- Vow to resist plan to foment trouble in Senate
As the war over the continuation of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, in office rages, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Navy, Isah Hamma Misau and his counterpart in the Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim, have accused the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of leaving salient issues affecting its political party to make Saraki the issue in Nigerian politics.
The senators said it was absurd that the APC would focus on “one individual and making him the subject of all discussions, instead of telling Nigerians what APC has done in the last 38 months it has been in power.”
In a statement, yesterday, the senators said the APC has made history by leaving the issue of its achievements to blame its failure on just one individual, a thing they said never happened in the country.
“It is also the first time a ruling party will plan to hoodwink Nigerians by saying everything wrong under its watch is due to the action and inaction of one man,” they said.
Listing what APC has done in this regard, senators Misau and Adebanjo said: “APC has devoted all the time and knowledge of their national chairman, national leader, publicity secretary, four senators and two presidential aides to the daily abuse of Saraki, such that it appears as if Saraki is the only politician in Nigeria today. They have made Saraki the issue in Nigerian politics today.
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“If these individuals devote the energy they are exerting on Saraki to finding solutions to the security problem, economic crisis and collapse of infrastructure, among them, they will come out with some action plan, except they are only skillful in mischief making.”
They said APC strategy was to get Saraki so engrossed in “the battle for survival in the Senate and the pummeling from the APC cabal, such that he would have no time to pursue his aspiration for 2019. “This is a short time strategy. It will not work. That is why the man remains unfazed by the antics.” The senators expressed surprise that all the decisions the senate took as an institution are now blamed on Saraki. “Are we also going to give the credit of all the achievements of the Senate to Saraki as well?” they asked.
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They wondered if laws signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, which led to the “World Bank improving the rating of Nigeria in the Ease of Doing Business Report, the Petroleum Industry Governance Bills, which broke the jinx of over 14 years on the law, the progressive constitution amendment bills, the five anti-corruption laws, as well as the fact that the 8th Senate has done better than the previous ones in terms of number of bills passed, the petitions successfully treated and the various interventions, will be credited to Saraki and not the entire Senate?
“You blame a man for what an institution lawfully did. Is this not dishonest? Senate leader, Ahmed Lawan, who moved the motion for our adjournment till September 25, and the Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio who seconded the motion are in APC, yet they kept quiet when all the falsehood are being peddled now that Saraki “unilaterally and hurriedly adjourned the Senate.” These Senators kept quiet about their roles simply because they want to be good boys. When the motion for adjournment was carried by voice vote, no dissenting voice was heard.
The duo said the 8th Senate under Saraki has done well, insisting: “It has set a standard that the legislature should not be an appendage of the executive. It is an independent arm of government. Both arms need to extend the hands of fellowship to each other and the duty to work for co-operation does not lie on just one of them.”
They said the APC would meet its match in “those of us in PDP, if they try to foment trouble in the Senate whenever we resume. They’ve made many attempts to subvert this senate, including stealing of our mace, brutalising of members of staff of the senate, invasion of the senate complex with hooded and masked security agents, refusal to sign important bills, using security agents and anti-corruption agencies to intimidate members and the leadership as well as initiating malicious prosecution against members.”