record and experience of the body, we wonder why a routine process has turned into an ugly, selfish dogfight. This is unacceptable to Nigerians. It neither dignifies the Senate nor does it honour what Nigerians voted for. It is not the way to thank God for what He has done to those who were lucky to be elected to that high office, nor does it honour what He has done to our country.

“We commend the members of the Lower House who have successfully concluded their process and are positioned to face their challenge of Law making. We therefore call on the members of the Senate to very quickly put their house in order.

“We appreciate the anxieties of both the leaders of the All Progressive Congress, (APC), and their members in the Senate. But this is at best a family quarrel that should not become a public spectacle. The challenge now is for the APC to justify the confidence that Nigerians placed on them when they bought into their mantra of CHANGE. We expect this CHANGE to be marked by personal and institutional acts of patriotism, altruism, discipline, decorum, maturity, sacrifice and decency.”

The committee also tasked the lawmakers “to quickly restore the order, dignity and integrity that are the hallmarks of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We must have all arms on deck so that we can quickly rout Boko Haram, restore law and order and proceed with the much-desired change of cleansing the Augean stable and delivering quality services to the Nigerian people.”
Meanwhile, a group under the aegis of Fresh Hope for Nigeria (FHN) yesterday frowned at the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Timi Frank, over his stance on the emergence of Saraki as the Senate President.
The group, in a statement by Comrade Tamuno Banigo insisted that Frank should be sanctioned since he lacks the right to call for the resignation of the Chief John Odigie –Oyegun-led executive of the party over the peaceful manner it resolved the crisis of the emergence of Saraki.
Claiming that Frank has acted in error by attacking his party publicly, the group said, “He has even gone ahead to call himself a member of the National Working Committee, this is a lie, Timi Frank should not continue to confuse the members of the public. He is not known as a member of NWC. Nobody is allowed to dictate for the party on how that should be done. “
The group insisted that the party did not err since it wanted to present one candidate for the National Assembly leadership election in line with the party constitution.

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  • imperialebony

    Buhari has been maintaining neutrality son that whenever he wants to hammer any corrupt office older, either past or present, he would do that without unbiased mind. Bukola himself still has a case to answer with the EFCC and if found culpable, he will be impeached.

  • FactFinder

    Then with this condemnation by the peace committee those who erred should be punished accordingly as no one is above the law.

  • PlusOne

    Ole, admonishing Ole. Who is the Ole then?

    Preaching peace….
    Ah, AbdulSalami Abubakar, Nigerians will not forget what you embezzled whilst in Office in previous administrations.

  • omibiga

    If anybody doubted the leaning of the so-called Peace Committee, it is now evident. For the avoidance of doubt, the Senate constitutionally conducted an election and in accordance with its standing rules and winners emerged. That the APC is not comfortable with the outcome is not the business or headache of the Senate. The APC and its members threatening Saraki and Ekweremadu should have been the subject of rebuke by the Peace Committee instead of blaming the Senate or the elected Leaders of the Senate. If anybody is not comfortable with the outcome of the NASS elections, let the Peace Committee advise them to go to court. That is the peaceful thing to do except someone is saying there cannot be disagreements within a party

    • Abayomi A

      I could not agree with you more, after reading the statement from the Abubakar-Kukah 2-man “Peace Committee.” The common refrain is that he who comes to equity must come with clean hands. I am not aware of any eligibility criteria that the duo had to clear to validate their choice for this committee. If they have to be seen as credible to play this role, they cannot afford to have their skin in the game. Kukah hardly makes a secret of the fact that he would have loved to have Jonathan return to Aso Rock, but for superior millions of Nigerians opting for Buhari in the 2015 presidential polls. Between Jonathan and Kukah, I cannot tell who is Man Friday to the other; but no one is in doubt that they often play buddies.

      Besides, why has this issue boiled down solely to the person of Saraki? Who is afraid of Saraki? Why is Dogara a foreign word in all of this? APC’s attempted Electoral College, which was an illegality in the first place, affected both Saraki and Dogara, Advisedly, the two elected to exercise their inalienable constitutional rights to present themselves to their fellow Assembly members in the elections to the Offices of Senate Presdient and Speaker of the House of Representatives, as applicable. They did not stop others doing the same. They campaigned, lobbied their peers and won. That should have been end of story. All the brouhaha that followed was most unnecessary.

      The National Assembly is an automous body; one arm of a tripartite structure typifying the Presidential system of govenrment that Nigeria adapted from the US. Aggrieved candidates who were favourites of a section of APC leadership should have gone to court as they kept threatening. Making good on the threats would have helped to deepen democracy in Nigeria. The status quo would have held pending the determination of the suit. Final court ruling would have set a precedent, a benchmark for passing on the legality or otherwise of outsiders’ interference in the affairs of the National Assembly. Not too late; they can still do it, if they have the will. .
      I am also troubled by the potential conflict of interest that might ensue and kill the prosecution of the War against Corruption (WAC). Assuming Abubakar and Kukah end up being subjects of any future investigation iunder WAC, how is the Buhari Administration supposed to be seen as operating without having its hands tied?

      Americans say “In God We Trust, Everyone else We Check out.”

  • Sal Yarima

    Nigeria needs to sign a currency swap arrangement with China. This would provide enough liquidity for Nigeria to build new refineries which would mean no more importation of petroleum products, no more need to raise prices on petroleum products and no more need to devalue Nigeria’s currency.

    The new government inherited a problem created by the G7 Western countries designed to destroy Russia, Venezuela and Nigeria. This is working as perfectly as the G7 planned it. The G7 countries figured out that if they get Saudi Arabia in their little plan to crash oil prices, countries like Russia, Nigeria and Venezuela will collapse.

    The other petroleum producers like Iraq have already been destroyed right after Saddam Hussein was tricked into putting his entire army on the road to Tikrit. The Allied bombers were bombing and killing the Iraqi soldiers like flies. They were laughing as they killed hundreds of thousands of Iraq soldiers who were not in battle but on a road heading home to Iraq. That is against the Geneva convention but nobody dare accuses the West. The West can commit murder and genocide. Nigeria has to watch out…

    Unfortunately for them, Russia signed a currency swap arrangement with China which allowed Russia’s economy to not only survive but diversify. Unfortunately for Nigeria, IMF agents were running the ministry of Finance and the Central Bank hence Nigeria did not sign any currency swaps with China, hence Nigeria and Venezuela are being hit hard by the plan originally designed to destroy Russia’s economy

  • Okey

    Too much engagement with political issues has vitiated Father Matthew Hassan Kukah of vital spirituality that empowers a man of God to call evil Evil and not by any other name. What and whose moraity is Kukah and co pursuing here ? What and whose “dignity” is Kukah and co after ? It is utterly shameful, to say least, that Father Kukah will be heard making a preference for an immoral meeting summoned at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, falsely engaging President Buhari’s instance and name, for the imposition of one-man’s candidates on the nation’s highest legislative body, NASS, over a duly conducted leadership election on the floor of the Senate. That a reverend gentleman is impugning a result that made for national inclusiveness whilst supporting a cabal for ethnic exclusion is highly is most regrettable.That is not only worrisome but most shameful of a so-called man of God.

    The President duly issued a proclamation to bring into life the 8th National Assembly. In that issue, the President was certain; he said the 8th Assembly shall come into effect at 10:00 A.M. of June 9, this year of our Lord, 2015. And in line with that constitutional order, 57 Senators-elect dutifully, patriotically and constitutionally went to the Senate Chambers to be inaugurated and were, in deed, inaugurated. Thereafter, the Senate carried out its first legislative duty which was the election of the Senate President and his Deputy. That they did successfully and in fact, their President, Senator Saraki, enjoyed wider acceptance that he was elected opposed. And that of his deputy keenly contested.

    Meanwhile, some other Senators unpatriotically ignored the President’s order of proclamation and went to the NICON hotel extension behind the ICC, just to wine and merry for having won election into the Senate. And by the time they sauntered back to the Senate, the law and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have taken their due course. The wining and merrymaking Senators now say the hand of the clock should be shifted backwards to accommodate their giddy dream that 36 hours, instead of 24, make up a day. That cannot happen as it is a pure lie.

    APC should be full of gratitude to Senator David Mark for being himself – being and remaining gentlemanly in the circumstance. In fact, they should also thank Senator Saraki for standing up to defend APC’s interest at that crucial moment. Had Saraki not done what he did, one of those 49 PDP Senators dutifully present would have emerged the Senate President and no Jupiter will reverse it, since APC doesn’t have the 2/3 majority to upturn it. APC should be full of gratitude to Saraki and the Clerk of the National Assembly.

    What took place on June 9, 2015, was a national rebellion against one man’s imposition; a national rebellion against false-Change. That’s precisely why President Buhari never wasted any time in validating the National Assembly proceedings of June 9, 2015. That is as it should be. Also the British Government has validated same by paying courtesy visit to the leadership of the National Assembly pronto. Both authorities – the President and the British Govt – knew that what was to take place at the restaurant adjacent to the ICC was an imposition, NOT democratic.

    The only converge between the cabal impositionists and pseudo peacemakers is the discomfort that an Igboman – Ike Ekweremadu – emerged in an era where there is a “consensus” that Ndigbo be punished for voting Jonathan. But thank goodness, President Buhari is not comfortable with that “consensus” and has openly and clearly demonstrated he is not part of it. That’s why he wasted no time in welcoming the result of June 9, 2015 in the National Assembly. At least, the President has distanced himself from those who want perpetuate tribal hate hiding behind a Buhari.

    Now the decision, in fact duty, whether to have a smooth, peaceful and enduring parliament in Nigeria or not lies with the anti-Ekweremadu, nay, anti-Igboman, elements in APC (party and NASS). Unless the whole essence of APC politics is “Power Grab and Igbo Exclusion,” they have a duty to concentrate on legislation as their duty and allow the Senate Leadership be. Now, APC does not have the 2/3 to effect a change of Ekweremadu or anything in the Senate. Any “We no go gree” in the Senate will only result in crisis, confusion and setback against the Buhari Govt and the entire nation. Because, PDP in the Senate will equally “No go gree.”

  • iloani

    This so-called Peace Committee should fold up right away. Gen Abubakar and group was not, is not elected into any office so they should leave Nigerians alone. My Lord Bishop should return back to his Diocese for the duty from Above instead of gallivanting with these See No Evil and Hear No evils around him.

  • Ayo Aiyelabola

    APC, listen to the voice of reason. Acknowledge that there vampires within and without whose only job is to exploit real and imaginary fault lines to distabilise the party and GMB’s government. They know that the heat will soon be turned on them to regurgitate our common wealth they have swallowed..By His grace we shall get to the promised land.

  • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

    Partisan stance from a partisan “Peace Committee”. If Kukah wants to join politics, he should remove his cassock. Kukah has always been a disappointment with his ambivalence and veiled support for Islam. His tendency to join the murky political fray marks him out as a cleric-politician. For the fake Peace Committee’s info, valid and legitimate election of principal officers of the National Assembly has held. And, there’s nothing “internecine” about the outcomes.