Bukola Saraki, Senate President, and Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House of Representatives, agreed Tuesday that no date had been fixed for the reconvening of the National Assembly to consider the budget of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
This came on a day the All Progressives Congress, APC, accused the Senate president of high treason, noting that it had also uncovered plans by Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to attack its senators as a way of frustrating their efforts to effect a change in the leadership of the Senate.
But in a swift reaction, PDP described APC’s allegation as laughable and childish, saying the insinuation showed that the Buhari Presidency and the ruling party had come to a wit end in their plot to “illegally” impeach Bukola Saraki, Senate President, and Ike Ekweremadu, his deputy.
Media advisers of the two leaders of Parliament stated Tuesday that the leadership of the National was waiting for a report of a joint committee of both chambers to reconvene the Parliament.
The statement was signed by Yusuph Olaniyonu, Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to Senate President and Turaki Hassan, Special Adviser (Media and Public Affairs) to Speaker, House of Representatives.
It reads, “The Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, have directed that we inform all senators, members of the House of Representatives and the public that a date has not been set for the reconvening of the Senate and the House of Representatives to consider the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) 2019 elections budget request forwarded by President Muhammadu Buhari on July 17, 2018.
“The leadership of the two chambers had met and agreed to reconvene to consider the proposal this week before which a meeting between the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Electoral Matters and officials of the INEC must have held on or before Monday, August 13, 2018.
“The joint committees were also expected to meet with the joint Senate and House Committees on Appropriations, Loans and Debts on the Eurobond loan request after which two reports would have been ready for presentation in the two chambers.
“However, no such meeting had taken place yet as a result of which both Senate and House of Representatives cannot reconvene as there is no report to consider.
“Until the committees have a ready report for the consideration of the two chambers, it will be most irresponsible to recall members from recess, especially those that may have travelled to Saudi Arabia for Hajj.”
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress, APC, has accused the Senate president, Bukola Saraki, of high treason, saying his actions which bothered on placing personal above national interest must be curtailed.
“While Saraki and his cohorts continue to postpone their doomsday regarding the imminent Senate leadership change, the yet-to-be considered 2019 budget of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is dangerously delayed. Clearly, Saraki’s actions as Senate President now bother on high treason,” APC declared in a statement signed by Acting National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena.
It stated further: “By this statement, we call on security agents to protect APC senators. If any senator is harmed, the PDP and Saraki should be held directly responsible. We call on security agencies to also closely monitor the activities of some PDP leaders, including Saraki, because the plan to attack APC senators is real and imminent.
“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.”
The party said it learned 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 was attacking some APC senators to ensure their inability to attend legislative sittings.
“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,” our source privy to the meeting informed us.
“This revelation has not come to us as a surprise because the Senate President through proxies has made several failed attempts to buy over APC Senators with N100million each.
“As a party, we don’t believe in inducing lawmakers to achieve our legitimate goal of removing Saraki as Senate President. We will get the support of some PDP Senators to get the required 2/3 vote and impeach Saraki.
”We are already talking to some of PDP Senators who believe and support the direction of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to achieve our legitimate goal.
“We reiterate our call for Saraki’s immediate resignation as Senate President. He cannot lead the APC majority Senate. But if he fails to resign honourably, we will impeach him. The PDP’s propaganda and threat of violence cannot save him.
“As Chairman of the 8th National Assembly, Saraki’s decision not to reconvene the National Assembly done with the support of the Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, further buttresses our position that Saraki is ever ready to pursue his selfish interests over national interest.
”This is another brazen display of his penchant for abuse of powers and sabotage of government, however the cost and implication,” APC added.
Reacting to APC’s allegations yesterday, the PDP said the ruling party was hallucinating by linking it with any attempt to attack anybody, including senators, stressing that Nigerians were aware that, if anything, it was the APC that had been involved in sponsoring violence and attacks in the residences of the presiding officers of the Senate and the National Assembly.
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, who reacted to the allegations, urged the leadership of the ruling party to perish any thought of having the capacity to impeach Saraki and Ekweremadu.
“Equally derisive 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 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 nor 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,” the statement read.