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.